Pursuit of Culture

Taking risks can be scary, but Paul makes it look easy.

When presented with the opportunity to pursue art professionally, he took a leap of faith and quit his full-time job as an architect.

“I said to myself, ‘Okay, this is it. I’m going to take this seriously and devote all my time to painting.” And that’s kind of what I did, and it’s been an adventure ever since.”

As an architect/painter/composer, his path through life has been anything but straightforward. When choosing a degree program for college, he had trouble deciding between furthering his study of art or music. His parents, however, like many parents of artistic children, were none too pleased with his choices.

“Basically, they set the ultimatum: No, you’re not studying art,” laughed Lorenz. “If you want to study architecture, we can get behind that.”

Abiding by his parents’ request that he study a more conventional topic (and stay in-state), Lorenz completed his degree in the rigorous, bauhaus-based architecture program at the Illinois Institute of Technology. His desire to paint, however, never left him.

For the sake of adventure, the chance to live somewhere else, to get away from brutal Chicago winters and pursue his art, Paul moved to California. While taking a painting class at UC Berkeley, he was discovered by a gallery that wanted to represent him; it was then that he decided to quit his job to pursue what he loved.

The adventure was far from over. Attending a life-changing concert in 2009, Paul had his next epiphany for artistic pursuit: composing music based on transcriptions of line drawings. Another gamble in a series of risks, it paid off; his composition was performed recently by a string octet at the Florence Biennale, a major global exhibition in Italy featuring hundreds of artists.

Life is a lot like working with different mediums. Like water-based paints, waiting for a touch of water before something can happen, some of us wait to react to outside forces. Paul lives his life much like how he describes working with oil paint: You have to make everything happen. Nothing happens by itself.

“I start everything the same way. I have kind of an idea in my head and I start. I don’t know where it’s going to end, but I get started.”

We’re excited to see where life takes Paul next. One thing is for certain: it will be anything but ordinary.

“Given the option to do something tried and true and safe, or take the adventure? I take the adventure.”


Paul Lorenz is not affiliated with LPL Financial.


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