Some people realize they are good at something early on in life. As a kid, Tony had two passions; wheelies and art. He realized that he sucked at wheelies but was mediocre at art. After taking a few too many slams trying to work on his wheelie skills, he quickly learned that art didn’t hurt as bad.
With encouragement from his family and friends, Tony began to draw and paint on anything he could get his grubby hands on. Paper led to canvas; canvas led to plywood; plywood led to bridges and overpasses; bridges and overpasses led to the sides of buildings; and sides of buildings led to trouble.
In an attempt to keep Tony on track, his parents bought him an airbrush. While working his degree in graphic design and entrepreneurship from Western Carolina University, in his spare time he worked on his wheelies and learning the ins and outs of this newly acquired tool. Again, everything he could get his still-grubby hands on was getting painted; and by no means was everything a masterpiece, but every mistake turned into a lesson learned.
In 2010, he finished school, boxed up the airbrush and took a couple of years to bounce around between Asheville, NC and Steamboat Springs, CO. It wasn’t until 2012 when he was hired by Specialized Bicycle Components, that he unpacked his airbrush set. He picked up right where he left off, painting everything… again. It wasn’t long before his work began getting noticed, and one project led to another.
Tony’s two passions have stayed with him throughout his journey, but he still sucks at wheelies.