Monroe Artist: Dustin Greer

In Community, Misty Swilley by Lola Magazine

Dustin Greer was raised on a ranch in Texas in true cowboy style. Since he could walk, he was a showman for big rodeo crowds, but he never had any desire to be a cowboy.

He did not leave the ranch often until except for school. He spent his time with his studies, reading books and his love for dance. His passion for dance helped get him through his parents’ divorce at thirteen. After his parents split up, he moved to Oakdale and began the second of his many lives he has lived along the way. Dustin tested in school as a “certified genius.” School was not really his thing either. His father bred him to be in the rodeo business but living in a town like Oakdale, he was different than the other kids. He dressed different and was always on rollerblades or dancing. Not your typical “Oakdale boy.” Dustin always searched for knowledge, studied religion, got into dark places and pulled himself out.

At 25, Dustin met a girl and fell in love. He registered for classes at McNeese State for physics, but lost interest quickly, and he and his girlfriend split up. For years he searched for his true passion. He prayed earnestly for direction and traveled to Maui, San Francisco, Venice Beach, Baton Rouge twice, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Lewisville, and Lafayette seeking roots.

After 10 years of traveling, he ended up in Monroe and began painting homes. This was not his dream job by any means, but he could listen to spiritual sermons and do the work for hours a day. Eventually he became really good at painting houses and due to his genuine nature, his business quickly grew. A wild child at heart, he began building relationships with the good people he was doing work for and started to understand the kind of man he wanted to be.

On a whim one day after being turned down for a date, he started painting art on an old board with leftover paint. This was the moment he finally found his purpose. For Dustin, painting art was almost like dancing. He felt more at home than anything he had ever done. A few weeks later after another bad day, he started to paint the walls in his bedroom.  This was exhilaration for Dustin, but he was living with a roommate at the time who had rented the house, so this specific project was ended and painted over.

With ninety-nine cents he drove to Walmart and bought his first canvas. This was the day his art came to life. To Dustin painting is the one place that he can finally gather his thoughts and emotions and share them with the world. He says, “When I pick up a brush, it’s like a war and a dance, and it comes from nowhere until it is on the canvas and then it is everything that I am feeling and everything that I have lived. Painting is the only thing, even above dancing, that is enough unto itself for me.”

His goal is to make the transition from painting homes to doing his art full-time, and one day to paint a masterpiece. Until then his prayer is to create art that will touch the way he was touched when he saw a Rothko in person. He hopes to create pieces that will add life and inspiration to others.

Dustin believes in dreaming the biggest dreams you can imagine and always pushing the envelope when It comes to stepping out on what God calls us to do. After many years of living on the wild side, he is grateful to have found peace and he sees this life is a gift, that every day is precious moment. He has gathered wisdom over his lifetime and when asked what his greatest advice would be, he said, “Live life with a little bit extra zeal if you can, always forgive people and to make wise decisions. Life ain’t a game and one bad decision can change everything. But, if we can all open our eyes just a little bit more, there is an artist in each of us. We just have to be brave enough to see it.”