People I’m writing about on Special Stories have all something in common – and that is certainly courage. And Zsolt Nagy (36 years old) is not an exception. Always attracted to art, he attended a high school of Art, then the Faculty of Arts and Design in his native town, Cluj Napoca. He had a few jobs in graphics, then had the courage to follow his heart, quit his job and start his own small business, doing every day what he loves. He paints stories on walls – and that’s not an exaggeration, at all. No matter the place, from children’s rooms to playgrounds, kindergartens, adult rooms, bathrooms, after schools, there is a painted story for every type of space and client. And Zsolt does them with joy, happy and in love with what he is doing, showing that yes, you can earn your leaving doing what you love, without stress, if you have the courage to get out of a comfort zone and just follow your heart.
Zsolt was always attracted to art – ever since he was a child. He attended High School of Art from Cluj Napoca from the 5-th grade, then the Faculty of Arts and Design. He graduated in 2007, and then had different jobs in graphics. From the last one he quit, and that was the moment when he decided to give himself a chance and work on his own.
“I had two options – either I will search for another job or I will try this. And I chose to try, and it worked. You need to try, otherwise you won’t know if it works. If it’s not going to work you can find yourself another job, again”, he says.
His official business was started more than one year ago, but the passion is very old, dating from his childhood. When he was 12 years old, he was painting the walls from his house, and that was the beginning. Actually, he was always surrounded by wall paintings or graffiti.
Then, a friend recommended him to the owners of a disco-shop, and he painted a place for parties. “Then, knowing people, it was not hard for me to go from one order to another”, he says.
In 1998, he painted first children’s room, for his friends from the block where he lived. “I kept on working in graphics companies, and rarely painted a place, when someone was looking for me, recommended by people I knew”, he says.
His own business, started from scratch
More than a year ago, after quitting his job, he had two options: to search for another one or try to work for himself. And he chose to give himself a chance, even if it was risky – working as a freelancer means you don’t have the same volume of work, all the time. “I needed an impulse to start this, it was right under my nose all the time but I didn’t know how to exploit it. And maybe the market was not ready, either. Now, it’s working relatively ok, and I see a big potential in it, in the future. With every work I try to develop myself in all directions”, he says.
Every painting transforms the place where it’s done in a land of dreams. It’s like entering a fairy-tale – you almost forget that you are in a usual bedroom, for instance. “I do children’s rooms mostly, but I work on other spaces and for other ages, also”, Zsolt says. He had orders for kindergartens, playgrounds, after schools, adult’s rooms, bathrooms or the house of stairs in block of flats.
In children’s room a model is frequently asked – a stylized world’s map with specific, illustrated elements for every area – animals, buildings, locations. But he can do anything else – the client can come with his own ideas or he can suggest variants. His clients are usually young people, between 25 and 35 years old, and one happy client recommends another. The painting is not necessary to be on walls – it can be on glass, also.
Work with joy
Zsolt loves what he’s doing – and you can see this in every of his paintings. It’s more than a job – it’s work with heart, also, and he is very lucky for this. “I love what I’m doing, I relax doing it, I’m happy that I can do what I love and be paid for it. It’s nice and calming”, he says.
And he had only excellent reactions – people say it’s much more than they expected, they are all satisfied, happy with what they see.
The courage to follow your heart
An advice for those who don’t have the courage to get out of their comfort zone, even if they are not happy? “Try to follow their dreams, even if it’s a little bit complicated in the beginning. It deserves a try, otherwise the days pass and you don’t know how. Now I have more free time, more money and time to dream.
Of course there were doubts, because it’s not a constant income, there are times of the year when there’s no work, such as winter holidays. But I managed, I followed my soul and I wouldn’t like to go back to the life style I had before”, he says.
You can find Zsolt and his wall paintings on his Facebook Page, HERE
PHOTOS FROM PERSONAL ARCHIVE
Do you know a very special person? Someone who has followed his dream, built it piece by piece, with passion, energy and lot of soul? An usual, simple person who did something in life, who you can identify with, who can be, for others, a source of inspiration? Tell me about that person and let’s tell the others his/her beautiful story. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, here, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.