We had the good fortune of connecting with Vincent “Vin” Salvo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vincent “Vin”, what do you attribute your success to?
It is not just one thing – it is many things. If forced to narrow it down to one notion — it is having and maintaining a healthy mindset about failure. I try to view everything I do in art, business, and life as an experiment. When one frames everything as an experiment, one cannot fail. “Failing” creates humility, humility encourages loss of ego, loss of ego drives learning, learning becomes growth, growth becomes courage, and courage manifests confidence.
As Seth Godin says, ”If you’re willing to do something that might not work, you’re closer to being an artist.”
I do not measure success by how much my work sells or the price ( I donate art sale proceeds to charitable organizations). I tend to measure success, by whether I have learned something novel during the creative process and, most importantly, how meaningful a difference it makes in someone’s life and surroundings.
A few months ago, I attended a technology conference. With hesitation, I put on one of those flimsy paper name tags. While standing in line for a coffee, the person in front of me turned, looked at my name tag, turned away for a moment, and then turned back and said, “ You’re not by any chance Vin Salvo the artist?” Shocked, I said, “yes”. “ I love your work, he said. When I see and think about your “ Flight of Souls” piece, I get teary-eyed. I saw it after I lost someone special in my life, and it made me smile.”
When I started painting and sculpting again a few years ago, I did it for myself. I used art and creation as an escape. When I am creating, I cannot be in anything other than the present moment. Time evaporates when I work.
I never expected people to react to my work the way they do. I’m overwhelmed, humbled, and grateful.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
The first is living in the present moment with family and friends. It is all we have.
I am a big fan of Seneca:
“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing.”
Second is having the freedom to say, “No” to things that do not matter.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a self-taught painter and sculptor living and spending my time bouncing between Dallas, Austin, and New Braunfels Texas.
I work in a variety of mixed media, found objects and discarded artifacts (cans, wire, vintage frames, broken glass, etc.) I weld and create 3D metal sculptures of butterflies and flowers that leap out gilded frames or from distressed canvases. I try to “capture the subtleties and interplay of light and shadow,” and create a visual dialogue between the piece and the space it occupies.
At a very early age, I displayed “whole-brained” skills for music, art, business, and the engineering sciences. In my last year of high school I was offered a fine arts scholarship at a prominent east coast university but ultimately chose a business, technical, and entrepreneurial career path that began at NASA.
Humbled by collectors inquiring and purchasing works hanging in my home, I started painting and sculpting again a few years ago.
I donate sales proceeds to various local and national charitable organizations that make a defined social impact.
I believe the pull of my work is an ability to capture an emotion that awakens mindfulness. My cold steel welded figurative work and expressive mixed media and acrylic pieces capture the subtleties and interplay of light and shadow to create and amplify the tension between simplicity and complexity.
The juxtaposition of fine, flowing lines layered over fields of color calls attention to the cohesiveness of three dimensions, yet still leaves the viewer with their own interpretation. My process embraces calculation, chance, and spatial experimentation.
My pieces are anchored in empathy with themes of inhibition, flight, hope, water, nature, love, and music. I find that the greatest joys come from the confluence of mind, heart, and hand.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am blessed to spend much of my time during the year bouncing between Dallas, Austin, and (at the moment) New Braunfels. Since the New Braunfels area is top of mind:
1- Rent some tubes from Rockin’ R and spend the day floating down the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers.
2- Take a golf cart to the historic downtown of Gruene, and stop by the Gruene Dance Hall (circa 1878) for some live music and an ice-cold beer. Every famous country star has played at the Dance Hall.
3- Walk a few feet to the right of the dance hall and grab some food at the Grist Mill River Restaurant and Bar and insist my guest try one of their spicy margaritas made with Serrano peppers.
4- Go downtown New Braunfels, eat at Krause’s Cafe and a sample of their 100 beers and some of the best German Sausage around.
5- Top the week off with a couple of days of fishing and skiing on Canyon Lake, followed by a day at the River Walk in San Antonio and visits to contemporary art spaces like Blue Star Contemporary, Ruiz-Healy Art, and Art Pace.
In addition to the New Braunfels and San Antonio shout out mentions…….
Austin / Dallas /Nationally/Internationally – Cindy Lo – Founder and CEO – Red Velvet Events. Love the experiences they create. Cindy is one of the most innovative agency leaders in the country. RED VELVET is a global creative experience agency headquartered in Austin, TX. They create compelling human connections through insight, design and collaboration for brands on the cusp of disruption.
Austin – C.K Chin – C.K. Chin is a partner at popular Austin restaurants Swift’s Attic, Wu Chow Austin, and Native Hostel. He also has a hand in Hope Outdoor Gallery, a reimagined version of the popular Graffiti Park at Castle Hills with a new location near the Austin airport.
Follow C.K. on Instagram
Check out Hope Outdoor Gallery and experience amazing art in Austin. HopeOutdoorGallery
Experience the unique vibe and food at the popular Swift’s Attic Swift’s Attic
Try out Wu Chow Austin’s authentic, farm-fresh, modern Chinese food. Wu Chow Austin
New Braunfels – Check out this intimate art gallery: https://bspaceart.house
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
With all I have mentioned about the importance of having and maintaining a healthy mindset about failure, experimenting, and courage — my family and friends have always been my greatest fans.
My high school sweetheart and amazingly talented wife is my muse. I could never have accomplished all I have without her. She’s my north star of love, empathy, honesty, kindness, courage, temperance, wisdom, and creativity.