It almost feels surreal to think that just last weekend, I was delivering artwork to Pitbull at the Armani fashion show in Miami. Within the span of a week, it eerily feels as if the world is coming to an end.
Criticize me if you want, but, aside from the obvious shift in every day life, I am trying to remain as positive as possible, and approach life right now with the mindset that, God willing, at some point, this will be an obstacle that we get through together, and it will be a learning lesson for the future. In the meantime, I’m going to try my best to continue business as usual – which right now means a shifting model. I’m going to continue working on my blog, painting from home, and strategizing with my team to figure out how we are going to get through this.
So, that means a lot of writing for me. Started a ton of blog posts that I edit over time – including my experience with Pitbull last week, lots of recipes, my collaboration with Blatt Billiards, and more – that are now about the get finished…
Starting with, Pitbull… So, last weekend, before doomsday, if you weren’t following along, I had the honor and privilege to personally deliver one of the best portraiture work I’ve ever done to superstar musician, Pitbull. Related Companies, the developers behind the first Armani designed property in America, Armani Residences in Sunny Isles, gifted my painting to Pitbull as a thank you for his surprise performance at the show. Through Charitybids, I was invited, along with my best friend and partner, Rea, to present him this painting at a private meet & greet in one of the beautiful Armani homes. The experience was a dream from beginning to end.
Since my career began, I have met a number of celebrity collectors and have been introduced to numerous famous and influential people across many different industries. At the top of my list rank Andrea Bocelli and Pitbull; however I must admit, Pitbull took the cake. I am rarely nervous for anything and I try not to overthink opportunities too much prior to fruition, mostly because I don’t trust anything. Though it may be a cynical mindset, this mentality helped me stay calm, until of course the day of the event. That morning, it started to hit me. It felt like I was back in school that day – feverously studying and researching the Related Company, its history, Pitbull, his life, his career. I researched Armani, and the other properties he designed around the world. That day I spent hours educating myself as best as possible about all parties involved, to learn about their careers, motivations, accomplishments and ongoing endeavours.
Rea and I got ourselves ready in my hotel, getting glammed thanks to Priv, a company I helped found with my ex and another couple. Looking perfection in my red silk suit (major shoutout to Twist for making me feel and look gorgeous), Rea and I discussed our dream goals for the evening, still not believing it was actually happening, totally unaware that our expectations would far be exceeded.
We headed down to the Edition Hotel bar to take a shot to calm our nerves before we got in a Lyft to head to the event. We were super anxious about being late, because there was tons of traffic, but everything worked out perfectly. We unwound in the car, obviously jamming to Pitbull tunes, still on edge about what to expect of the night, not thrilled we were running 15 minutes late. Clearly everyone was stuck in traffic because Rea and I were first to arrive at the private meet & greet.
At first, we thought we were in the wrong place, because when we walked in, there was only one person there, sitting on the couch. However, after we introduced ourselves to the lovely man who turned out to be Elvin, Pitbull’s logistics manager, we realized were in the right place when I saw my painting on the table with a sign that said VIP guest. Immediately the vibes became perfection. Trying not to fan girl and play it as cool as possible, I unwrapped the painting in preparation to present it to Pitbull. As additional members of his team came out, his DJ, Chino, Rea and I started to feel more at ease, and we gittily asked if it would be possible to take a shot with Pitbull. Long story short, not only was his team incredible, friendly, helpful, cool and super chill, Rea and I actually got to take a shot with Pitbull. But more importantly, we got to spend time telling him about ourselves, my art and my career, for a solid 15 minutes. I felt like I was in a dream. Pitbull is Mr. 305, Mr. Miami. If you recall what happened in my life down in Miami a mere 2.5 years ago, when my life quickly fell apart in the most tragic of ways, it was hard to believe that I was now standing tall, handing my painting over to Mr. 305. How time can change things. I briefly mentioned the experience to Pitbull, for as a fellow creative who preaches positivity and hustle, I thought he’d be able to appreciate where my motivation and inspiration comes from.
It was time for Pitbull to prepare for his performance, so Rea and I got on our way.
Not caring that we were super late to the actual Armani fashion show that was occurring outside, we headed downstairs to watch the extravaganza. Standing front and center, watching the magnificent designs displayed on the runway in the courtyard of the new stunning development in Sunny Isles, I literally got the chills. Rea and I were on a high, but the high was just getting started. Once the fashion show was complete, it was time for Pitbull’s surprise performance. Standing in the VIP section, literally touching the stage, this was one of the most amazing moments of my life. Dancing, jumping and singing, the energy could not have been more infectious. Pitbull’s performance, his message, his vibe – he is just amazing. But then it somehow managed to get even better.
Pitbull began talking about his inspiration behind his song ‘Give Me Everything Tonight.’ As he was in the middle of talking about how we need to enjoy each moment and learn our greatest lessons from our most difficult struggles, he clearly remembered our brief conversation upstairs. Mid sentence, he stopped, and on stage in front of the entire crowd, said ‘I want to say thank you to Liz for your beautiful painting. I appreciate you.’ I almost fainted. I look at Rea and said, ‘Did that just happen???’ All I am going to say is, scroll below to watch the video.
Never did I meet someone of his stature, who was so overly kind and gracious. It was truly a lesson to learn. His humility, energy, perspective, and positivity are to be admired and emulated. I hope to embody those traits as my career continues to grow, and I hope to continue brewing a relationship with his team, because those are the types of people I strive to work with.