Living in the suburbs, well-educated, a stable office job, and a beautiful family… This is the typical immigrant’s dream for their children as they set off to find a new life in a distant land. Such was the case for Pedro Reis when his parents moved him and his siblings to Canada from Portugal.

He lived up to his father’s dreams and landed a position as Operations Manager for BMW. His father was proud. But when he unexpectedly passed away, the glass-house life Pedro had built for himself suddenly came crashing down, leaving him to pick up the pieces and reconstruct his life.

After the death of his father, he turned to personalized memorabilia, t-shirts and hats, to keep the memory alive for friends and family. But that quickly expanded and evolved into the development of a brand with a unique urban spin. “I was always into fashion and customizing my own clothes growing up, so establishing a clothing brand made sense. I guess I just needed a reason to start.” And so began the transformation of tragedy into vibrant art that would reach and encourage many more than he could have imagined.

Pedro Reis eventually established his own art gallery, Hunter Rei Studio. His artistic style has grown along with his career as an artist, combining fashion design and art with a bold and colorful twist, expanding his repertoire to include custom requests and murals. He enjoys maintaining an edge by creating unusual pieces with moving parts and incorporating modern pop-culture and icons.

He also uses his art to send messages of encouragement and positivity to his fans with mottos such as “Real is Rare,” “Too Rare to Die,” and “Spread Love.” He hopes these messages will encourage others to follow their passions and honor the lives of those that have passed on.

Before becoming a full-time artist, the life Pedro Reis had constructed felt rather “cookie cutter” compared to the life of living color he now leads. He had a seemingly perfect career, trying to live up to the ideal standards set out before him. But the devastating effects of his father’s death became the catalyst that shifted his outlook and allowed new values to emerge, pushing him to find new meaning in life through the pursuit of his passion.

About his transformative journey, Pedro says, “We get so caught up in life and what we should be doing, that we lose touch with what we are truly passionate about. I feel like THIS is life.” From his immigrant roots to corporate life, to struggling artist, to successful brand designer, Pedro Reis feels there is no better homage to the vibrant life and encouragement of his father than through vibrant art, while also encouraging others not to wait for tragedy to strike before deciding to start living their dreams.

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.

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