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balancing passion with profit





Let’s face it. Not everyone can make millions out of their passion. But the professional artists who have gone that road have so much to teach us about balancing that passion with the need to have a profession that pays the bills. Whether you’re a creative entrepreneur or any other kind, there is so much to take away from the stories of artists who decided to break away from old habits and build real deal careers without having to sacrifice their passion

Who Is Cory Stowers?

Cory Stowers is a prolific and legendary street artist, musician and entrepreneur in Washington DC. His resume includes projects in the fields of visual art, recorded music, film, scholarly writings, and education, all relating to public art. He co-founded the double down Kings, a graffiti and hip hop crew, which has hosted free instructional classes on graffiti art for the past 20 years. They've contributed to more than 50 public mural commissions. He's been awarded grant after grant fellowship after fellowship and numerous high profile accolades for his work, but he doesn't stop there. He's also a successful entrepreneur and major building block within his local community and the visual arts community as a whole.

Why You Should Listen to this Cory Stowers Podcast Episode Right Now…

 In this episode, Dr. Kate Hixson brings in visual artist, musician, and entrepreneur Cory Stowers to share how he went from his formative years as a budding graffiti artist trying to fit into the street art culture to becoming the multifaceted creative entrepreneur he is today. You will learn about the critical role of mentorship and community in the development of your craft and how important it is to build a toolbox of skills and an arsenal of little tricks that you can use to make your mark in the world (and some serious money in your pocket while you’re at it).



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Today, Dr. Kate Hixson has Cory Stowers in the studio. Cory is one of Washington DC's most prominent graffiti artists who is also a rapper and savvy entrepreneur.  This interview gets down-n-dirty on all things business, art, and life. Don't miss this one, folks.

But first, here's a sneak peek at what you'll hear:

  • What's ya story, Cory? - 2:00

  • Cory's "Avalon 2" epiphany that propelled him deep into the graffiti world. - 5:30

  • Why being called a "Toy" in the graffiti community is totally humiliating. (In fact, there are plenty of "toys" in every industry. Hear what this derogatory term means at 7:45)

  • What it means if you see a graffiti artist holding a black book. -8:50

  • The startling number of years the average graffiti artist's career lasts. -9:00

  • Who the hell is SMK? And… how this man was the catalyst for Cory's impressive graffiti career. - 12:30

  • Can you learn to become a graffiti artist by watching graffiti artists teach it on YouTube? (Hear Cory's answer at 14:20)

  • Why back in the day (the '80s and '90s) all the best graffiti hot spots were in the most dangerous parts of town.  - 15:00

  • The darkest, most disturbing, and most dangerous place Cory used to write graffiti. (Cory admits he was a little crazy going there and says he would never let his 16-year-old son set foot in a place like this. - 18:00)

  • The "belly pull" trick. (No. This is not a weight loss tip. This is a profound and proven success secret that almost all highly successful people adhere to. Hear this at 20:10)

  • Why some brick-and-mortar business owners should consider hiring a graffiti artist. (This could be one of the best ways to bring in new business you've ever heard. - 25:00)

  • Why some of the very best graffiti artists could become marketing consultants. 25:50

  • How Cory took Hip Hop's "Each One Teach One" and applied it to his graffiti career. (Cory got a lot of push back from elite members of the graffiti community for doing this, but Cory's no pushover… as you’ll hear at 29:00)

  • Cory's mini-marketing crash course.  (Cory nonchalantly drops a marketing gem that probably 1 in 1000 business people are clueless about. Listen up, kids. - 31:10)

  • A powerful motto (used by Washington DC's punk rock community) that's helped Cory become successful at street art, rap music, and entrepreneurship. - 35:00

  • Damn good advice for up-and-coming music artists. If you think the odds of a new artist making good money in the cut-throat music industry are miserable, you're right! (That said... most new artists don't know what Cory knows. Cory's succeeded because he has a much different mindset and approach to making money in the music industry to almost everyone else, and... he reveals what that is at 36:25  Best part: this can be applied to any business in any industry.)

  • More absurdly good advice for up-and-coming visual artists they’d be nuts not to take. - 37:00

  • A dirt-cheap merchandising secret (used by some of the savviest visual artists in the world) that can as much as double or even triple your sales from a single piece of artwork. (Hear the nitty-gritty details at 37:30)

  • Dr. Kate gives her honest-to-God review of Cory's music.  - 39:00

  • Why every artist should think more like a librarian. (This mindset when fully embraced can help turn a struggling artist into a highly sought after and profitable artist. - 41:00)

  • The single best investment any business owner or entrepreneur can ever make. - 42:15

  • Why you'll NEVER hear a graffiti artist say they were the captain of their high school football team or the prom queen. - 44:00


  • How writing graffiti "unlocks" a certain part of the artist's brain, and... what the startling benefits of this "brain unlocking" are. - 44:50

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