Artist Profile: Tony Saladino

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Tony Saladino has work displayed at Southwest Gallery. He holds critiques and workshops to share his craft with other artists in Dallas. To see more of his work, visit the gallery at 4500 Sigma Road.

WHAT TYPE OF ART DO YOU DO?

I paint and I make prints. Most of the work I do now is abstract, where I use elements from the landscape, figures or still life to make a visual statement about how I see the work or how I think the world might be. I rely on my imagination to try to convey to a viewer what I’m trying to say about the world or an idea I have by using the paint, color and all of the elements of design to attract an eye to my small opportunity to communicate something.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?

I started years ago when a friend gave me a set of paints that he wasn’t using anymore. I was unhappy doing what I had been doing, so this was perfect for me. I began slowly at first, but more and more, I began to develop my art by doing both handmade original prints and paintings. I even did some sculpture along the way.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST FUN PIECE TO CREATE?

The most fun piece is usually one where I see the freedom that I’ve expressed and the fluidity that I have when I let myself “just do it” – putting the worry aside and expressing what I have to offer. It’s when I worry about the work and don’t accept that what I have to offer is valid that the work becomes worrisome.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR BUDDING ARTISTS?

I hold critiques and workshops and usually tell anyone just starting out to be honest. This, of course, applies to everything in life, but too often we think that to succeed we need to be or become someone other than who we really want to be. I’ve come to learn that the truth is exactly the opposite.

It’s only when we pursue our passion that we become a fulfilled person. It is in the becoming, as with painting it’s in the “process,” that we have fun and produce work that is honest and usually our best work. When we try to be someone else, we lose the great opportunity to be unique.

I used to find it hard to believe that whatever I am was enough. Today, although I work and study to improve, I know that I have within me – as does every other person – the ability to be unique. I am inspired by the successes of others and try to learn from them, but I know that I have all I need to do good work for a higher purpose.

-By Addison Magazine

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