We had the good fortune of connecting with David Trulli and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, how do you think about risk?
I’ve taken a lot of risks over the years, whether they were career, personal, artistic, physical or emotional. I’ve changed careers, changed my style of living, took on debt to run a business, and more. In my art and creative endeavors risk taking is essential, even when I fail – perhaps especially when I fail. It’s in failure that I learn so much about myself and my art. It’s not that I’m so brave, it just seems to be my natural approach. In my mind, there’s a place I want to be, and only one pathway to it. This approach can lead to trouble sometimes, leaving me to have to improvise to get out of a jam. When I was younger, I had a tendency to burn my bridges behind me. The upside of this is it will keep you moving forward, the downside could mean you fall off a cliff. In spite of everything, I consider myself a careful person and physical risks like skydiving hold little interest for me. One exception is that I used to race cars – an activity that I felt I had some control over…and a protective roll cage for when I lost that control. I like to research my options and try to make an educated guess as to whether the risk will reward me or not. Risk is a serious thing, and I like to prepare so I can hopefully increase my odds of success. Even with research and consideration, failure is always possible. That possibility can be paralyzing if you focus on it, but it makes the reward seem greater knowing that things could’ve gone poorly. I have another big lifestyle change planned: moving out of the country for a number of years. There are so many questions that can only be answered once I’ve made the move, but I still prepare and learn what I can from others. It’s a goal that drives me forward and I look forward to the myriad challenges I will face. Like all the risks I’ve taken, it will force me to step up and deal with new obstacles, to persevere at times when life isn’t working out, and ultimately reveal things to me about myself. In general, I think risk taking keeps me energized and keeps life interesting, but ultimately I’ve always seen the risks taken as the only avenue to my own personal happiness.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I work in scratchboard, starting with a white clay-coated board, covered with black ink. Fine knives are used to delicately scrape the ink away, creating the image. Working in black and white, I leave it to the viewer to fill in the colors, as well as the emotions, motivations and stories of the characters within. Before dedicating all my time to my art, I worked as a cinematographer. Cinema has a deep influence in my work. Each piece is like a single frame from a movie, giving no real clue as to what has and will take place. Raymond Chandler once said, “You can never know too much about the shadow line and the people who walk it.” I believe that we all walk this line, in the shadows cast by the technology of the modern age.
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.
Some of my favorite spots are already on most tourists lists. Visiting the Griffith Observatory any time of day is breath-taking. The architectural design of the building always fascinates me. I’ll ride my bike through the closed streets of Griffith Park for a nice workout and end up there. Along the way there are great views of the city and the valley, as well as encounters with the local wildlife: coyotes, deer, rabbits, etc. Of course, watching the sunset over the city from the Observatory, and the sparkling city at night, is not to be missed. Another thing I like to do is to find a local coffee shop and watch the world go by (look in one of the older parts of town, there’s more to see).
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?
My wife deserves so much credit for supporting me and putting up with my wacky ideas!