PK 022: Jared Fiorino on Rollercoasters, Fashion, and Going After Your Dreams

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Jared鈥檚 work on the Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit attraction in Orlando, Florida

“Don鈥檛 chase money 鈥 it doesn鈥檛 buy you happiness, it only buys you stuff!”

~ Jared Fiorino

He鈥檚 designed rollercoasters for theme parks and worked with some of the coolest clothing labels, but, for Jared Fiorino, the ride is only just beginning. Find out why in his podcast interview…

Growing up in New England, he loved drawing but found that few of his friends shared his love of creativity. So, as he went through high school, he decided to put his dreams of becoming an artist on the backburner while he pursued a more straightforward career path.

However, after a year studying marine biology at the University of New Hampshire, he heard the calling of his first true passion 鈥 art. It was then that he decided to abandon his scientific studies and head for sunny Florida, where he got accepted at Ringling College of Art + Design.

Ringling College and Inspiration

鈥淚t was a great experience,鈥 he says. 鈥淭he tutors there worked with you on a personal basis and helped you grow. It was great to be part of a community of like-minded friends and I really miss working with those guys. That鈥檚 why I think it鈥檚 so important to stay in touch and continue to inspire each other.鈥滭/p>

Looking for work after graduation can be a daunting prospect for many students, but Jared was lucky enough to get interviewed and hired by Universal Studios while still on campus. He soon found himself designing and producing images for a rollercoaster ride being built as part of the company鈥檚 Universal Creative project.

The attraction, Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit, was a great opportunity for Jared to express his love of hip hop, street art and urban imagery. And, even though he鈥檇 had no previous experience of designing theme part rides, he found himself donning a hard hat, wandering around the construction site and offering advice to the whole team.

You can watch Jared鈥檚 work in action here:

It was an incredible project for a graduate fresh out of art school to work on, but Jared had already decided to move on and follow his dreams. In May 2009, as his project with Universal Studios ended, he packed his bags for New York after going there to see a James Jean exhibition with friends and feeling totally inspired by the Big Apple鈥檚 creative energy.

From Rollercoasters to Streetwear

After pushing his portfolio to numerous companies, he found a home at Marc Eck艒 , working as a freelance artist on this iconic clothing brand鈥檚 T-shirts and urban apparel. Through this, he also found work producing designs for the hugely popular skatewear label, Zoo York. In turn, this led to working full-time with Ralph Lauren on this brand鈥檚 Denim & Supply range.

鈥淭rends move incredibly fast,鈥 explains Jared, 鈥渟o the streetwear manufacturing process is often seven months from your initial designs to being sold in stores. You鈥檝e always got to stay on top of things, see what people in NYC and LA are wearing, and take advice from trend researchers so you know what鈥檚 gonna be hot next year.鈥滭/p>

The fast-moving world of working as an artist for some of the world鈥檚 biggest clothing brands may seem exciting, but producing work for other people all the time can be draining for an artist.

That鈥檚 why Jared is now looking to make the transition to becoming a full-time artist in his own right. 鈥淚鈥檝e been working in the corporate sector for six years, and now鈥檚 the time to start producing work for myself,鈥 he explains, saying he wants to launch his own clothing range and have solo exhibitions.

Pursuing Your Artistic Dreams

He adds: 鈥淲ith corporate work, you get the steady paycheck and the sense of security, but you get nothing for yourself. It鈥檚 like you鈥檙e left with no identity sometimes.

“It鈥檚 very important to have a plan when you go out on your own though, so I鈥檝e been training as a bartender so I can have a steady income for three days a week while I work on my own stuff the rest of the time.

“I鈥檝e been lucky enough to make lots of connections while working in NYC, so I hope these will help me get my work into galleries etc. Making and creating things is what makes me happy, so that鈥檚 what I need to go after.鈥滭/p>

Jared鈥檚 advice for artists who want to follow a similar path is to find a way of sustaining yourself while you pursue your dreams. 鈥淭ry and make sure you鈥檝e got enough to live comfortably, but don鈥檛 chase money 鈥 it doesn鈥檛 buy you happiness, it only buys you stuff!鈥 he says.

In three years鈥 time, Jared hopes to move to California (鈥淭he weather鈥檚 much nicer!鈥 he laughs) and become an established artist with his own fanbase and range of clothing. With an enviable sense of self-belief, he says: 鈥淚 know it鈥檚 attainable. I know I can do it!鈥滭/p>

We鈥檙e pretty sure he鈥檒l do it, too.

Listen to this week鈥檚 show and learn:

  • Why you should always try and follow your dream
  • How to end up working for some of the world鈥檚 biggest clothing brands
  • How to sustain yourself while carving out a career as a freelance artist

People on this Episode:


Mentioned in the episode:

Jared鈥檚 Website
Jared on Facebook
Jared on Twitter
Jared鈥檚 blog

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