Antoine Tavaglione AKA ‘TAVA’ is a Canadian visual artist with a signature style in pop art. He works with various mediums, from canvas to huge murals and brand collaborations. TAVA is today’s Notable Young Professional.
Attention Montréal! Visit a Denim DIY workshop with #Tava at Carrefour Laval Saturday March 25th 2pm-4pm.
Do you know where you got your drive from?
I was always pretty self-driven and motivated as a person. I’ve had jobs in many different creative fields, but one thing was always the same: I love to produce high quality work, and making the client happy while keeping my artistic integrity. Furthermore, reinventing myself has always been integral to my drive.
How do you stay self-motivated?
They key for me is to treat the flexibility of my schedule not as a perk of what I do, but as a privilege. So, I wake up early every morning, go to the gym, stop for coffee, and head to the studio or client meeting right away, no matter what. Being your own boss is great, but you have to be disciplined and excited about what you do in order to keep grinding every day!
What would you say is your preferred way to network?
Lately, I have been immersed in my creative universe quite a bit. That’s how I am able to produce art in the most consistent manner, and meet all my deadlines! To compensate for being a little less present on the scene, I stay in touch via social networks, giving my followers sneak peaks of what I am creating in studio and a taste of my daily routine outside of creating art. One thing I won’t compromise on is my presence in charity events. I find meeting people in those circumstances always gives a positive spin to the introductions, since we are all rallying behind a good cause and great intentions.
How would you describe your process for deepening relationships?
From a business standpoint, it is important for me to build a relationship with people that have been loyal to me or that strongly believe in my work. I go above and beyond in order to make them feel valued, while maintaining an impeccable level of service. From a social standpoint, I keep my work separate from my life, meaning that it is not imposed on anyone. I don’t have to hang out exclusively with people who do art also! In fact, most of my friends hold ambitious corporate jobs, so does my fiancée, and their day to day is quite different than mine. That is, for me, what makes the dialogues and exchanges even more interesting. We find parallels between our day to day, our clients, our daily struggles and wins, and that brings us closer together.
What are your preferred tools for keeping organized?
In my field, it is difficult not to accumulate material, as I must always be ready to create something new with what I have at my disposition in order not to hinder my creative process but also to ensure swift deliveries to my clients. Shelving is quit important for me as I can get a clear visual of where all my materials are. Also, a big part of keeping organized is to avoid procrastination. I try to leave my studio guest-ready every day when I leave.
What is your favourite way to market your product or services?
Social network has obviously been a great tool for me, since I enjoy it so much. Also, I exhibit in galleries on an international level, thus enjoying a diverse visibility. I am currently represented by Galerie LeRoyer in Montreal, and they are doing a great job at showcasing my work. Also, collaborations with important local and international players in media, fashion, trends and so one affords me a way to create a certain brand awareness, also while giving me credibility. After that, I am a big believer in the fact that your business practices and attitude speaks for itself and that people value honesty and respect. Raw talent is not enough to make it on the international art scene – you have to be a person people will want to collaborate with to get called back!
Who has been your mentor in helping you find success?
I never had one specific mentor. As a pop artist, I truly feed off the public. Their likes and dislikes guide my way, and I take my cues and adapt myself according to what people respond best to. Many specific individuals have influences me over the years, artists and non-artists alike. I can admire and inspire myself of one person’s determination, another one’s cunning business strategy, another one’s amazing social media skills, and another one’s involvement in giving back to the society. In consolidating all that I admire in my peers and friends, I believe that I am better predisposed to achieve success!
What social issue does your organization raise funds and/or awareness for?
Every year I donate artworks to charities. I also paint live during charity events, or donate directly. This year, to name a few, I have been a part of initiatives by the Montreal Cardiology Institute, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Dr Julien Foundation. Children are a cause that is very close to my heart. I have a 4 year-old nephew I adore, and I want to have kids of my own one day. I strongly believe that, when given the opportunity to have a voice, I should use mine to help children.
How and where do you continue to learn?
I see inspiration everywhere, I really do. Whether in my daily life, in my culture (I am a proud Italian!), or while travelling, I often get some “ah-ah” moments, that end up being my very best pieces. The art scene worldwide is super exciting for new inspiration as well. Also, kudos to my Montreal peers, what they do really inspires me to think out of the box and try new techniques, mediums and styles. Also, I am very auto-critical. They say you learn from your mistakes – I tend to analyze the flaws in my work right up until I know they won’t happen again!
Do you have a fitness ritual that you live by?
I wake up at 7am every day of the week and head to the gym for about 1h 15min before hitting the studio. It gives me energy for the day and allows me to eat pizza for lunch if I want to ☺
How do you feed your soul?
Travelling is my soul food. I really enjoy discovering new sights or revisiting some favorites of mine. It helps me grow, feel refueled and I come back home with renewed passion and inspiration.
How would you describe the eating ritual that makes you feel most powerful?
Does coffee count? Having a nice creamy cappuccino is how I start my workday. It gives me a little slice of the Italian dolce vita before I get to work.
Who is your favourite personality to follow on YouTube?
I enjoy watching and listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast while I paint. He discusses informative and entertaining subjects that I like, such as mixed martial arts and politics. It’s the perfect work soundtrack.
What type of content do you find most compelling on Instagram?
I really enjoy sneaker feeds and art feeds. Like I said, I find my inspiration from everywhere, and I love to buy new shoes ☺
Who is your favourite artist?
Keith Haring always makes me feel happy. Pure happiness emanating from art is a real gift.
What is your favourite meal?
Pasta, of course! In Puglia, the region my family comes from in Italy, we are famous for Strascinati (pasta shaped like little hats!), served with a side of stuffed eggplant in tomato sauce. That seals the deal for me!
What is your favourite sport to watch?
Mixed Martial Arts.
Where is your favourite place to unwind?
On the couch, at home, with my fiancée and my puppy!