The current paint department director for Concept Boats in Opa-locka, Fla., Janet Lucente never dreamed of being a boat painter—an artist, yes, but never a custom boat painter. Before she met well-known artist Richard “RichyRich” Lucente 12 years ago, the Miami native had recently switched her career path from the medical field and was working at her aunt’s beauty parlor on South Beach contemplating what was next. Fortunately RichyRich’s mom, who was a patron, introduced the two of them and the rest was history. Now, after a decade of learning from her husband who has been painting boats, cars, bikes, you name it for more than 30 years, Janet Lucente is on a mission to set the stage for all women who want to be more than booth babes and take their rightful place amongst the best of the men in their profession.
Janet Lucente has learned her craft from powerboat-painting legend Richard Lucente, better known in the industry as “RichyRich.”
Dedicated to her craft and sponsored by SATA spray guns, the talented 39-year-old painter said she enjoys the demanding, fast- paced aspect of the job as well as getting to interact with the end-users of the boats she paints. And while she spends most of her time painting Concepts models ranging from 23 to 44 feet, she also picks up side projects, such as painting catamarans for the up-and- coming Hellkats Powerboats in Miami.
WHERE DID YOU LEARN TO PAINT AND WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BE AN ARTIST?
After a few weeks together with Richy, I discovered his art on computer disks in his closet. I asked him about it and he said, “Oh I forgot to mention that I’m a professional artist. I was laid off from a boat company called Cigarette Racing Team, maybe you’ve heard about them?” Being a lover of art and boats, I couldn’t believe it. On that day, he began explaining his life and career to me. It was then that I decided to start from scratch with him.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST BOAT YOU PAINTED AND WHAT WAS THE FEELING LIKE?
The first boat I ever painted was for Renegade Powerboats. RichyRich was about to start painting it when we decided to experiment with me behind the spray gun. I was scared to death and couldn’t paint to save my life! I went from painting small fingernails to incredibly large boats overnight. Intimidated is an understatement; I was shaking in my shoes—suede classic Pumas, my husband’s first choice (laughs)—but I got through it, alongside him, and the rest is history. I painted more than 60 boats for Renegade in the three years we were there.
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