Passion, Purpose, And Art With Ori Bengal
Ori Bengal was a failed artist. At least, that’s what he told himself when not one piece of his art sold during his very first art walk. So he did what he thought this failed event meant he should do; he walked away from his passion and built another career.
For several years after that night, Ori lived what appeared to be a successful life. He had an oceanfront apartment in Ft. Lauderdale and a photography business that paid for it. He convinced himself this was where he belonged. But when faced with a rent increase, Ori realized this life wasn’t worth that extra cost – financially or spiritually – and he walked away from it all.
What Ori Bengal did next is something the majority of Americans would never seriously contemplate. But Ori is no ordinary American.
Ori spent the first 9 years of his life in Israel. It was a good life there, but his parents kept a watchful eye on the passing of time. With a mandatory military enlistment, the day was approaching when his older brother would be compelled to enlist. He would soon follow, and his youngest brother would one day do the same. Rather than risk their sons going to war, his parents brought their family to America on Ori’s 9th birthday.
It was his first great adventure. The flight, the new culture, the new language, the stores and buildings and schools – everything was different. By the time he was in eighth grade, Ori was enough in touch with himself to acknowledge his inner entrepreneur was stronger than his love of conventional jobs like mowing yards and washing cars. “I sucked at that” he laughs. He is entrepreneurial by nature, reinforced by nurture, as his father is also an entrepreneur.
Ori watched and learned from his dad, and implemented those lessons in a creative way. His father, also technologically savvy, had an architectural blueprint at home that Ori used to shrink down pages of class notes into just a single page, meeting his teacher’s stipulation of a one-page note assist for her students. Classmates clamored for copies, which Ori sold for $8.00 each.
In college, Ori moved on to build computers, which then lead to designing websites, and mastering internet marketing. Perhaps it was his diligent pursuit of entrepreneurial outlets that emboldened him to make the drastic move he made after walking away from his Ft Lauderdale life. Or perhaps it was the sense of adventure, reinforced by his childhood journey to America. Perhaps it was a blend of both. But whatever the source of his inspiration, the outcome was his second epic, life-changing adventure.
For six years, Ori roamed this country from one side to another, turning it inside – out. His internet marketing talents are strong.
“Internet marketing should be taught in school,” he says,” “ ‘S’ is for SEO,” he laughs some more. Demand for those talents is high, and they paid for his journey.
More than the destinations, it is the way he chose to fulfill this adventure that sets it apart.
Utilizing his own contacts and then a website dedicated to such, Ori Bengal became a professional couch-surfer.
It began by necessity. Temporarily low on funds and in need of a place to stay, Ori hopped online and posted a request to his friends for any contacts in the area. Before he knew it, he was being snuck into an all-girl college residence. The adventures there had him hooked and he moved on to stay with an incredible array of Americans for the next 6 years.
From the college campus, to a couch amongst cage fighters, to private guest rooms in the homes of multimillionaires, Ori immersed himself in the lives and lifestyles of Americans from all walks of life. Each person or family he stayed with made an impression on him, and he values the depth of relationships he built by being welcomed into their homes.
In between destinations, Ori made it a point to keep the inspiration flowing.
“I can’t sit around and wait for inspiration” – Ori Bengal
He constantly feeds his mind with various forms of stimulation and openings for insight. Audiobooks were his inspirational conduit on his long drives, and he remains an ardent advocate for the immense value to be found in regularly listening to them.
As he closed in on six years on the road, Ori ultimately decided to settle in Austin, Texas. But he wasn’t done with his adventures, and his next one changed his life again.
Visiting a friend in Maui, Hawaii, he grudgingly agreed to visit an art gallery. He wasn’t eager to remind himself of his failure at what he’d once believed to be his true passion. But he went, anyway, and his life was never the same.
His heart broke at the first gallery.
The beauty and power of the artwork washed over him. Like a long-lost friend, the memories of his true love embraced his soul, and he was struck with the realization that he’d turned his back on this innate side of himself for ten long years.
One gallery led to another, and another, and Ori returned home with a fire reignited within himself. He’d reconnected with his passion, and this time he was not going to let himself lose it.
Rather than identify as an internet marketer who’d failed at art, he began telling himself we was an artist who’d once been an internet marketer. He even found he was grateful for those ten years.
He’d developed his resiliency on the road. He was now able to accept that trouble will always happen, and had learned to roll with whatever came his way. He’d opened his mind, and refined the internet marketing skills. Those skills have ensured his artwork sees the sun and touches people, rather than being relegated to the darkness of obscurity.
For ten years he didn’t pick up a brush or draw one sketch.
Now, Ori Bengal has created one piece of art a day, every day, for almost seven years.
It is a promise he made to himself. He’s leveraged accountability via online postings to his large and ever-growing following. Once he made that promise to the world, there was no turning back.Art is more than a pretty picture, It’s a puzzle, a part of my soul. It’s my purpose.Click To Tweet
It is his artwork that allowed him to touch his grandmother half a world away, moments before she died. It is his art that touches clients and fans across the globe. It’s his art that brings him into the lives of people all over this country.
Ori puts the “Art” in “Heart”, maybe that’s why Ori Bengal is the artist that art would not give up on.