As we learned in our interview with Paul Brodie, he had demonstrated considerable talent as an artist early on. Shortly thereafter, he hatched a scheme to turn his newfound skill into a bundle of cash at Bike Week in Daytona. It started with four, line art, motorcycle-themed drawings...
Paul Brodie [0:07:42]: started doing a set of drawings and some people thought that I had some potential. I put a lot of energy into these drawings. I spent hours working on these drawings. The plan was—I was driving cab at the time—I would save up the money and I would get 500 prints made of each which was 2000 prints. That cost me $600.
I had boxes of prints and I thought that if I went down to Bike Week in Daytona in my old Austin Cambridge I could walk around the streets and sell a set of prints for $30. That’s what I thought. Now I was pretty young then and I was kind of naïve at the same time. Whether or not—if I got down there—I could actually sell them I don’t know.
I had the plan, I had this old car [and] I had some friends down there. I didn’t know about how to cross the border and fill out the forms. I set it up that I would have supper with some friends down there after I picked up the prints. I went through the border and they wanted me to open up the trunk. I had my story straight, so I didn’t get into trouble, but I got turned back and I realized that…
The WorkNotWork Show: Well, what was the story that you told them?
PB: That I had just picked up the prints on the way to go have supper with friends down in Washington and I was coming home that night. That was true, but I was going to leave the prints down there. The next day I was going to take out the passenger seat of my car and install a foamy so I could sleep in my car on the way down to Florida. I was going to sell the prints, make quite a bit of money, leave the car down there and fly home with a lot of cash. Now I think…
WNW: You really had thought this thing through.
PB: I have an imagination that’s for sure! I don’t know, back in those days, I’m not sure my feet were really on the ground when it came to business plans and things like that. I think probably, at some point, I should have gone business school because I did start up a business.
WNW: But you’re convinced this is going to work. So, how did it turn out?
PB: Well, I got turned back at the border…
WNW: Oh, and it was over that stage.
PB: Yeah, and they told me that they could have confiscated all of my prints. I was playing really innocent, that I didn’t know that that was a problem. They let me go and I realized that my window of opportunity had passed. So, I went back to cab driving. In the end, I had all these prints and I still have a couple. But it took me years just to even give them away.
Listen to this excerpt with the player above, or listen to the entire interview. We welcome your comments below. Also, ratings and reviews on iTunes or Facebook are invaluable and very much appreciated. Thank you! (header photo: One of Paul's (in)famous Bike Week drawings: Mark Homchick on his Yamaha TZ250)
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