He had a secure job making a comfortable income at a paper mill in
By ignoring his dreams, Burns felt incomplete. Art has long been his passion going back to childhood. The best way to satisfy that lingering desire started Burns along the path to becoming a full-time artist who leaves his artistic touch in
His canvas is ever changing. One day he can be painting the side of a building in downtown
This wide-open realm of possibility helps drive his passion for art. The diverse nature of his art can be seen on his Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/joshburnswalls. The
"It's just something new all the time," he said. "I never know what I'm going to do. Half the time I haven't even done what I'm going to do. I have an idea. I learn on the job a lot of times. It always comes out."
Burns, 31, who grew up in
"I would be doing drawings in the air with my hands, just inspired by that," Burns said. "I couldn't believe people were doing that and not getting paid to do it, just putting it out there."
He spent endless hours drawing in his sketchbook. Teacher after teacher in school would tell him to stop drawing in class. His love of art only continued to grow.
Burns, who attended
Burns, who worked a variety of jobs in grocery stores and retail, spent 2002-06 at what was then
"Great job, great money," Burns said. "I could have settled down and got a house. I didn't hate it, it was a cool job but I wasn't doing anything that I felt was benefiting society. I was making paper for the world."
He realized he could stick with what was comfortable, or take a chance and do what he loved.
"All I did for 12 hours was sit there and draw on these little cards, these little card stock papers they had," Burns said. "It was basically do that for the rest of my life or start right now (and) take off."
Burns made the leap and moved to
"I was just happy," he said. "It was a total life change. That's when I realized that money isn't everything -- not at all. You could be rich and still be totally unsatisfied."
Burns, who enjoys the hands-on aspect of art, realized working in animation meant more time spent with computers. So after two years of art school, he stepped away. Burns continued working with
Burns, whose extended family lives in
Burns would have a list of things to create, and the creative freedom to make them in his vision.
"It's like your own art gallery," Burns said. "Once you have a store for a while, you have everything in there."
His focus remained on growing as an artist and working independently. In
"He's a great young man, very talented and we'll probably use him in the future for different things that we need," Hahn said.
The children in Burns' family have taken up his passion for art. Burns has a daughter, Athena, 4, and his fiancee,
"I have stacks and stacks of their watercolors," Burns said. "Every time I'm painting, I'll set them up with a little thing and they'll go to town. I save every one of them."
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