In the acceptance speech for her Nobel Prize for Literature, Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska said: “There is, has been, and will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It’s made up of all those who’ve consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination.” By all counts, Devin Walker is an inspired and inspiring individual.
Invention Favors the Restless
Fortunate are those who get to choose the work they do, not that the process of deciding is straightforward or quick. Before becoming the CEO and founder of Printpop, Walker tried on many professional hats. He worked for record companies (American/Warner Bros. Records) and for the Kansas City Art Institute. A web designer, he also worked with newspapers developing their online presence. His efforts on both the Lawrence Journal World and the Arkansas City Traveler earned him awards and recognition by the Kansas Press Association.
Earlier still, he even gave military life a brief try. His passion proved elsewhere. “Really, all I care about is entrepreneurship and philanthropy,” Walker told the Wichita Business Journal. “If you want to change the world, create entrepreneurs.”
Self-Portrait of an Entrepreneur
Self-described “Entrepreneur, Visionary, Revolutionary,” ultimately Walker tired of corporate work and set about executing his own project, Printpop. An artist himself, he came to realize that there was a lack of original artwork at an affordable price online. The Printpop marketplace sells high-quality digital prints of artwork by emerging artists. The online gallery gives artists a chance to gain more exposure as well as earn money for their work, while keeping rights and possession of original pieces.
Maybe not the powerhouse of an eBay or Amazon, Printpop has done well enough for Walker to relinquish some control and to devote his time to giving back to his community. He speaks frequently at startup events and coaches fellow entrepreneurs, even introducing inmates at local prisons to entrepreneurship as a way to address the difficulties they face in obtaining employment once released. Moreover, he’s involved with charitable organizations such as the Breast Cancer Foundation, the James Bulger House, and The Humane Society.
Love and imagination – doesn’t matter if in a business or an artistic community – there’s always need for more of both. Walker just so manages to use his talents across both fields. Our neighborhoods, our economy, our spirits all benefit greatly from his work and example.
Stated succinctly on arsmagnastudio.com, “Devin Walker is proof that you can be successful doing what you love and giving back to a community you care about.” One could not ask for higher, more rewarding praise.