We had the good fortune of connecting with Tory DiPietro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tory, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
the most important lesson I have learned from starting and running my business as an independent artist is that anything is possible when you simply refuse to quit. Prior to pursuing my dream of being a professional full time artist I had accepted that my life would forever be a product of circumstance and the range of possibility for my achievements in this world were slim. In doing the work of staying committed to my art and my business no matter the circumstances trails and failures I have managed to achieve things quite literally beyond my wildest dreams. Possibly even more importantly my business and career have affirmed my true life’s purpose and taken my life from one of depression and struggle to great joy, excitement, and continued adventure and growth. My career and business fulfill me in ways I never thought were possible and leave me living in a perpetual state of extreme gratitude regardless of the hardships and tribulations that come with running them.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an independent self taught artist. I would have to say what I am most proud of about my career and my work is how I carved and continue to pave my own lane in the Arts. My road to success has been very unconventional and much more self ran than most who experience the success I have. I have no real representation, management, degrees or anything of the sort. However my work is made from the heart and soul, it speaks for itself, and holds it own in a world that typically demands one to come from a background of privilege to hold a voice in. I have sold over 200 original works in a little over three years time, have had my work featured in museums, pop up exhibitions, music videos, and more, all of which is very out of the norm for someone with my background. The challenges I have overcome to get to where I am at this point in my life and career are more than enough to fill a *few* books. It has been incredibly challenging. I have failed, I have lost, I have cried and wanted to quit, I have ran out of money, If it was hard and painful I probably experienced it, but every bit worth it to get to where I am today. I have learned more lessons than I could really try to briefly list or summarize in this time pursing my art career, but that alone is one of the greatest blessings of chasing your dreams. I have grown and learned more in the last 3.5 years than all my life prior combined and I now live a life of purpose and wake up every day excited to see whats new I can learn today and what challenges and opportunities the universe has in store for me. I want the world to know that I was an underdog- I was never supposed to have the success I have had, and if I can do it, so can they. My brand represents the underdogs of society. Whether that be women, minorities, the brokenhearted, the LGBT community, trauma survivors, the “nerd” in school, Everyone who was told they cant, my brand is here to show you why that isn’t true.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Gosh growing up in LA my taste is probably a little different than people who have recently found themselves here. I love a quiet getaway which makes me reluctant to even share my favorite hideaways but I will I love nature and plants so two of my favorite places are actually on the east side in the SGV where I partly grew up – the Los Angeles Arboretum & the Huntington Library. I would hit up Vroman’s in old town pasadena which is the oldest existing bookstore in Southern California. Pre covid enjoying a cappuccino while checking out my new books was one of my most favorite activities. I am local to Venice and most often frequent the Fruit Gallery on Westminster at the Boardwalk, one of my original neons is on display there and it is independently owned by a woman which is always a great thing to support. I am pretty reclusive and don’t truly go out much but if there were a Hello Stranger L.A. event I will happily venture out for that. Angela the owner and founder puts on events unlike anything I have experienced outside of family and close friend gatherings. Hello stranger is themed around community and culture and you feel it in every event they put on. Some great L.A. people to support and look out for I would have to say are Bella Dona LA a brand owned by independent female Angelenos, one of my favorite photographers is always worth a little of anyones time found on instagram @la_reflections and my friends SpaceFace Music.
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?
the neon community, the producer for my project “light at the end of the tunnel- heart of LA” Adolfo Nodal, my collectors, my early supporters-, Hello Stranger LA, my social media followers and fans. But most importantly myself. At the end of the day you are really the only one that can decide to make your dreams your reality. At the end of the day the biggest thank you you owe anyone is yourself . Its you who pushes through all the hardships, all the failures, and has to show up no through thick and thin, no one else is going to do all that for you and that is really the foundation to your success,
Other: @lightattheendofthetunnel.la (instagram) my current public art project at the third street tunnel in downtown LA