Paul Vollman is in his spare room turned studio, blasting rock tunes, clad in paint-speckled attire with paintbrush in hand — stroke by stroke making his canvas come to life. You wouldn’t know that he had been a medical malpractice lawyer for the past 13 years.

Vollman loved art growing up and was actively involved in the art program at Elder High School, but he surprised his friends and family by studying engineering in college. A few years after that, he decided to earn a law degree — but he always kept art as close as possible.

Vollman started at the Cincinnati office of Triona, Calderhead & Lockemeyer as a medical malpractice lawyer, working part-time to keep time for his art. However, as he gained more responsibility, 20-hour weeks turned into 40-hour weeks, which turned into 60- and 70-hour weeks, and painting fell to the wayside. Although Vollman enjoyed his work, he knew his true passion was painting.

“A switch went on about five years ago and I decided I would (change careers),” Vollman says. His decision to leave law in November of 2007 to pursue art came as no surprise to anyone, including those he worked for. “They were very supportive,” Vollman says.

But before he made formal motions to wrap up his cases and leave the firm, he wanted to make sure he would be financially stable. “I talked to a financial planner and we discussed a lot of options,” Vollman says. After his financial planner gave him the thumbs-up, Vollman immersed himself in the art world, although he still has his license to practice law and rents a small office. Now, he is in what he calls “an incubation period,” experimenting and developing his style.

“I almost feel better physically. [Practicing law] is stressful, but there is stress in every career. I really think the stress came from me wanting to do this the whole time and wanting to get home and get to that picture,” Vollman says. Check out his work at www.paulvollman.com.