Former Mercer football player trades the pigskin for the paintbrush

Caleb Brown became a full-time painter after graduating from Mercer University. Jennifer Munoz (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- Caleb Brown grew up up drawing but his head was always in the game.

"Football was definitely a big deal for me, again because it shaped my personality more so than what I did in the field," Brown said.

Brown was part of the inaugural football team at Mercer University.

"I went to school to be a physical therapist and I minored in art simply because I always was able to draw very well." Brown said.

His art Professor, Eric O'Dell, noticed something special about Brown.

" He had one of the strongest portfolio's from an intro drawing class I'd ever seen and I could tell he enjoyed drawing so I knew he was talented from the day I met him," O'Dell said.

It was O'Dell who pushed Brown to paint.

"He forced me to do this painting class and I hated it honestly, for the whole semester I have him all kinda crap about it," Brown said.

Until one day it just clicked for Brown.

"He did a copy of Micheal Angelo painting and he came into class and sat it down and said 'I get it, I get it, I get painting,' and he has been in that kind of thrill moment with painting ever since," O'Dell said.

Brown started to paint even more. He then got noticed by the popular hip-hop group Migos.

"I was in a physics lab and one of the members of the group, Offset, messaged me back and I was like 'oh my god' and I think that weekend I brought the painting to him," Brown said.

After he graduated in 2016 he traded his football for a paint brush and became a full time artist. Brown said even through he doesn't play anymore sports are still an inspiration.

"Football highlights will get me more inspired to do work then going and reading about a book about Leonardo Da Vinci, that's just the way I'm wired, football and sports have been part of my life for so long," Brown said.

His company is called Finao, which means failure is not an option.

"What ever happens you can't get give it up, failure is never an option, you may fall short at times but failing giving up is just indeed not on my list of things that can happen," Brown said.

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