The Art of Lax Blog

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Archive for December 2010

“Excuses are like @$$holes. Everybody’s got one!”

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“Excuses are like a–holes, Taylor!  Everybody’s got one!” – Sgt. O’Neill (played by John C. McGinley in the 1986 movie “Platoon”)

“Snow-magedon”

“Snow-pocalypse”

“Snow-torious”

The snow-storm that recently hit the northeast after Christmas and literally buried NYC made me think of a lacrosse photo of mine.  The photo was taken back in 2007 when the post-collegiate lacrosse team that I help start became competitive in the American Lacrosse League.  Excited to be playing a very high-level of lacrosse each week, my mind was focused to one team in particular that always stood out – The New York Athletic Club a.k.a. “NYAC” or “The AC”.  I looked at their roster and each name (except for two) was a Div. I All-American in college, consisting of current/former Major League Lacrosse, National Lacrosse League players and have either tried out/made a U.S. National Team in the ILF World Games of Lacrosse.  I was soon going to find out what 4-years of art-school and earning a BFA in Communications Design, was going to get me on the lacrosse field facing this kind of talent.

“FAILURE to prepare, is a preparation for FAILURE” -John Wooden (Former basketball coach of UCLA. October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010)

The days leading up to the game I asked my friend, Drew Andreotti, to meet me at the turf field (Chelsea Waterside Park) on W. 23rd St. along the Westside Highway and shoot some lacrosse balls at me.  A heavy snow-storm the night before decided to hamper our plans but we decided to ‘screw that’ and go ahead regardless.  As I arrived to the field, Drew graciously labored well-ahead of time to clear out the snow for a goal crease and ample shooting space.

“Stick-side high” 8x

“Off-stick-side high” 8x

“Stick-side hip” 8x

…and so on and so forth with the goalie warm-up/shooting routine.  We braved the freezing elements and the harsh glare from the snow and ice called for a thick layer of eye-black.  To keep our sanity and for some laughs, I kept on screaming out loud “NYAAAACCCC!” to mimic the winter, outdoor training scene in “Rocky IV” where Rocky yells his opponent’s name of “Ivan Drago” after reaching the top of a mountain.  Before the training session ended Drew took out his cellphone and got a pic of the crazy, 1-hour experience.

The opening quote may be of poor taste, but it’s something I hear a lot of, even from my own mouth – excuses.  But the pic and the experience is a constant reminder that if something is important to you (whatever it is) you will make time for it.

 

 

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Written by theartoflax

December 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm

The GREATEST Risk Is Not Taking ONE.

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“The Greatest Risk Is Not Taking One” – American International Group (AIG)

Over the weekend I celebrated the 2nd birthday of The Art of Lax™.  The celebration did not have a cake with candles or party favors, and such, rather it consisted with a lot of reflection accompanied with a smile or 10.  :o)

In the Fall season of 2008, The Art of Lax™ was being built and slowly taking shape – 25 drawings, 5 paintings and a lot of sleepless nights “working and wondering” into the unknown.

“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.”– James Allen (author, “From Poverty to Power”)

On Dec. 18th 2008, I took those images and created the Facebook Group Page – “The Art of Lax™ – by Vincent Ricasio“.  Crossing the line and pushing the boundaries, I “invited” as many friends (mostly lacrosse related) on the group page, hoping that they might ‘spread the word’.  After that, it was back to a state of “wonder”.

The next day, Dec. 19th 2008, I received an email at exactly 10:04 a.m. requesting a specific reproduction print for a last minute Christmas present.  I did not have a website up, nor any way to take orders and make online transactions, but I didn’t care (at the moment) because I was excited to get a response within 24 hours from launching [it] to the public.  I printed and framed that customer’s email and it hangs next to my computer at home, where I stare at it to this day as a positive reminder.

(My first business/promo card)

I opened this post with a quote from an old AIG commercial in the late-90’s or early-2000’s that is a favorite of mine.  It combines footage of the “Space Race” along with a narration of lines from T.S. Elliot’s poem: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”.  It is a lesson and reminder that being scared is a realistic behavior when stepping into the “unknown”.  But The Art of Lax™ and entrepreneurship has taught me just that – risk, push, learn and REPEAT.

Written by theartoflax

December 20, 2010 at 3:29 pm

“The Elements of STYLE!”

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I still have that book from boarding school, also known as “Strunk & White” (William Strunk, Jr. & EB White), a guide for proper American English writing style.

I NEVER opened the book (the spine doesn’t have a crease) and it still sits on my bookshelf at home.

“Don’t look for a style.  Let if find you, again and again as it deepens and grows in richness, and as to your style, your friends will recognize it, you won’t, unless you stole someone else’s.  Style comes to you when it is ready and it comes as inevitably as sweat on a July day.” – Charles Goslin (Pratt Institute. Former professor of design. Feb 23, 1932 – May 16, 2007)

As an artist, the two questions I get the most are:

“Where do you get your style from?”

“What inspires you?”

I figured to somehow combine both art and lacrosse here, considering my two passions  I’m known for.  My artistic style comes from a variety of artists that I love.  I was fortunate to spend 3 years of my childhood growing up in Milan, Italy where I was able to see an abundance of original masterpieces up front.  You might be able to see the influence in my work(s).  The list of ARTISTS goes:

Leonardo Da Vinci (Italian. April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519)

Albrecht Durer (German. May 21, 1417 -April 6, 1528)

Vincent Van Gogh (Dutch. March 30, 1853 – July 29, 1890)

John Singer Sargent (American. January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925)

There are so many more artists but these are my top dawgs!

As far as an ATHLETE. This is where it gets interesting!

Scott Bacigalupo (American, Goalie. Princeton University 1991-1994)

Mike Richter (American, Goalie. New York Rangers 1989-2003)

Lighting quick reflexes, aggressive, acrobatic and flexible!

Mix all contents in a bowl.  Stir frequently.  The final product(s) should look something like the following:

Art:

Lacrosse:

Inspiration and style comes from a multitude of things.  From Leornardo’s invention drawings, Van Gogh’s vibrant use of color, Bacigalupo’s unorthodox execution to Richter’s gymnast-style of flexibility – the more, the better.  But getting points for STYLE is not enough.  I’m constantly reminded how HARD these famous artists and decorated athletes had to WORK, growing their craft and expertise – and that is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect! As for that book, “The Elements of Style” maybe I can sell it to buy much needed art supplies and/or lacrosse equipment.

Written by theartoflax

December 9, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Creating “Run & Gun”

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In the past months, I’ve been getting numerous feedback/requests for a “team” piece.  So after doing a new Face-Off piece, titled Down-Set(see below), named after the words coming from the ref starting the first play of a lacrosse game, I realized [it] is a “team” sport after all!

I wanted to display the power of offense in speed, determination and intimidation.  The words “Run & Gun” came to mind and as a goalie, the offense I respect and fear the most, is the one that doesn’t settle and slow the ball down.  Believe that!

In my opinion, the best shooters – shoot on the run and hide their stick.  Equipped with these off-set heads and “feather-weight” shafts, these shooters can swing it like golf clubs!

I wanted to have the stick “off-the-hip” not giving away a hint of a high or low shot being released.  These players are the “creative ones”, who can change planes at the last second.

To finish the “team” characteristic, I added a defensive player – LSM or close defenseman about to get beat.  The finished piece is here:

Just in case there are those who still like the “individual” factor, I still kept you in mind. :o)

Written by theartoflax

December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Posted in Art, Lacrosse