Central Florida firefighter Nick Seyler moonlights as abstract artist
When he’s not working as a firefighter/paramedic, Winter Park resident Nick Seyler creates abstract paintings.
| 12:19 p.m. June 23, 2017
Winter Park - Maitland Observer
When Nick Seyler isn’t at the fire station, he can be found tuning out the world in his art studio at home.
For as long as he can remember, he’s always had a pen or paintbrush in hand, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that he began to take his art seriously.
It all started in 2012, after a back surgery forced him to stay home for several weeks. Unable to work, Seyler began painting to pass the time.
“I was off work for four-and-one-half months, so that’s when I really got engaged in painting,” he said.
His style is abstract, and he works solely with acrylic paints.
“It’s the freedom of the whole thing and not having an agenda,” Seyler said about creating abstract paintings. “It’s having fun with no rules.”
And once he delved into the art world, there was no turning back. He even tore down the wall between two bedrooms in his home to create his own studio.
His goal was to paint every single day — at least on the days when he wasn’t on shift at the Brevard County Fire Department.
DECADE OF SERVICE
It was 10 years ago when Seyler decided to become a firefighter.
“My step-brother got me interested in it,” he said. “We were living together at the time, and at night, he’d come home and talk about (being a firefighter). It sounded pretty cool.”
He started out as an emergency medical technician with Brevard County before eventually going through paramedic training.
“It’s the greatest job in the world,” Seyler said. “It’s not really going to work at all. It’s hanging out with your buddies because you live in a house with a big ol’ garage with some big ol’ trucks. It’s been an awesome 10 years.”
After a decade with Brevard County, a firefighter/paramedic position opened up in Seminole County, and Seyler jumped at the opportunity. It not only was a chance to work his home county but also a chance to work with his step-brother.
“I always had it on my radar that I wanted to come back and work (for Seminole),” he said. “So the timing was right, and the stars aligned.”
On the mornings when his shift ends, Seyler goes straight home to his studio.
“My favorite time to paint is right after work in the morning when I get off shift,” he said. “It’s a way to disconnect from life, in general. I can go in there and spend hours and hours. I’m not really thinking. I can just go in there and let loose.”
It’s also a way to de-stress from the shifts when he and his team are faced with difficult calls, he said.
Since he started painting seriously, he’s participated in the Windermere Art Affair and has work on display in several restaurants around town. And usually when a client contacts him about one of his paintings, they often request for a particular painting to be recreated in a color scheme of their choosing.
But not all of his paintings come out perfect the first time, he said.
“Sometimes, I’ll paint something, look at it for a week, decide it sucks and paint over it,” he said.
At the end of the day, it’s about creating a piece on which he can be proud to sign his name.
“I’m not really painting for anything or anybody,” he said. “I do it for myself.”