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Interview with Artist Armando Cabba

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Armando Cabba, a 28 year old Canadian artist and owner of his own gallery Atelier Cabba based in Paris. An artist on the rise gaining recognition for his portraits, Cabba is beginning to make his mark on the business front as a young artist who opened up his own independent space.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?


Just like how I got into art itself, this all kind of happened by chance. Around 2014, I was a bit lost after leaving the academy back in Florence in terms of where to go career wise. There was a feeling of being over saturated regarding school, so I continued to work independently which brought me to France. Setting up was not easy as it was in Italy. Finding a studio in Paris was beyond challenging for countless reasons. I was getting desperate to the point I almost renovated an old brothel just so I can have a place to create. After a solid 7 months of constant searching, I found the space I’m currently in.

Atelier Cabba was more of an idea to happen much later in my career and now I’m 2 years into it. Having a workspace to paint in is one thing, but operating a gallery at the same time is a new kind of game. The best way to describe it is seeing a dog walking itself on the street holding a leash in its mouth. All the responsibilities that happen behind the scenes are on me as opposed to being under gallery representation.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

 

I don’t have a story that stands out in specific, but it’s been interesting to see how the public has been reacting first hand. There’s been a solid engagement and relationship formed with me and the local community. I’m also not hard to miss roaming around covered in paint near Moulin Rouge in search of snacks while saying “hi” to everyone. Even though it’s a very lonely gig to paint, I don’t feel completely isolated. There’s also no middle man who will tell me what happened at the gallery that week. There’s no human filter between the artist and the public. Each day is completely unpredictable.

 

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

 

There are no such things as mistakes, only happy accidents. A funny happy accident I had was when I really ran out of patience with one visitor. It was an artist that came in and began to compliment all the work up in the gallery, but it turned real sour real quick. On many occasions I get lots of artists who try to drop off their portfolios. The deal is that if there’s a show, it has to be a collaboration where we work together on something instead of me just hanging up your work. He all of a sudden did a 180 in his attitude and went off on how I don’t know stuff about things when it comes to running a gallery.

After 5 minutes of grumpy Parisian rambling, I tossed him my keys and told him “You seem to know what’s up. You do it. I’m off to get a beer. Send me a postcard when you’re famous” I made my way next door and did what I said I was going to do. He came outside with a look of horror and told me I was crazy using the most poetic profane french I’ve ever heard.  That would be my major mistake considering it was a rare time I lost patience plus I didn’t take into consideration who this person could actually be. Also, this isn’t Canada. People in Paris do tend to steal things, so I ran a giant risk of him actually locking me out of my gallery. That would of been one hell of a hostage situation.

 

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Atelier Cabba stands out because it’s one of the few spaces where the artist is present. You enter my world when you walk through the door. There’s a freedom for both me and visitors. Anyone can come in and see me working away and watch, ask questions, be creepy and stare while eating a sandwich erotically, etc. It’s nice to hear what people have to say directly and it brings me out of my usual mental flow. I have my regulars who come in to share stories or things they found. There’s a special bond and feeling of participation in my atelier. It’s all organic and not staged. When you step into most galleries, there’s a sterile inhuman feeling. A sense of “Should I actually be in here? Do I know enough to be here? Am I rich enough to be here?” You’re in this sacred space and you occasionally have the assistants who will look up from their desks to say hello. They also act like they are doing super serious work, but I’m pretty sure they’re playing the T-Rex game when the Google machine isn’t working. Things aren’t popping off in an empty gallery. You can’t fool me.

 

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?


I would say to be careful regarding what people say. Being one of the rare individuals out there who both creates and operates a business, you get a buttload of criticism. Some of the advice is very helpful, and other times it feels very much like you’re dealing with a backseat driver. To all my artists, always beware of the any white middle aged bald man who wears atypical circular framed glasses and colourful pants. These guys always have some “strong” commentary and they’re everywhere. I’m convinced they’re some sort of a boss level of art critics and I haven’t figured out where they originate from or who is making them.

 

Anyways, I occasionally get my moments where I really wonder if I’m actually doing well or if I do have talent. Just because I’m making money, does that translate it to me being talented? I also wonder that since I have this space, am I actually good at what I’m doing? Am I basic? Did I just get lucky? I forget that people aren’t me or have the same drive. What what I want to say is that it’s normal to have these questions and feelings, but it’s not easy to do that mental tightrope walk. Don’t let the words of others influence you to the point where your mind will devour itself.

 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

 

That person would have to be my dad. He’s supported my decision to be an artist the moment it happened. He wanted to be a singer, but my grandfather wouldn’t allow it. My father didn’t want me to go through the same thing, so he’s been my number one fan. As I was beginning to expose my work, I had a chip on my shoulder due to feeling I was stuck in his shadow. He’s such a big personality and character that you’d think he’s a figment of your imagination. I wanted to make my name stand out as opposed to being just “Traian’s son who paints”. I had a lot of success, but I also fell flat on my face sometimes. He knew what I was trying to prove and we sorted things out by finally talking like mature human beings. Once upon a time, he had the same rebel attitude with my grandfather and we all know the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I realized it’s okay to ask for help and advice especially concerning the business end of things. Without him I don’t think I’d be where I am today at all. My level of talent in my work would probably be years behind and I’d be stuck in a slave like contract with god knows who. He’s been an inspiration to me and still is. I’m Armando Cabba because of him.

 

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?  

 

As I’ve continued to grown along with my platform, I’ve been maintaining my values of giving back. I’ve opened the doors of Atelier Cabba to many different people not only for future collaborations, but as a safe space for all. People can be themselves and free. I’m quite outspoken on social and political issues, so it’s clear where me and my company stand.

There are tons of big ideas and plans for the future regarding positive actions for the world. It’s about timing. Right now I’m currently working with L’Atelier Des Arts who are hosting artist workshops and conferences in Bretagne to show the community all the possibilities of having a career in a creative field. It’s the early stages and I’m not doing it for the money. If I can help inspire one person in their life, it’s all worth it. I’ll be there in early January talking to and teaching people about portraits along with how I got started with Atelier Cabba.

 

My business is a reflection of myself. People who support Atelier Cabba know that Atelier Cabba supports them.

 

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

 

“Be so good they can’t ignore you” – Steve Martin


Put in the hours and effort to get a point where you’re satisfied and then push further beyond that. Once you adopt that idea, people will notice you. Some people will still say no, but at least they’ll look silly for doing so.

 

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Beware of flimflam people. You don’t need a Rasputin character whispering ideas deep in your ear. These are the type of people that try to come in and make all these plans on a whim about money filled futures and dreams coming true when in reality they have their own agenda. They’re selling you ideas disguised as a new relationship. Lots of “We’re going to do this” and “We’re going to do that” get thrown around. The moment you agree to it, nothing ever happens or you get asked the unsurprising question of “Can you fund it all first?”. Don’t get taken for a ride or hang on to false words.


  1. Don’t be shy to ask for help and advice. I made the mistake to be my own coach at a young age like I knew how the world worked. I fell down many times during this whole journey because of my pride. Once I accepted I needed help, I asked for it and look where I’m at. Ask questions to people who know about business. Sure you might know how to create all sorts of custom oil mixes, but what do you know about gallery contract fine print at age 21?

    3. Be your number one fan. I had a lot of people look at me strange when I quit the academy. I had lots of people laugh at me when I said I wanted to be a world famous artist. I have my handful of friends who I know are there for me without a doubt, but you also cover your own back. Be your own cheerleader. Hype yourself up when no one is around. Don’t worry, it all balances out. All those people who didn’t take me seriously? They’re trying to take me out for dinner like I’m a fancy date. All those women who stood me up for portraits back in the day? They’re now in my DMs asking to spend time with me Paris so I can draw them like one of my french girls. Don’t let that crap get to your head as much it strokes your ego. The Universe balances itself out. Trust me.

  2. Roll with it. If some new project or idea gets thrown at you, sometimes it’s a good idea to just try it if you have nothing to lose. One of these ideas I rolled with involved a white pair of shoes. I was asked to paint them in 24 hours and now it’s become a thing eversince. Worst case scenario is that it doesn’t work and you know better for the future.

    5. If you can’t join them, beat them. I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to get the approval of people who didn’t matter at the end of the day. It’s normal to want to be part of something and now with everything I have, I’m happy it never worked out. Not because they’ve changed, but because I’ve surpassed them and my previous self. I just wanted to score touchdowns for them and here I am dancing in their end zones.

 

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement  that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

 

I never really thought about starting a movement. Does that mean I have to go chanting “Make Art Great Again”? There are so many more important movements and issues that need more exposure. Their voices need to be heard and I’m more concerned with helping them than my personal vain goals like one day watching Jeff Koons choke on a balloon. Sure, I want to open up the art world to more undiscovered talent and to have people feel again, but there are more important things we need to support in my opinion. I don’t talk about my art a lot in person. When I do, I tend to segway into other topics like mental health and toxic masculinity. People are going through some real struggles and need a lot more than just a “Thoughts and Prayers” tweet. We need to hear from them directly and not my version of it. I don’t suffer from the white savior complex. I don’t believe everything will be resolved the moment I’m involved in it. These issues are about them, not me. They live it every single day and if Atelier Cabba can provide any help, I’m all in.

 

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Best way would be to follow me on instagram @armandocabba. To see my full portfolio along with all the other social media nonsense, check out my site http://www.armando-cabba.com

 

If you’re ever in Paris, stop by the in person. Atelier Cabba is located at 3 Rue Vintimille in the 9eme.

 

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

 

Anthony Delgado (born February 6, 1986) is an American software developer and internet entrepreneur widely known as a professional hacker in the developer community. Anthony Delgado has won numerous hackathons sponsored by Fortune 500 tech companies like Google, IBM, Intel, Facebook and Microsoft and hosted by organizations including Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the AT&T Developer Summit in New York City.

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Editorial

Achieving Success And Overcoming Obstacles In The Modern Entrepreneurial Industry; The Rio Osorio Way!

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As Entrepreneurs, we face obstacles and setbacks that seem impossible to overcome. The good thing about this is that each time, we often come out better off in the end than we were at the start. Yes, I won’t lie. Entrepreneurship is totally different from what society portrays. 

Every day, entrepreneurs are subjugated by their fears, inconsistencies, and losses; but what most individuals tend to forget is that failure is the condiment of their success. 

Amongst these entrepreneurs is brand strategist Rio Osorio. Widely Known as The Hustle Mentor, Rio is an entrepreneur who’s risen above his failures by putting in outrageous amounts of hard work to perfect his craft, and building long-lasting relationships with partners by providing more value than he receives. 

Some time ago, I had the opportunity to discuss entrepreneurship with Rio; he reveals the principles he applied to attain his level of success. These principles transformed his life and can change yours too.

Principles of Business Success

1.Loyalty

Loyalty is something that’s lacking in the entrepreneurial society today. Rio explains that a lot of entrepreneurs chase cheques, are selfish and don’t bother about the end goals of their clients.

Most successful businesses today are obsessed with making sure their customers achieve their goals. Essentially, they put the customer first before any other thing! This is a mantra that shouldn’t be overlooked when running a business.

2.Continuous learning 

They say that the average CEO reads a total of 54 books every year. This habit might seem overkill, but I guarantee you it’s not. Business owners have to observe this habit to flow with current industry trends.

Staying conscious of what’s happening in the corporate world is crucial to running a thriving business and setting the standard for excellence in your field.

Continuous learning, as some might call it, has given Rio a competitive edge in business, and he shares that this is one of the key factors contributing to his success in business.

3. Mentorship

Starting a business is a daunting task for many. You’ll face opposition from loved ones, pressure from the competition, time restraints, and a host of other obstacles.

At the start of his entrepreneurial journey, Rio faced most of these challenges. He overcame them by seeking out mentors who guided him through every one of those problems. 

Not only is this an easier alternative to figuring things out yourself, but it’s also a way to shorten the path to success.  Don’t get me wrong, the road to success is treacherous, but having the right people to hold your hand can make the journey less challenging.

Try not to be the smartest person in the room- Michael Dell of Dell Technologies.

Handling the Stress of Being an Entrepreneur

1.Disconnect

There are some days when we feel like our world is coming down on us, and for those of us whose businesses operate mostly online, the effect of this is triple-fold.

The endless messages from clients, problems sprouting from every corner, and the need to over-deliver can be overwhelming. When you notice your stress levels picking up, Rio recommends you take some time off work; you could call it a work detox. 

Start by switching off your phone and any other device that might bring in disturbances from clients and team members. This will significantly reduce your stress levels, and in a day or two, you would be back to your healthy self.

2.Friends and family

Mental health is another overlooked aspect of entrepreneurship. We often engross ourselves with work and forget that human beings are social animals; we can’t stay alone forever. 

Rio shares with us that spending time with our loved ones is also a great way to disconnect from all the noise. Little things like hanging out with friends, going to a baseball game, or even watching a movie can mean the difference between you having a mental breaking or building a successful business.

Facing Fears

Uncertainty is a common trait all entrepreneurs possess. We see ourselves asking questions like, ” What if the client doesn’t accept my offer?”Are my services not good enough? Should I fire this team member? Will I break even this quarter?

The questions are endless, and we often find ourselves getting caught up in answering them. This uncertainty is the primary reason most individuals don’t venture into entrepreneurship. 

Why would you leave a secure job to start a business you’re not sure would see the light of day? After years of being in the business, Rio affirms that there is nothing as rewarding as being an entrepreneur. 

Yes! The tasks at hand might seem impossible, and your efforts might look silly, but if you’re willing to put in an ample amount of work and provide enough value to your clients, you’ll uncover an endless stream of income no 9-5 job can guarantee.

At the end of our discussion, Rio spoke about the chances he didn’t take when he was younger; he shared a few words of advice to anyone who’s just starting their journey.

This is what he said;

Entrepreneurship requires you to do things that would make you feel uncomfortable. You’ll have to learn to leave your comfort zone.

I understand your fears, but you have to realize that you’ll miss every shot you don’t take. So instead of sitting and whining about the opportunities you missed, I suggest you do it scared, deal with the fear and go for it! 

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Achieving Success As a Student Entrepreneur, The Robert Carpenter Way.

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College Student Robert Carpenter is on a mission to change the world by improving on the current online educational system.

Today, we will learn what Robert feels every student who is striving for success should know. Here’s Robert’s take on success, stress, and motivation.

Achieving Success

As a student, success in your studies should be your number one concern. 

But let’s face facts; success is not something that can be easily achieved. There are a lot of factors that determine whether you will be successful or not.

And one of those factors is how you spend your time. Would you prefer to play video games all day with friends, or would you feed your mind with tons of valuable information at the library?

You see, these little choices and actions we make daily can significantly affect our chances of success. Robert is a major believer in learning something new every day. As a matter of fact, he spends hours daily perfecting his craft.

It might not look like it, but Robert is actually giving himself a competitive edge against his peers. Think of it this way;  an overweight individual goes to the gym to lose some pounds; the first day, he notices that he doesn’t lose any weight. He felt bad but kept on visiting the gym and working out.

Subsequent visits to the gym proved successful. He lost over 60 pounds. The key takeaway here is consistency and determination. Apply these principles started here, and you’ll be on your way to achieving success in no time at all.

Avoiding Stress & Drawing Inspiration.

Every day, students face a lot of stressful situations. And a lot of times, this leads to mental breakdowns, illness, and burnout. 

Robert avoids this by proper planning. Today, most students don’t acknowledge the fact that proper planning can significantly reduce the stress they experience and increase their chances of success. 

Planning your day the night before can help you split the task thought out the day and complete them faster based on decreasing priority. 

So you’ve tried this, and you still ended up experiencing burnout. Well, here’s the thing; everyone has experienced burnout at some point in their lives. And in this state, they undergo emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. You will feel less motivation to accomplish tasks, and your overall output will be little.

When Robert experiences burn out, he takes a break and finds a quiet place to sit down and reflect on his goals, why he started, and what he’s going to achieve at the end. This helps him prioritize his goals, and instantly, a strong desire to fulfill those goals overwhelms him.

In Recent Times

Robert plans to study and practice math every day. This is the only way he can make an impact on society and help fellow students around him who strive to attain success.

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Editorial

It runs In the family: Amel Elezovic and Anes Elezovic

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Director Amel Elezovic and athlete Anes Elezovic are mega-talented brothers, working in the same industry. They share their favourite memories of stealing candy, running with cheetahs, and being there for each other when things get rough

What’s your first memory of each other?

Amel: One of my earliest memories is of Anes learning to sit up. I was asked to take care of him one evening. Normally he would just roll over but that afternoon, he just balanced himself and sat up. I was thrilled.

Anes: Me and Amel are twins so I remember when we were 12 and we celebrated halloween together and Amel dressed up really weird, at first I thought it was another person. He had long hair in a ponytail, a beard, and was wearing black. He created a late-night commotion in the house and I was like, “who is this guy?”

What is the craziest thing you have done together?

Amel: We haven’t had the opportunity to do a lot of crazy things together but I know we will…soon.

Anes: We went running with some cheetahs on leashes in Kruger National Park. We were also the only two people there when my grandmother passed away. It was very sad and emotional, as she was someone we both adored deeply.

What did you get punished for the most as a child?

Amel: I was a very assertive and curious child, constantly challenged my parents and got on their nerves, and got reprimanded. I never got punished as such.Anes: At age eight, I stole some money from my dad’s wallet, ran all the way to the market alone and bought the most expensive Japanese candy I could find. My mum wasn’t very happy when she heard about all this.

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