Get Ignited: Bobby Lucy

One of the things that inspires me the most is someone who carves their own path to success. Finding success in traditional careers has its own challenges, but finding success on a non-traditional path takes unique inspiration: a willingness to take risks; a belief in yourself; the courage to travel outside the usual lanes; and the patience to persevere. A person I have had the pleasure to know who has carved and re-carved his own path and found great success is Bobby Lucy.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Bobby is a classically trained and critically acclaimed artist. In high school, his art caught the eye and attention of his John Burroughs art teachers. One teacher, Joanna Collins, a talented artist herself, surprised Bobby when she hung one of his works in a prominent position in the school and wrote an essay describing the painting. Bobby went to Northwestern University expecting to follow a traditional career path. However, he found himself in the art studio of painting professor Ed Paschke and became enthralled by the life of an artist. It led him to the epiphany that he wanted to attend art school and become a painter. Shortly after, he made the bold decision to transfer to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he earned his bachelor and masters of fine arts in painting.

For the next 10 years, Bobby experienced remarkable success as a young Chicago artist. He became enmeshed in the city’s art circles with regular gallery showings and was on track to commercial and professional success. But, following his heart and instincts once again, he made another bold career change and moved to Oregon. Removed from the city and the pressure to produce pieces to sell at galleries, Bobby’s art flourished as he had more time to live, work and learn from each of his pieces—sometimes spending up to six months on a painting. He described this as a time when his art broke open and he realized the depth of his ability, even when he was removed from art circles.

Now, Bobby paints almost every day with a focus on spreading love and creating peaceful, timeless and beautiful works of art. Ever conscious of the energy he brings to the world, he aims to capture the profound sense of connection we feel with the people, animals and places we love.

We featured Bobby in an episode of the Get Ignited podcast. What inspires people the most when listening to him share stories from his life and points of inspiration is that he had the courage to take a road less traveled. And he had the willingness to walk away from tremendous success to do what he is meant to: create art. In doing so—and leaving all he knew—he actually created a life he could only dream of. Today, you will find Bobby painting and living with his husband, Chris Wells, both artists-in-residence at The Byrdcliffe Artists Colony in Woodstock, New York. They are also co-founders of The Secret City. You can follow Bobby and see his inspiring commissions and works at

Beth Chesterton is a master certified executive coach and an expert in organizational development.


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