"When I decided to move down here," said Tim Borski, "I ripped up my plane ticket home, threw it in the trash, called my dad and told him, 'Don't wait up — I'm not coming back.'"
Tim Borski came to the Florida Keys in 1986, when he was in his early twenties, with two passions: fishing and art. After growing up in Wisconsin and studying fine art at a local university, Borski took a vacation to South Florida to soak up some sunshine.
Like many who experience the Florida Keys, he never went back.
Borski started his South Florida life working at an arts and crafts store in Miami for a few years. After realizing he was spending most of his time fishing in the Keys, the 26-year-old packed up, moved to Tavernier and started working for a fly-fishing shop, painting and making art for the shop.
What began as a simple vacation for some much-needed sun almost 30 years ago has since turned into a career and lifestyle for the Keys artist.
"People say I'm lucky to live in the Keys, and I get why they say that," Borski said. "But it was by choice. I put one foot in front of the other and it led me straight to this doorstep."
Professionally, Borski focuses on contemporary wildlife art. Though he creates marine art, he also depicts other aspects of the wild, including birds and full nature landscapes. His work is in such demand that some of his canvases have been transformed into T-shirts and sold through fishing websites.
Borski works and paints out of a private studio in his home in Tavernier. His canvases have become a staple of the Keys art scene — featured at the famous Redbone Gallery and during the popular Morada Way Third Thursday Art Walk.
When he works, Borski doesn't rely on "inspiration." If he wants to paint, he goes out and finds something to paint.
"If I go looking for something specific, do it correctly and then succeed, that gives me the greatest reward possible," he said.
The artist also exhibits a hunter's mentality. Growing up in the Midwest, Borski spent many years fishing and hunting in his hometown. Those avocations translated easily to a Florida Keys lifestyle where he could spend most of his days out in the backcountry, "hunting" for fish.
"I just have a great time going out and searching for anything," he said. "It doesn't matter what it is, even if it's for the ketchup in the back of my fridge!"
An avid outdoorsman, Borski appreciates his surroundings in the Keys every day.
"I really like having water on both sides of the road," he said. "The big vistas and big open spaces — it's something we take for granted sometimes."
Growing up in the Midwest, Borski spent many years fishing and hunting in his hometown.
Borski's canvases have become a staple in the Keys art scene — featured at the famous Redbone Gallery and during the popular Morada Way Third Thursday Art Walk.
Though he creates a fair share of marine art, he also depicts other aspects of the wild including birds and full nature landscapes.