Cary Henrie didn’t have a television growing up. Instead, his parents encouraged Cary and his siblings to explore their creativity by drawing and painting. He ended up selling his first painting at just 15 years old.
“I’ve never had a ‘job,’ other than washing dishes,” Cary said. “When my older brothers and sisters were at art school, I’d go and sit in on their classes. I got a real head start by getting critiqued at a college art class at 15.”
Sensing that his son had found his career path in art, Cary’s father encouraged him to treat becoming an artist as seriously as one would take going to medical school or business school. Still, creating art has always been fun to Cary. It’s what has pushed his continuous evolution as an artist over the years.
After graduating from the Pratt Institute in New York City, Cary created covers for venerable magazines such as Businessweek, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, Time and Newsweek, among others. But, with the rise of the Internet, magazines started using illustration less and less and digital art more and more. It was then that Cary pivoted to fine art.
Today, Cary’s art is reflective of his interests, especially the concept of time and memory. He loves Italian frescoes and star charts. His works have hints of world travel and art history, and incorporate symbols, writing and music. The way he uses light gives many of his pieces an enchanting glow.
“It’s not just being good at something, it’s how can you invent a new look or style,” Cary said. “You also need to know what’s going in and out of style or else you’ll be stuck in an era. People’s tastes change, styles change, colors change.”
Cary says the four things an artist must have these days to succeed is a “must-have” form of art, knowledge of how long it will take to complete a piece, an understanding of how much it will sell for, and how much materials will cost.
But even with the best art on the planet, without a place to sell the art, an artist is likely to struggle. That’s exactly why Cary is such a fan of the Celebration of Fine Art.
“To have a venue where people can come and see you is great,” Cary said. “You get to meet the artists and see how things are made and how it makes you think, rather than buying from a random person.”
Cary never worries about what other people are selling, and visa versa. In fact, he and his fellow artists want everyone to make the most out of their time at the Celebration of Fine Art.
“A rising tide floats all boats,” Cary said. “We want everyone to do well, because then the show does well and that brings in more people.”
See more of Cary’s story below: