Q1: Before you introduce yourself and the type of work you are in, can you possibly share what we missed out on from your progress in 2011, events, commissions, projects etc?
A: I’ve been putting the finishing touches on a few pieces digital and the traditional work. My name is Salvatore Graci. I paint oil on panel using photographs as my reference. The photographs are basically a photo montage, a combination of a few photographs I’ve shot that are combined to form one image.
Q2: When did you realize your art was important, that your art was what you wanted to do, did anyone influence you, existing digital or traditional artists?
A: I’ve always drawn for fun but it wasn’t till my second college semester that I decided to switch to an art major. My professor was very supportive of my work. I studied at the School Of Visual Arts in NYC. Michael Deas was one of my instructors there and he was my biggest influence. I just loved his work and wanted to paint like him.
Q3: Can you explain what your main tools are in creating your art?, and also would you encourage others to update their equipment or master what they have before taking on something new – is the need to update equipment or software programs important in order to producing art?
A: My camera and my oil paints and brushes are my main tools. Newer cameras are always being made available. I tend to buy a new one every three years. I get one with a higher pixel resolution each time. The higher the resolution the more detail you will get in your images. Traditional art supplies are the same from year to year and thereby not needing an update. You may switch from a cheaper oil paint to a more expensive one.
Q4: Everyone endures a long or short process of learning and adapting, as well as the ability of mixing up styles from existing tutorials. How was your experience of learning your own art? And what would you suggest to others who are trying to learn of their own ‘art’?
A: It took me years to evolve my style. But for me, it was taking classes and just doing it. I have the good fortune of working in an art studio for someone well known. Here I paint 40 plus hours weekly. It is here and being around many gifted artists that I made my biggest leaps in my work. Several years earlier, I worked in the retouch department of a publishing company. Here is where I worked with Photoshop, colour correction.
Q5: How would you describe the important elements of creating ‘art’? Is it important to create a guide or notes of what to do and what not to do when you begin the long process of creating an art piece?
A: Inspiration and motivation are two important elements in creating art. For me, a beautiful model, a beautiful landscape or something as simple as an egg inspires me. I don’t have a guide; the process is always the same.
Q6: It is very common to endure the ‘struggles’ and the ‘weight’ of art around you, what were the struggles that you encountered and how would you suggest to others on how to cope with it?
A: The struggles and the weight are the same for every artist. It’s getting your work seen, gallery representation, and selling your work. I paint what I think is beautiful, but I understand art is a business. I believe successful artists are also good business men. If I have 20 images to paint, I’m aware of the weaker images and put them aside for the stronger ones. I will go back and rework them. This is the frustrating part of my work.
If I give it enough time I will figure it out what I need to add or change. Time is the answer.
Q7: Besides the current field of work you are in, do you have anything outside that you would like to share with us? Any other future plans that don’t involve creative art?
A: My other big passion is travel. I would like to see the world, one country at a time.
Q8: A few artists go by a quote or a motto to keep reminding them selves to work hard and think positive if they are to encounter ‘a bad day’. So are there any words you want to share out to others that may inspire them to work hard and continue working. An inspirational quote to motivate others?
A: ”Every artist was first an amateur” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
My favourite and the one I have hanging in my studio, “I am still learning” –Michelangelo
Q9: Any predictions of what the future holds for art?
A: Given the state of the economy, I’d rather not say. In a bad economy, art is the first thing to suffer. I fear selling art will be hardest for the non-traditional artist.
Q10: I’m sure you have sites you would like to share with us of your work, so please do share them with us here for fans and followers to keep an update of your progress.
A: I’m in the process of building a new site for my new work but for now you can find my older work here http://www.salvatoregraci.com/index.html
or my newer work at
Q11: Last year I asked a question regarding ‘art theft’ this year will be no different. Do you have anything you would like to share out regarding ‘art theft’ and maybe also shed some light on what artists should do when exposing their art work on the vast world of the internet.
A: I don’t have experience in this area. By art theft are we talking about someone downloading art and reselling it, repainting your art and selling it as their own, taking elements of your art and using it in theirs or stealing a painting out of your studio?
I can only say, get a lawyer.
Q12: I didn’t get the chance to include this question for 2011, so here it is for you. Everyone has their own opinions regarding the meaning of art, or the definition of art. Any chance we can hear what you think art is from you?
A: It is too broad and too long an answer and so I will narrow it down to “Art is everywhere.”
Q13: And finally for the last question to round off our interview, ‘a picture says a thousand words’ or ‘tell a story’ out of your current portfolio, do you have one that you favour the most and why? Is there a subliminal message within your work?
A: I don’t have a favourite; whatever I’m working on is my favourite. But the underlying theme of my work is freedom.
Q14: Ok so this is optional, just out of curiosity what annoys you the most in your field of work? Do you get a lot of requests on art collabs, interviews, features etc?
A: Big egos.