Trials turned to triumphs. The inspiring story of Paul Boecher’s journey as an artist.

Meet Paul Boecher, an artist who will inspire you through his captivating artwork.  His story will compel you to persevere in your creative endeavors.

As Paul explained his Art Journey, this visual came to my mind: 

A surfer rides the crest a big wave, soaring at the top, but gets caught in a riptide and comes crashing down. Repeat..  

Paul reached great heights as an artist, only to experience life’s circumstances come crashing down on him. Again and again.  And he grew strong and resilient in the process.

Here are some examples of his perseverance through substantial trials:

  • Paul once received an F in art class and was told, “You’ll never be an artist.”  “I was too stubborn to listen.” Paul explained. He went on to later pursue art at the Art Institute of Chicago and Layton School of Art. 
  • He could have taken over a prosperous family business, but chose to instead pave his own artistic path. 
  • When Paul lost his Ad Agency at the age of 50, he went dumpster diving to find a chunk of wood. He wiped off the dirt and grime from the dumpster and created a beautiful sculpture. His passion for sculpting was reignited. 
  • His sculpting business thrived until 3-D printing came along. When requests came in to ‘copy’ other artists’ work, he walked away from that business, rather than comply. 

Many would simply quit at similar obstacles. But Paul Boecher doesn’t gravitate towards the ‘easy road.’ He learned to detour around roadblocks and resume his artist journey. 

You won’t hear Paul complain about any of these challenges. Instead, Paul would argue that he’s led a very blessed life. 

Growing up:

Paul’s upbringing was filled with endless imaginative opportunities. His family welcomed both a small reptile zoo and a chemistry lab in their fruit cellar. The zoo featured snakes, turtles and a horned lizard.

He met two very important people while attending Wisconsin Lutheran High School; His future wife Kathy and a supportive art teacher who nurtured his art abilities. This teacher invited him to collect limestone from a torn down convent and provided him the tools to work on sculptures.

Despite turning down the opportunity to take over the family business. Paul’s Dad supported his decision to become an artist.

Paul’s hobbies: 

Even when Paul is not actively engaged in art – his hobbies inspire and influence his artwork. He is an avid outdoor enthusiast, who enjoys fishing and hunting. 

You’ll find the same ‘overcomer’ mindset in Paul’s outdoor adventures. For example, Paul became stranded during a fly-in trip in Alaska, on the Bristol Bay side of the Alaskan Peninsula. He used his survival skills when the plane’s return flight was delayed for a few days due to necessary plane repairs. He recalled cooking caribou meat over candlelight as supplies dwindled. 

Paul would need a full book to capture all of his adventures and stories. One other highlight was riding horseback for 14 days on the Wind River Mountains, WY, while directing a photoshoot. “I’ve seen a lot of really beautiful countries, so my mind is full of paintings.” Paul said. 

Paul’s approach to art and teaching

“My whole goal in life is to help someone become their own person. I get to know the person and what their strengths are. I then try and coach them a little on those strengths. Each of my students has a different ability.” Paul said.

Paul shared a breakthrough story in his class a few hours earlier. A student struggled to know where to put parts of her painting. To help this artist learn to trust her instincts, Paul encouraged her to let her mind go. Shortly after, Paul highlighted this artists’ exciting outcomes and growing confidence to the rest of the class. 

Health trials have increased for Paul, making his teaching longevity uncertain. You can visibly see his tenacity to positively impact as many developing artists as possible. 

“Everybody is their own artist. The key to finding that inner artist is to find out what you’re passionate about. If it’s nature, do something in nature. If it’s eating, do something with food. If you want to make a statement about something, be dedicated to it.  When I paint, I want to share God’s beautiful creation. I have a very strong faith as a Christian.”

Paul’s story is a reminder to create something beautiful with your life and to persevere, not stop, when you face life’s challenges. 

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