Avenue of The Arts: Miami-based Artist “Cash” Finds His Creative Balance

As a jack of all trades, visual artist Cash takes on various roles–Exercise Physiologist, Father, cat lover, family man, and most notably, a multimedia artist. As one of the many artists participating in this year’s Avenue of The Arts (AOTA), I got the chance to ask Cash a few questions that came to mind when I encountered his light-hearted and witty designs for the first time. Here’s what he had to share. 

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Cash (@cashnotjohnny) • Instagram photos and videos

Tell me about your background,/growing up/finding your way in the arts. What inspired you to pursue a career in the arts? 

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always dabbled in art for fun. On the weekends, I spent a lot of time with my very crafty and creative grandmother, where I learned to draw, paint, sculpt with clay and paper Mâché, etc. To this day, she still has drawings that I made when I was as young as 4/5 years old.


Throughout my adolescence and into high school, I always excelled in my art classes and had several pieces on display in galleries around the Ann Arbor (Michigan) area - where I grew up. But during these times, I never took art seriously and only saw it as a hobby. I was more passionate about playing sports at the time.

Cash with his work titled "Mi$fit Snoopy” via Instagram
Cash with his work titled "Mi$fit Snoopy” via Instagram @cashnotjohnny
"The Coogi Sweater,"  spray paint, acrylic paint, and acrylic marker via Instagram
"The Coogi Sweater," mixed media on 16”x20” stretched canvas, via Instagram @cashnotjohnny

During college, aside from going to class, serving tables at a restaurant, and personal training, I got back into art but in the form of music (side note: it wasn’t completely out of left field… I played the violin from 5th grade to the 10th) - I made/sold beats and art for the covers of albums/mixtapes for other aspiring musicians. Eventually, I finished schooling and focused fully on a career in fitness, while art took the backseat for the next 8 or 9 years or so.


It was when I moved to South Florida where the street art and graffiti scene rejuvenated my passion. Not to mention, my girlfriend at the time (now my wife), suggested that I create pieces on canvas and try to sell them. 5 years later, here I am, talking to you, still in pursuit of this dream.

Avenue of the Arts: Visual Arts Festival taking place January 22-28, 2024 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Cash will be participating in year two of Avenue of the Arts: Visual Arts Festival taking place January 22-28, 2024 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

I know you are a part-time professional artist; what do you do when you’re not making art?


Exercise Physiologist. Basically, I’m a personal trainer but in a clinical setting. I train patients who’ve had knee replacements, hip replacements, cancer recovery, neurological disorders (ie, stroke), etc…very similar to physical therapy. 


Can you share a specific project you are particularly excited about or proud of that you are pursuing right now?


Besides this upcoming Avenue of The Arts mural? Honestly, I’m proud of nearly all my work. If I’m not feeling a piece I’ve created, most likely no one will ever see it.

Cash pictured with his work, "Patrick $tar," acrylic paint and acrylic marker on 24”x24” gallery wrapped canvas vis Instagram
Cash pictured with his work, "Patrick $tar," acrylic paint and acrylic marker on 24”x24” gallery-wrapped canvas vis Instagram @cashnotjohnny

Define art/street art..what is your personal definition of it/relationship to it?


To me, art is a creative form of self-expression… whether it’s on canvas, on a wall, music, a poem, dance, interior design, fashion, and I’d even argue a well-thought-out outfit.


My relationship with art is that it’s an escape from the stresses and anxieties of reality, with a direct focus on creativity and imagination.


What are your thoughts on art as an online business world, specifically NFTs and the online art market?

In the era of Instagram and TikTok, having an online presence is so important - I'm personally still figuring out this part. I’ve learned that not only does it establish credibility and legitimacy, but it also opens up other avenues for exposure and sales.

What has been your biggest observation in the shift from pre-pandemic to now in the arts?

The explosion of artists on social media.

Cash's work for sale, "Don't mind me" via artist's website

Who are some of your favorite artists right now? Who are some you have worked with in the past, or are currently working with that our readers at RKL should know?

Favorite artists: old - Warhol, Basquiat, Picasso, George Condo // new - Rime, Kaws, Terry Urban, Michael Reeder //Cartoons in general: Disney, Nickelodeon, Looney Tunes, the Simpsons, etc.


What I love about South Florida art is the countless art communities. I’ve gotten to know some pretty cool artists. Shoutout to my guys (on ig): @ZackParkerArt

@iamm00n @ace_art_movement @aakabo @thismightgetweird

"Spongebob" via Cash
"Spongebob" via Cash's website

How do you see the future of creativity and the arts evolving in years to come, specifically in art that takes place in outdoor contexts? What are some of your predictions?


I think art, and specifically murals, are becoming more of a staple for businesses of all levels: small businesses to large corporations. Right now, you can say to be in possession of physical art is more of a luxury. But I think with the high exposure of art on social media, the younger generations (and generations to come) have a new appreciation for it. And as these generations have been growing older and getting into careers and owning businesses, I think there’s been an uptick in requests for the arts, specifically for the artists who have the ability to help create a vibe in a room or space, whether it’s at home, or murals inside/outside the workplace. From murals and art installation down to furniture and interior design. The luxury of having art is becoming more of a necessary commodity and less of a luxury.

Cash's artwork, acrylic paint on 36”x48” wooden panel via Instagram @cashnotjohnny

My conversation with Cash revealed the magic that happens when passion finds you when you least expect it, and you just have to pursue it. The pandemic brought Cash back to his artistic roots. He listened to that calling and hasn’t stopped since. The artist is represented by Miami Fine Art, after many years of finding a balance between a full-time job, art, family, and “your time,” as he calls it. Cash left me with this, something we all might need to hear: 

“Balance is the keyword for me. Projects I need to work on versus projects I want to work on became an important question for me. Really just finding a balance between it all.”

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