Bradley Chance Hays
At 5, Bradley Chance Hays got his first pencil and paper set. At 6, his dad gave him his first rope. From then on, his rope and his pencil became his life — and still are 18 years later. Now, Hays is a professional calf roper and artist, painting primarily expressionistic pieces of horses. “It’s kind of a wild duo,” he said. “Art’s been good to me. It’s opened a lot of doors.”
Growing up the son of a rodeo cowboy — his father — and an art teacher — his mother — Hays learned both crafts and works hard to combine the two. “It’s tough. I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s cost me relationships just to do what I love,” he said. “To make it great, you have to sacrifice things.”
Hayes remembers a time when he would sit at the dinner table, drawing on a giant roll of paper while his mother cleaned the kitchen. “She wouldn’t buy me coloring books, you see? I had to draw my own stories and then color them in,” he said. “My mom knew.”
Having a rodeo cowboy father and an artist teacher mother gave Chance Hays an opportunity to explore both of his passions.
“When I was a kid, I would never get coloring books. While she would cook for my dad in the mornings, my mom would lay out rolls of paper, and I would lay down and draw my stories,” Chance said. “It just stimulated my abilities. I had to do everything myself. My mom made me build my own canvases in high school, too. I never got anything pre-made. It opened that creativity.”
While he had a love for art, he shared that with the rodeo.
“I loved art and my dad was a rodeo man. It was probably one of the best experiences for me because I grew up in a real rodeo home. It was no joke and there wasn’t any messing around,” Chance said. “I just ate it up”.