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Recovery

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Losing Becky again hurt. It was a pain that ate away at my heart every hour of the day for the first months after my attempt to bring her back from Oregon and I couldn’t get over it.

I couldn’t understand why she wanted to go back to the abusive relationship she had with her parents when I had tried so hard to save her and give her a normal life. I felt sad, betrayed, abused and could barely move or think.

After I mourned her and spent a long time in anger and denial I slowly began to recover. After a while the pain began to fade and I started to see things clearly again. One day I woke up, looked in the mirror, and told myself that I was going to pull through and survive the pain I had just been through.

I knew that it was time to move on from her and I finally signed the divorce papers and ended our marriage in court. Once I was single again, I took a good long rest and gave myself plenty of time to evaluate my life and emotions.

A few months after the Oregon trip I started to hear from Becky every few weeks when she was able to send me the occasional letter. Life for her was hard. After I left her at the airport in Portland she called her parents and begged them to pick her up. Of course, they came to get her but once she was home, they severely beat her and punished her for weeks.

The last I heard from her, she said that they finally let her outside without supervision from her other brothers and sisters. She continually professed her love for me in her letters but I never wrote her back or spoke with her again because I knew that if I tried to go after her again it would only lead to the same results.

In retrospect I think Becky was in love with the idea of being in love, but when it came time to do the actual work involved in a relationship she was immature and ran from it. I grew tired of the drama associated with her and finally closed the door on our relationship. As months passed I had time to rest, relax, think, and recover from the experience and I started to feel young and healthy inside once again.

One day my cousin, Brian, who I hadn’t heard from in a couple of years, called me to say that his parents planned to give him a two bedroom duplex, that they had owned for years, in Spring Valley, which was only a few miles away from the old house I grew up in.

He said that he was looking for a housemate and I was the first person who came to mind. I instantly liked this idea because I missed my old home town, the familiar streets, places, people, and I also looked forward to living a bachelor lifestyle with my cousin.

Brian and I had always had a great relationship so I immediately accepted his offer and a few weeks later I moved into the duplex and became housemates with him and his Labrador, Tyson.

Once we were together we reverted to our old youthful ways and enjoyed many nights together staying up late, watching movies, playing video games, reading comic books, partying with friends, and enjoying the freedom that came with youth and ignorance.

I was happy living with my cousin and living in the duplex I could regroup and gather my ambitions for the future. The best part about living with my cousin was the art that I created at that time. I finally had a space to work once again for the first time in years and took every advantage of feeding my artistic hunger. At that time nothing could shatter my dreams or break me emotionally again.

As I worked harder on my art I also reconnected with my love for business after I became reacquainted with several of my high school friends that started their own home based businesses and were reaping the awards of the roaring economy of the late 1990’s.

“You have to start your own business! You will never make any money working for someone else!” They told me. I looked at their new cars, homes, vacations, clothing and decided to try starting my own business.

In the late 1990’s and early 2000 the economy was still roaring along, enjoying the prosperity that the country had seen during the Clinton years and in spite of a new president taking office in 2000 everyone, including myself believed that the economic prosperity and peace of mind we enjoyed would continue for many more years.

With this in mind I scoured the internet for home based business opportunities and attended workshops that promised riches from real estate, vitamins, get rich quick books and vacations. After reviewing every business opportunity and get rich quick scheme known to man I decided to pursue a business opportunity in the travel industry with a company called Do it all Travel.

One day I filled out an information request form on the website for Do it all Travel and within a few hours I received a call back from a sales representative in the company named Glen Ferguson.

I talked with Glen for several minutes, answering all his questions about my life, financial situation and ambitions when he asked me the famous question, “What do you want to do with your life?”

“I want to be a full time, working artist,” I said.

My response excited Glen and he told me that he had an artist working in his “down line” and would call him and ask him to join our telephone conversation. Glen put me on hold and I wanted for a minute while he called the member of his down line and within a few minutes he was joined on the line with his guest.

“Jeremy, I’d like to introduce you to Andy Lakey. He’s a member of my downline and has been involved with Vacation Dynamics for almost one year now.” Glen said.

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RIP: Andy Lakey 1960 – 2012

 

Once Glen said the name Andy Lakey,” I knew who he was instantly because he was well known for his famous life story and angel paintings that were sought after by rich and power players in Hollywood.

“Mr. Lakey, it’s a pleasure to meet you, I’m a big fan of your work,” I said, gushing into the phone like a teenage boy talking to a rock star for the first time.

“Glen tells me you’re an artist, what’s your style of art?” Andy asked.

I didn’t know what my ‘style’ of art was because I wasn’t showing any artwork at galleries yet so I said the first thing on the top of my head, “My style is abstract expressionism; I love color, shape, architecture, archeology and design.” I said.

“You remind me of myself when I was your age, I also loved the same things and didn’t conform to the theories or styles of the day.” He said.

“Jeremy is also an aspiring businessman and is interested in Do it all Travel,” Glen said.

 “That’s good Jeremy, because as you know artists need to make a lot of money to live off of and create our art on a full time basis.”

“I totally agree Mr. Lakey,” I said, still blown away that I was talking to an artist of his caliber. By that time in his career Andy Lakey was making millions per year selling his paintings all over the world and enjoying the fruits of his labor after many years of hard work.

Andy talked for a few more minutes and he told me about his successes in the art world and the wealthy clients purchased his paintings until he brought up the possibility of inviting me to the business opportunity meeting for Do it all Travel.

“Glen I think we should invite Jeremy to the ‘meeting’ tonight, what do you think?” Andy asked.

“I think that’s a great idea.” Glen said.

“The meeting,” would be my introduction to the business and my opportunity to meet Andy Lakey and show him my art.

“Mr. Lakey, could I show you my portfolio after the meeting tonight?” I asked.

“I’d love to see your work Jeremy, why don’t you bring it with you and I will take a look after it after the meeting is over.”

Andy said goodbye to Glen and I and clicked off the line leaving Glen and I to our conversation.

“Great guy huh?” Glen asked.

“Awesome, I never thought I’d get the opportunity to speak with him.” I said.

“Well you’ll get the opportunity to do more than that tonight.”

“I can’t wait!” I said.

“The meeting is at the Hilton in Del Mar, 7:00 p.m. tonight.” Glen said.

“I’ll see you there!” I said.

I said goodbye to Glen, hung up the phone and celebrated for a few seconds before getting my portfolio ready to show Andy in the evening. What would he think of my artwork? Would he be able to recommend me to any galleries and help me realize my dream of becoming an artist?

Even though I was supposed to be attending the business opportunity with a mind to get involved in a home based business, my sole purpose for attending was meeting Andy Lakey to see if he might be able to open the door for me to start my career in the art world.

Click here to read the next chapter!

 

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My chance meeting with Andy Lakey

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Andy Lakey At Work

Andy Lakey At Work

In 2001 I was still working on my art every night, but during the day I of course had to work in a full time job, although after trying to burn the candle at both ends for a long time I decided that it would be a good idea to consider starting a business so I could end hectic/crazy work schedule. This decision would ultimately lead me to focusing more than ever before on making a living as an artist thanks to my meeting Andy Lakey.

Once In a Lifetime Moment

I don’t even remember the business opportunity I was considering getting involved with at the time, all I remember about that night was the guy who was trying to recruit me into his network marketing company somehow was connected to artist Andy Lakey and he quickly connected me with Andy so we could do a 3-way call with each other and for me that moment was like getting an opportunity to talk with Picasso himself because, Andy Lakey at that time had already reached the pinnacle of the art world and his work was known around the world, hung in galleries, bought by Hollywood stars and admired by me.

We talked for maybe an hour, mostly all about art, and then he invited me to a business presentation that the network marketing company was having that night somewhere in Del Mar, CA, so I told him I would be there. Andy told me to bring my portfolio so he could see my artwork and talk art after the presentation was over and I was over the moon because, for the first time ever a great artist was going to see my artwork and I couldn’t wait..

Super Excited

Driving up to Del Mar from my home in Spring Valley I must have done 85 all the way, but that’s normal for Southern California right? Anyway I arrived just in time for the business presentation just in time to find a seat and then I was stuck for an hour, sitting in a hot conference room with dozens of other attendees until the presentation was finally over.

Once I could finally get up from my seat I scanned the conference room looking for Andy Lakey and I spotted him talking with a group of investors; their conversation wasn’t about business, Andy had everyone in awe about how he just came from filming a small walk on role in the movie Swordfish and how cool that experience was for him

After Andy finished telling everyone about Swordfish I was finally able to talk with him for about 10 minutes until Andy invited everyone out to dinner at a local restaurant to talk about the business opportunity we are all supposed to be there for and he promised that he would review my portfolio once dinner was over.

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Starving Artist

I wasn’t excited about going to dinner because, I barely had enough gas in my car to drive to Del Mar and I could maybe spend $5 for an appetizer, which I did, but the dinner was worth it because, I got to listen to Andy Lakey tell everyone about his recent trip to the South of France and his exploits at a poker game there; Andy had a cool factor of James Bond and yet humility that you wouldn’t expect from a successful artist because he learned a lesson early in his career which he shared with me that night.

“Jeremy, the secret to success with art is that you have to be willing to give your art away.” he said.

At the time I was still holding onto my art from when I first started painting and I realized that it wasn’t doing any good sitting in my closet so at that point I made the decision to search for opportunities to give away my art to brighten the lives of others and get my work hanging on walls other than the homes of my family and friends.

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The Almost Opportunity

Dinner FINALLY ended and I was able to show him my portfolio and Andy Lakey said that some of my work reminded him of his own; especially my angel themed paintings because, he was known around the world for his awesome series of angel paintings that he did before the year 2000.

After he looked at my artwork he told me that he was going to put me in touch with his art dealer and give me the opportunity to show my work to someone who might be willing to represent me as an artist and I was excited beyond words to have this opportunity but it didn’t work out like I hoped….

A few days later September 11th, 2001 came and with this fateful day in history the travel business opportunity that I was considering investing in collapsed because, after 911 nobody wanted to travel and Andy Lakey seemed to disappear from sight…

I didn’t find out what happened to Andy Lakey until this year when I finally found him online and learned that he passed away on October 4th, 2012 at the age of 52.

As any aspiring artist I cherish the opportunity to meet someone like Andy Lakey and will always remember to be willing to give my work away when the opportunity comes so I can enrich the lives of others with my artwork as well as open doors for me to get my work on more walls around the world.

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Angel Painting By Andy Lakey