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Meet Gregg Visintainer of Viz Art Ink in Carlsbad

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gregg Visintainer.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Always doodled in middle school and high school. I use to hide different items inside the artwork such as pictures or words that would relate to what was going around me. Doodling was my way to pass time in class and I enjoyed it.

College wasn’t for me and never went to art school. I didn’t think much about art until I was 24 and decided to see where it could go. In 2007 I decided to start selling my artwork at local farmers markets and events throughout San Diego, I haven’t stop since. My style is hand drawn, pen and ink, with hidden pictures and words that relate to each theme. Pieces take me 50-80 hours to draw and create about 8-10 pieces a year.

In 2013, I opened the Viz Art Gallery in downtown Carlsbad where I feature 20 local artists. It is my homebase where I create and sell my art. Favorite part about the gallery is I get to bring unique artists that I find throughout my journey and sell their art. My gallery has a wide range of local art – jewelry, metal sculptures, paintings, photography, glass and much more.

These last ten years have been crazy from participating in over 1,000 art events and shows to working with some of the best businesses in the industry. I have worked with some of my favorites companies such as DC Shoes, Falken Tires, Grateful Dead, Disney, U.S. Navy, Marines and many others. I have been able to speak at schools, colleges and businesses to share my artwork and story. I am also a TEDx speaker so helping in the community and reaching out to the youth is a big part of my business. I think it is important to be a part of the community especially in the art industry. This is not an easy industry so I do what I can to help.

My journey has been about sacrifice, taking risks, learning, teaching, trying new things, working hard and never stopping. I found something I truly love and never want it to stop. I can’t wait to see where the next ten years are for me and my artwork.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, I don’t know any artist who has it easy especially in the first couple of years. There is nothing easy about the art industry. You truly have to love what you do if you want a career as an artist. I use to sleep in my car when I would travel to do art events because I didn’t have enough money for a hotel. Setting up and breaking down my booth everyday so I could “sell” my art was always a struggle for me due to my bad back. Hardest part was when I didn’t sell anything and lost money and time due to show fees and expenses. The drive home from a bad show was when I would start questioning my career choice. My first three years I was doing over 200 shows and markets a year. Many of those shows I didn’t make much money, if any. Since 2007 I have been able to participate in over 1000 events. I stuck though it and figured out which shows worked best for me and started working smarter and not harder.

I still struggle today but it is a different type of struggle. Now that I have established myself and able to sleep in hotels when I travel there are always new challenges and obstacles that arise. I’ve learned to save my money during peak season so it is easier in slow season. I don’t think the money concerns will ever go away as a business but I’ve learned how to manage it. Working with over 20 artists and running a gallery is a job in itself. Each year I am getting better at finding balance while finding time to draw and spending time with family.

Struggles are everywhere but it is the people who stick it out who get to the top. I would like to say I am half way there to the top.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Viz Art Ink – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My business has many different moving parts as most do. I currently own a gallery, participate in 24 art shows a year, licensed artist with Disney, TEDx speaker, travel most of the year and have a family. There is never downtime in my business.

My gallery is typically where I am during the week if I am not traveling. I love being there because it has become my sanctuary. I have surrounded myself with artists and artwork that make me smile. I love my job and creating art. I get to travel, meet people and see new inspiration all the time.

I am known for my art, Viz Art Ink. My style is hand drawn with hidden pictures and words relating to each theme. I have been developing my style for over 18 years and doing it professionally for ten years. I am most proud of being able to overcome my obstacles and demons while turning my artwork into a business. Growing up my doodles and art was my journey, very personal. I hated writing as a kid so I would draw instead and express my feeling through art. I now know how to channel that into something special. I am proud of how far I have come and still have a lot to learn.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My future is to keep creating and inspiring. I would like to move my business inside a warehouse in the next couple of years where I can do bigger art events and create a place to create for many artists. I want to work with more companies and keep growing my brand. I have many things I want to do so I have to figure out which step is next.

I am looking forward to see where is all goes. I am 33 and still have a lot to do.

Pricing:

  • My artwork prints and products are between $5-$325, originals are more.
  • Artists in our gallery is typically between $5-$500. Priced for everyone!

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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