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Artist Havoc Hendricks: Making a Living by Drawing on Walls

Artist Havoc Hendricks has made a living drawing original fine art on walls, snowboards, clothing, canvas and more


If you’ve ever told your kids not to draw on the walls, perhaps it’s time to rethink that stance. Artist Havoc Hendricks has made a living drawing fine art on walls, snowboards, clothing, canvas and more. He was the fidgety kid that never grew out of always doing something with his hands. 

 When he was in grad school, Havoc spent his free time painting. When he sold his first piece to a neighbor, it opened his eyes to the idea that he could make a living making art.

As a self-taught artist, Havoc benefited from the freedom of discovering his tools, techniques and style without constraints. Since Havoc couldn’t draw a realistic person, he focused on the world of abstract art, where he could thrive.

Painting a large variety of things, from abstract flowers to mythical creatures, helped Havoc discover not only what he could do, but also what he enjoyed creating. He found that he enjoyed doing geodes and moons, and just as important, that people liked buying them. A critical juncture was reached where he was making as much money selling art as a hobby, as he was from his day job. This gave him the courage to take the leap to painting full time, and Havoc decided to give it six months.

With no art business experience, there was a steep learning curve. Being an artist is so much more than creating. Havoc found that for success you have to build your own brand and carve your own niche. Luckily, he found the place where those essentials intersect. It was a few years into painting when drawing lines on a napkin inspired Havoc to create the mountain line work he’s so well-known for. These picturesque murals now grace the walls of the Gateway Mall, buildings all over downtown Provo, Jackson Hole, New York City, and more. 

Detailed minimalism is his mantra. “A tree is so minimal you almost never even notice it’s there. Yet once you get closer, you start looking at the patterns and the biology. It’s the same with mountains, water, and clouds.” 

Havoc incorporates this concept into his art. From across the room what looks like a painting of a circle with a simple color palette becomes lines with the texture of a moon as you walk closer to it. “You can analyze those details and really get lost in them. I enjoy that.”

It is truly original art. “Even if I wanted to make the same piece twice, I literally couldn’t. I can control 90 percent, but there’s 10 percent I have no control over. The details will always be unique. I’m trying one new thing every time. Partly because I want to get better and partly because I don’t want to get bored.”

So, when your kids get bored, don’t be afraid to let them draw on the walls, and perhaps, like Havoc, they’ll forge a creative career path. “I’ve been able to pursue what I wanted to do, and it’s been a dream.”


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