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Cesar Santos, Cuban-American portrait painter on making a living as an artist

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Giants, this is episode #67! Today’s guest is a contemporary Cuban-American artist and portrait painter, best known for his ‘Syncretism’, a term he coined in 2011 to describe paintings where he presents two or more art tendencies in aesthetic balance. His work harmonises both classical and modern interpretations juxtaposed within each painting.


When he moved to America with his family aged 12, he got the real taste for the American Dream: “The worst thing that could happen in America was always a luxury in comparison to the Cuban lifestyle” (where he’s originally from).

He studied at the Miami Dade College, then attended the New World School of the Arts for a period of time and even relocated to Florence for further painting education. The artist has received numerous accolades around the world, including the Grand Prize and People’s Choice Award at the Academy of Realist Art Boston, First Prize at the Grand Central Academy Portrait Competition, The Hall of Fame Award at Miami Dade College and First Place at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Some of the topics we spoke about include:

  • Advice for people wanting to make a living as an artist
  • How his physical activity feeds in with his life as a painter
  • The role of an artist in the age of technology
  • And the business side of being a painter.


So if you’re thinking about becoming a full-time artist, or looking for ways to channel your creativity, then this is for you – as we uncover what makes an artist thrive.

I present to you … the always curious, open-minded, grounded … Cesar Santos!



More on Cesar can be found via the links below:

Cesar’s YouTube Channel 

Instagram: @santocesart

Twitter: @SantocesArt

Subscribe to The Giant Thinkers Podcast on iTunes.



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About Ram Castillo


Ram is an award winning Design Director, Blogger, top ranking Podcaster, Speaker, Instructor and Author of two internationally acclaimed books 'How to get a job as a designer, guaranteed' and 'How to get a mentor as a designer, guaranteed'. He's based in Sydney, Australia and in 2012, started the blog which helps thousands of design students and graduates be employed. Ram has since been featured in Communication Arts, HOW magazine, Herman Miller, deFrost*, and Apple.

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