We had the good fortune of connecting with John D’Acquisto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
When you think of balancing your type of artwork to appease the customer/ clientele it is extremely important to find the proper subject to attract business. It’s like who are you drawing or painting for, you or your customer base? If you find the right balance and people like what you do then your business will be successful because you have found your niche’ people like. It is not fun being a starving artist with overhead you need to balance your approach as an artist and a business person who recognizes what is good or wrong for your business, like you may price your works too high. You need to find the balance and flexibility with your pricing. Then balancing your life to your family is important. Immersing yourself in your work and forgetting you have a family is not the proper balance. You need to change as they change and grow with you together to be successful. Balance is when everyone is on board for the same purpose a successful outcome and approach. My artwork has changed in many different ways through inspiration of different subject matter. As the world turns so does my artwork. I try to approach my artwork with the purpose to make my clients happy. Remember they are buying a piece of art you created., and they are hanging it in their home or business, and balance is extremely important.
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.
My artwork done in a digital format with Microsoft Visual Studio Sketch Pad, iPad, Adobe Sketch, Adobe Line, Adobe illustrator, and a stylus called Adobe Ink and Slide and IPen with IPad Pro and IPad Pro Procreate. As well as standard mediums Acrylic pen, watercolor paints, pencil. I use a number of different mediums to achieve my artwork pieces. That is what makes my artwork unique. It is all depending on what I want or feel in my presentations. I might do pen on one piece and pencil on another or both on another for effect. Then I just might take and color the piece later. It all depends on the piece and were my mood is at the time. That’s the fun part of being the artist. My brand is very popular right now because I do very different types of artwork with different subject. We talked about balance earlier well it is important in my opinion to be different in creative flow to achieve a piece of art. I get requests for a lot of art in sports. Requests from players and fans as well. They will request a piece of art and I will create it for them to their specifications. Kind of different because usually the art purchaser is not the one to dictate to the artist in most circumstances it is the artist creating the piece then the client purchasing it. So that give me another flexible portion to be creative on commissioned pieces. I do wild life pictures, Sports figures , abstract pieces, Italian themed pieces, Indian art, cowboy and cowgirls of the west Themes, horses, and pretty much anything that catches my eye at that time. I love the challenge of creation in art and inspiration that cause the creation. It keeps you young and always thinking. It makes you ask the constant question of what can I do next. Then you do a piece and it is different than the other pieces you have been doing. In my 14 years of being an artist I can actually say that I have never done a piece and repeated it. All of my pieces are original pieces.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well that’s a great question but not for this time with COVID-19 running ramped; but I do have some favorite spots to take friend too. First a trip to Arizona is not complete with a little tourism to the Grand Canyon., a trip to Sedona and Jerome which can be fun and a very scenic drive lots of great ideas for artwork too. Maybe a little two night stay in Flagstaff for a little bar hopping which is always a hoot and also to get some ideas for my artwork. When the restaurants are running at full steam we have a few we really like to take our family and friends too. The Cave Creek area is a great trip and you can’t go there without visiting one of the best old time restaurants called the Horney Toad; which has been around for 40 years and everyone always asks if we can go there to have their smoking’ fried chicken dinner. We also like to take our friend to Scottsdale for one of my favorite runs and that is the artsy side of my favorite place which is Old Scottsdale with all the art shops. Also to show them one of the best historical monuments in Arizona Called the Rusty Spur. My brother in law said he could stay there all day and it was Ok. It is a fun spot to hang with the locals most of whom I knew from my ball player days Old ranchers and good solid people to have a great time with. You might even see a horse or two come through the Rusty Spur to sing for you on Christmas holiday season with Gary Sprague and his trusty horse “Dusty” who likes to drink a beer or two on the job from the patrons….We also have a local pizzeria Italian restaurant family owned here in Phoenix called Oreganos. Great pizza and a great presentation. We also like Maggiano’s in North Scottsdale with a Chicago flare and great meals fixed like home cooking. I can’t forget my good friends at Guido’s Chicago Meat & Deli this is a real treat and be sure you get the fried Calamari it is to die for. A man that knows Italian what great food he has, great sandwiches and pastas his bread is fresh and a great deli too. One of our true hidden secrets that everyone locally knows about especially the ball players. Now for a great steak we go to the The Stockyards Steak House in Phoenix. I have been going there since I played ball here in Phoenix for the Giants back in the 70’s , what a great presentation aged to perfection and a great wine list. There is a lot of history at the Stockyards Restaurant and you will not be disappointed. They best Italian though is at my house lasagna, ravioli, Rigatoni Pene, Spaghetti pasta and my best Sicilian steak BBQ’ed to perfection. And start off of Prosciutto and Mellon. I guess that about covers that.
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?
I would like to thank everyone who told me that my work was good enough that people asked me to buy it. Major League Baseball gave me the opportunity to achieve and present my work. They also inspired me in my career as a player as well as an artist. My wife Sharon was a big part of my support line and encouraged me to do my work. The encouragement I received from people was unbelievable. First of all you have to realize you really have something to show in your creations. I also want to thank Christopher Paluso and Gene Locklear who are very successful creative artist’s in their own right. Their coaching conversations and instruction were valuable to me in being more professional and creative in my particular type of mediums I use and also to my friend who I spent 6 of my career years in baseball as a San Francisco Giants player was a gentleman and fine artists by the name of Dennis Desprois who I believe we inspired each other in our work and have been friends for 50 years, go figure. I spend lots of time with my friend Dennis. He gave my lots of great inspirational Ideas on colors and contrasting. Lastly my daughter Danica who is an artist who inspired me by telling me to go for it Dad express yourself be you.