We had the good fortune of connecting with Nick Napoletano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nick, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I would attribute the vast majority of my success to the big “leaps of faith” I have taken throughout my career. When I was 20 years old I took all the money I had at the time and poured it into building and stretching a 8’x16’ canvas. I spent 2.5 months that summer in a donated warehouse space in Hartford Ct teaching myself how to oil paint using old master techniques I read in a book. You can literally see the technical progression from left to right. I was working like a mad man for 10-14 hours a day. When the piece was completed I drove it across the country with my father in a 26’ box truck to a gallery. The door wasn’t big enough to fit the piece so we had to remove a 100 year old window from the front of the building to get it in. The piece sold within 2 weeks and provided me with enough money to spend the next year painting full time. Without taking that risk I would not be where I am today. Every major jump in my career and personal life is marked with similar “risk taking” moments, jumping into the unknown with nothing but faith and a open heart and a knowingness that I will land on my feet. The giant “risks” are more often then not, met with rewards greater than I could ever fathom.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
All the work that I make, is impact driven, intimately considering the region/ setting the work is installed, and how to positively effect that location. The content in turn is site specific, often dealing with social, political issues, consciousness expansion, empathy, and finding the most concise ways to shift perspectives. I think when we shift focus away from ourselves and work to come up with dynamic solutions for others at scale, success becomes more tangible. Service to a larger cause and success seem to be married in my world, and allows me to better orient what feels true to me on a day to day basis.What excites me most is witnessing the impact on a community before and after an installation.
Retrospectively, it took a lot of time and focus to get to where I am today, however I would say that there is definitely an easier way to reach success than my own. That is not to say that I don’t think hard work isn’t a key component of the process. Conversely my advice to other creators is to first focus on how to bring yourself into full alignment with your values and your truth, clearing out anything from your field that isn’t true to you. What do you want to say and why? Make from a place of pure truth, hold the vision with unwavering focus and do not bend to do things that do not align with your morals and values. Bending will create tangential paths away from the success you actual desire
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Head to dairy block, grab some grub, check out the art in Rino, see if there is a show hosted by Invisible City or Red Rocks. Escape to the mountains and climb on some rocks.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My sister Marissa Napoletano @reveryart is one of the best artists in Denver. Give her a follow and go buy some of her work 🙂 Her work is both beautiful and thoughtful, often making pieces about her personal journey and how to make dynamic positive change in our world.
Facebook: Nick Napoletano