Pedro Reis’ life was on the “typical” trajectory. He spent time trying out a few different industries until he finally found himself in a financially stable corporate sales management position, promising to be a perfect career path for him. That is, until his family suffered the sudden loss of his father to a heart attack. Mourning the loss of his father caused Pedro to change the way he looked at life. “Life is short. It’s very precious. And seeing my father go so quickly and unexpectedly made me realize we really have to live our life to the fullest and never hold back on what we love or what we are passionate about!” he says. Soon after, he left the corporate world to start a clothing brand, Rei, in honor of his father’s passing.
When Pedro started as a clothing designer, his intention was simply to pay tribute to his father. Sticking to his Portugese roots, he chose the name Rei for his brand because, in the Portugese language, “rei” translates to king. He saw his father as the king of their family and even used his father’s signature as the Rei logo. “I started by making a few hats and t-shirts and it started to blow up with all of the support I had.. it was an amazing feeling!” he says. After his clothing line gained momentum, Pedro left the corporate world to be a full-time artist. It was a bumpy road, financially and emotionally at first. He even considered returning to a traditional “safe” job. But his passion for art and the positive energy he carried with him from his father fueled him.
Within a few months of taking that leap of faith, Pedro started experimenting with spray paints and acrylics to create custom denim jackets and small canvas paintings. These projects became a huge success. Experimenting with his canvases sparked creativity. Feeling inspired, he started working on leather jackets and upcycled clothing, as well as designer bags and wallets. He also created large-scale canvas paintings which led to a collaboration between him and a new lounge which requested Pedro to create 15 original pieces and some wall murals. He never quit, and that spark has continued to grow. Now, he finds success because he gets to wake up every day truly happy living the life he loves. He enjoys the freedom to work from wherever he chooses, travel anywhere he wants, and spend his time how he wants. By the end of his first year as an artist, Pedro opened his own art studio and gallery called Hunter Rei Studio. He affectionately named the studio after his nephew Hunter, who was born two months after his father died and brought his family so much joy during such a difficult time.
Your mindset will make or break you. Pedro remembers as a child being fascinated by the works of impressionist painters such as Edvard Munch and Vincent van Gogh. “…but as we grow up, I feel that we get so caught up in “life” and what we “should” be doing in life, that we lose touch with what we are truly passionate about or enjoy as kids.. which is what we need to always chase and pursue!” he says. Only fear can hold you back by preventing you from pursuing your passion. You’ll have fear, but Pedro says the word should be deleted from your vocabulary. Without the right mindset, you cannot do great things. If you want to succeed, you have to be willing to take a leap of faith. You will be successful, and it will be worth it. To get there, you need to be willing to learn from your mistakes to move forward and upward.
Pedro understands the importance of investing in yourself and your brand. With his new mindset of chasing your passion, rather than settling for “comfort,” he had his first art show within six months of becoming an artist. He knew he was being led by his father’s positive energy. His passion and vision have stayed the same, but he has learned to grow and evolve over time. Starting as a small-scale graffiti style artist, Pedro has now grown into a large-scale artist whose portfolio includes murals, mixed media, and 3D art. His artwork has been shipped worldwide, and he’s created custom pieces for some of the biggest names in the music and sports world, such as Drake, Georges St Pierre, JuiceWrld and KidLaRoi’s manager George Dickson, Aleksander Ovechkin. What’s next for Pedro? He is working on opening a second workshop/studio incorporating interactive and 3D aspects. He also plans to travel the world sharing his artistic ideas and showcasing his art. You can follow Pedro on Instagram @kingreisss.