Out of difficult environments, beauty can grow. Eric “Cire B” Barnett of Cire B Studios proves this – from an upbringing in a neighborhood of drugs, guns, and violence, he chose not to be a product of his environment, but instead, use it to help him grow.
Cire now runs an art-based company, Cire B Studios, which provides live painting entertainment, original art pieces, art prints, art inspired apparel, and serves as a platform for visual artists to connect with art lovers across the world. He cites the source of hard work and dedication needed to support your own business from his days in the army and working in law enforcement.
“I joined the Army to provide a better life for myself, and a few years after, I entered the law enforcement field to help provide a better life for the people in my community. Working in those high strung and intense environments was an outlet I needed, and as I needed, I gravitated towards art. Initially art was something I did just for me, until a friend put my artwork online and it got great feedback,” Cire recalls.
As his art entered the public eye and began to gain a lot of traction, Cire began to build a strong support network that believed in him, his art, and his message. He started Cire B Studios, selling hundreds of paint and sip kits, putting together art lead workshops and events. For himself, he was represented by a few galleries and sold his art across the country. And if that was not impressive enough, Cire did it all while still managing his other careers as a law enforcement officer and a drill instructor for the Army.
“I’ve watched so many people battle with mental health issues during my time with the military, and in my community I found most of them didn’t have an outlet to help deal with their issues. Art was my personal outlet, I’ve seen how therapeutic art could be and I wanted others to experience that as well. It’s such a powerful tool and I wanted to use it to empower as many people as I could. Through art I’ve managed to connect with people from all walks of life, and social classes,” Cire remarks.
Cire knew he was making a difference when he began to receive countless messages about how his work was changing people’s lives. At this point, he knew it was time to share his passion with others to spread the positive impact.
“Someone made an attempt on my life while I was on duty, and I could’ve died as a result of it. Being that close to death changes you in so many ways, and I knew I’d never be the same again. I told myself that I’d be more aggressive with living life from that day on. In other words I wanted to live life with more purpose. I was going to go after everything I wanted from this world. The goal is simple, use my knowledge and talents to positively impact as many lives as I possibly could,” Cire says.
His brush with death have lead Cire to see his artistic art as a higher calling, participating in something bigger than himself. Despite his community and higher support, Cire admits running your own business always comes with challenges.
“Finding the right people to see your vision and also match the energy that you have for your business is extremely difficult. When you’re doing something different, something meaningful, something great, people will always want to be a part of it; however when time gets tough or when the hype fades people’s motivation and efforts tend to fade as well. Entrepreneurship is a marathon where many people are running fast nowhere instead of moving with a purpose and towards a specific direction. Staying relevant in a world where everything is constantly can be difficult,” Cire outlines.
To keep on the top of his game, Cire always looks at the bigger picture and remains willing and prepared to adjust to the needs and trends of an evolving society.
“Anyone that doest learn how to properly pivot in business won’t last long,” Cire says.