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Conversations with Arthur Fitzhugh III

Today we’d like to introduce you to Arthur Fitzhugh III. 

Hi Arthur, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
I grew up in Baltimore, MD. My love for the arts ignited in me from a very young age. Growing up my mom and I would sing all throughout the day, singing songs by artists like Jill Scott, Heather Headley, and Stevie Wonder. From then I also got obsessed with movies and that magical feeling you get when you leave the theater. I would always watch the child actors and think “I can do that”. Thankfully, I had a diverse experience growing up as well. I also grew up in the church and sang on the choir. My parents are former athletes who also work in the school system. A lot of my days were filled with sport games, church services, and school. 

I went to Baltimore Polytechnic Institute for high school and graduated with a mediocre GPA. I often felt out of place amongst my peers, and always felt a longing to be in different kinds of classes like those offered at schools like Baltimore School for the Arts. I had dreams of going there but I didn’t feel like I had the space or support I needed to step outside of what was normal to study the arts as seriously as one would study the maths and sciences. Because of my experiences in high school, I knew that going to college I was going to actively make sure that I was tending to the artist inside me and try my best to surround myself with people that were similar. 

Despite my GPA, I did well on my SATs and was able to persuade an admissions counselor at Penn State University to give me an opportunity to go to the school to study. My major was Information Sciences and Technology, but I made sure I was electing to take classes like theater and stage design, writing and directing classes, and joined the campus choir. I also would also spend lots of time using my iPhone/DSLR camera to take random pictures to edit, and post on my Instagram. This time spent would ultimately help me develop my eye for film and photography which is a creative outlet for me. I also curated my first art show in college that featured singers, poets, painters, etc. which sparked my desire to be a curator and own my own gallery someday. Throughout college, I was able to nurture the parts of myself that often felt neglected, and I was able to finally feel like myself, 100%. I knew that I was visionary, and I was very good at executing the ideas I could come up with creatively. However, as adulthood started to settle in, and graduation got closer, the dream of being the artist I had always seen myself to be started become clouded with looming questions of “how am I going to survive, and make a living?”. So, then I started to consider refocusing my journey as artist and just focusing on living a more “societally comfortable” life. 

I landed an amazing internship with the CIA during my time in undergrad. I got to have some once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and make some connections with people that had a lasting effect on me. That opportunity put me in a position for the first time in my life where money wasn’t scarce. I was 18 with a salary, and amazing benefits, etc. My family was incredibly proud of me, and it seemed like everything should’ve been perfect. But it wasn’t. I saw what my future was becoming and I got this overwhelming feeling that it was a facade. Building my life up until that point looked like a performative act that I didn’t truly want to be a part of. I wasn’t practicing art as much I desired to, nor was I singing or writing or nurturing my gifts, and without that, I never feel complete. So, there came a time in my junior year where they offered me a longer-term contract to be an employee post-graduation. And I immediately got this feeling that if I take this route, then my dreams of being an artist would be gone forever. Not because there wouldn’t be time, but I was convinced that spending years and years working for the government without tending to my crafts, that the motivation and fire would die out for good. So, I left. After I got the perfect job, with the perfect pay and benefits, that offers travel, and cool experiences, etc. and I still said no. My family said I was crazy, but I knew deep down inside I made the right decision. 

Soon after I made that decision, it seemed like everything started to fall apart. I was forced to drop out of college due to some things that happened within my family, one semester before graduation, I lost a good amount of friends, and I moved back home to my mom’s house, feeling like I was back at square one. Everything I had worked towards, felt like a waste of time, and I felt stuck. After a few months of doing absolutely nothing, my mom helped me get back into a better headspace and I started to rebuild. I got a job as a leasing agent, and I spent about 2 years working, saving, and getting clear on what it is I wanted out of my life. I knew I was going to be an artist; I knew I was going to love on myself better, and I knew that I wanted to help other artists feel supported on their journeys as well. So, I prayed, and ask God for very specific things, and in due time they came. I mean I’m still watching it unfold, but I also know that God heard me. I moved out of my mom’s house and started doing exactly what I said I was going to do, with whatever resources I had. So, after living and working in Downtown Baltimore for 2 years, I spent some time working to get an (acting) agent, I packed up my things, and I moved to California for about 6 months. I didn’t have many expectations, but I just knew that I wanted to finally take a risk that felt good to ME. My inner child and I were happy, and I learned a lot about how I wanted to come back home and dive into the passion I have for the arts and my community. I was able to leave with an incredible sense of self, and network of people that have helped propel me into the artist I am today. 

In present day, I am 25, I have my first child on the way, I am currently filming for a show called “3 Blind Mice”, I am curating art shows in Baltimore, I founded a brand Dailey Studios that is in service to artists of all mediums, I’m working own my own music and I’m loving on myself and those around me. 

I feel blessed and honored to be chosen for this life, and I am extremely grateful that I had the experiences I’ve had because I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. I am firm believer that if you were given a vision/dream, you have a duty to take the necessary steps to see it through AND help others do the same. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I feel like life is never a smooth road. And I wouldn’t want it to be. I could make a long list of struggles and obstacles that I faced along the way, but ultimately, we’re all living the same life. The details are different but it’s all the same. I might share more later in life but for right now, just know that there hasn’t been one obstacle or struggle that kept me down. At this point in my life, they feel more like tests and/or lessons. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I know I have an eye for what looks good, and an ear for what sounds good. 

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
To me, success is the result of accomplishing the goals you set for yourself. It needs to be something you define for own your own based on your personal values. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
@terra.xoxo
@ayostephens

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