What is Tylted Art, and who is Curtis Epperson?
My name is Curtis Epperson, and I am an artist, a husband, and a father. Because this is not only my first blog for Tylted Art, but also my first blog ever, I guess I’ll start at the beginning. (Don’t worry - I’ll keep it short… ish.)
Let’s take it all the way back to the 90’s…
(Try to imagine an Ace of Bass or Counting Crows song playing in your head for a more nostalgic feel as you are reading the next paragraph.)
The year was 1991, and I was just starting the ninth grade. As a typical teenager, my life was focused solely on my friends, extra-curricular activities, hobbies, girls… you know, the usual suspects. My free time was most often spent with the three best amigos a guy could ask for: Aaron, Marcus, and Josh. We all went to the same school, and typically hung out at Josh’s house for a few hours almost every weekday afternoon, as he lived just a few blocks from our alma mater. Because we had so much time together, and all shared the same interests of Band, Choir, Theatre, and Christianity, it seemed the only natural progression was for us to form a Christian Acappella group called “4 Score,” with which we performed dozens of concerts and tried to put good out into the world through our music and examples. (Yes, we got our name from the opening of The Gettysburg Address. Nerds.) Over the course of our years as friends and bandmates, we experienced numerous teenage heartbreaks and tears together, shared our sage advice with one another during all-night philosophical discussions, and really grew bonded as legitimate brothers. I genuinely thought those guys would be a huge part of my life for the rest of time. Because… teenagers.
After High School, we all went our separate ways (of course), and while my High School brothers all went off to college, I opted to skip higher education, and instead stayed in the Christian music scene for the next 2 decades or so, opening my own studio and producing mostly acappella groups… just for the love of it, apparently. Because my career path didn’t pay very well (crazy - there’s not much demand for Christian acappella group producers in the world today), and I had no college degree to fall back on, at some point over the next few years (probably as I was approaching 40), I found myself directionless as “just a waiter” in Memphis, TN.
What was my calling? What was my purpose in life?
Don’t get me wrong; I was very grateful for the life that I had, but I still felt the itch for something more. But what…
So my wife, Josie (whose fingerprints are all over this website), and I relocated our family to Orlando, Florida where we spent several years getting our Disney on, but even that love affair with theme parks began to fade slightly over time. Only slightly, though, of course. :) So what now?
Well, let’s see… I have always had a love for puzzles, so there’s that. I’ve also always had a strong desire to do the right thing - check, if there’s a box for that anywhere. Then there’s my love for the arts, random facts, and lame Dad jokes. Is there some sort of career path I can get on involving all of those things?
Ooh, I’ve got it! How about if I… nah. That’s stupid. That will never work. Nobody buys art anymore. Ever heard the phrase “starving artist?” That seems way worse than “just a waiter.” So I shelved that idea right then and there.
And a couple of years went by.
Then one day about a year ago...
The hamster in my head woke up and started running wild on his little wheel. “Remember that whole word art thing idea you started a few years ago and put all that time and energy into but I told you to ignore your instincts and leave it alone? Well... How about if you resurrect that idea, and just go for it? What have you got to lose?”
Hmmm… hamster, you may have something there, but it can’t just be words turned into art. I need more out of life than that.
Well, how about if you not only entertain, but also try to educate and inspire with your word art? Teach people something they may not know about the things they love, and put it into the art! Okay, okay. I think I see where you’re going with this. It could work. Of course it’s going to take a lot of work and research, because… “waiter,” but there’s still something missing. I really want to put positivity out into the world and be able to share my life’s experiences with my audience with the desire to help them through their own difficulties. (I’ll spare you the details about my personal hardships for now in this blog, but it all culminates with my having a mental breakdown in July of 2018, even though my life was… “perfect.”)
How can I help others not have to go through some of the same pains that I did? I’m not a therapist. I’m an artist.
Is it even possible to make a living doing this whole word art thing that I love? And if so…
How can I possibly wrap all of these things up into one nice, neat little package to offer to the world? Do these things even go hand in hand?
At some point several months after my mental breakdown, I came up with the acronym “tylted,” which stands for “transform your life today every day.” It means that every day is a new opportunity to be the best you that you can be. (I talk more about what that means to me in the “about” section of this website - it’s up there ^^ in the menu somewhere. Check it out. Or I suppose you could just click this link. :)
Over the last few years, “tylted” has become my personal mantra that I live by daily. I try to “get tylted,” or see the world in a different way as often as possible, and I’ll be talking more about how this new outlook has affected my life positively in future blog posts.
So as my vision for the blog, as well as my word art style of entertaining, educating, and inspiring others all began to feel blended together, it felt very natural to go with “Tylted Art” as the name for my art and web presence.
As I mentioned earlier, my desire for my art is not only to entertain you, but also to inspire you and educate you.
In every one of my pieces I try to place fun words that will put a smile on your face as you spot them, but I also try to surprise you with random facts about the subject that you may not know. It’s like a puzzle meets a word search meets a history lesson, all wrapped up in a delicious mosaic shell. Maybe I need to work on that pitch, in case I ever make it onto Shark Tank.
My desire for this blog is to be able to share my life’s experiences with you, and to put a little spin on things that maybe will help any of you through hard times. Topics will range from “knowing and demanding your self worth” to “learning to ignore the anxious voice in your head” to “learning how to love people who treat you like garbage.” And of course you can expect the random facts blog and lame Dad jokes here and there as well!
If you want to stay up to speed on my next post, please sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of this page. I can’t figure out how to post the link (I’m an artist, not a web designer), but I promise it’s there.
Thanks again, my friends. Talk to you soon. :)
So happy to have met you!
Curtis, A dear friend of mine, Lisa Rasch, shared your website with me because God used her to bless me!! (Lisa knows my family’s story too and she knew there were many similarities to your story). Anyway, right now after reading every “word” of your website and your blog I want to say this to you: " You are doing life correctly! Everything that comes into our lives has passed through God’s fingers. He has either brought it or allowed it. It is impossible to produce anything of spiritual value in our own strength. God’s Spirit gives us power and strength to face any challenge, overcome any obstacle, or accomplish any thing that He calls us to do. You are a living testimony to the supernatural power God gives when we are resting in Him!" So, just keep on waitering (produces servanthood) and digging and studying to find words for your art (produces discipline & exercises your brain muscles) and know I am now praying for you and sharing you with more people every day too! BTW, you have not heard the last from me by a long shot! Take care and thank you for being you, Sincerely, Cathy
Curtis I cannot tell you how inspiring it was to read your story! I love your uplifting art! I’m going to send your website to some friends, I think they might think your designs would be great Christmas presents! Oh, and by the way, I love lame Dad jokes…bring ’em on!
Curtis, you are amazing and inspiring. Thank you for allowing my family to be part of your artistic journey! We love your work. Brewer loves it too.