We had the good fortune of connecting with Gianna Tesone and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gianna, what role has risk played in your life or career?
In my line of work, risk is everything. I gave up fitting into a social norm to pursue a life of unyielding uncertainty to create beauty in a society where success is defined by monetary value. Even though I am willing, does not mean I don’t face fears and doubts about who I am or what I’m doing; however, just because the fear is there doesn’t mean it’s true. But it’s because I live outside of comfort and complacency that I see results and experience purpose in what I do. And this doesn’t just go for my artist career – it rings true for every day life. Confidently taking risks is equivalent to failing forward. There is no more fear in failure for me because this precious life is too short to waste on pondering the “what ifs”. This path I chose is always in flux, uncertain and maybe irrational and unconventional, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s exciting and always keeps me on my toes. To be creative in any capacity and in any field is to walk in your true design and calling as a human being – growing, changing, imperfect, and always beautifully in progress.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a creative through and throughout and my artwork is merely one extension of my creative being. I am an abstract-expressionist painter. Yes, I let my work bleed into other areas of my life (aka most of my clothes and carpets are paint-stained) and think, talk, breathe art and art-making, but I live creatively through my athletic career, relationships, and other areas of my life.
I have been both an artist and athlete for as long as I can remember and kept the two worlds separate until I recently graduated college. I realized that my unique strength lies in this crossover of seemingly opposite realms, as there is an unmatched power in diversity. The human body in itself is a divine work of art, and I have been fortunate enough to directly explore this concept firsthand. Inspired by the natural world and human form/function, I express cognitive emotion, concept, theory and thought through bold gestures of paint on the canvas, while I express physical strength, power and endurance with my own body. Both require consistent hours of mindfulness, intentionality, diligence, tenacity, and patience. I believe that where I am as a professional today is because of how these two beautifully different areas complemented each other.
Being a collegiate sprinter was anything but leisurely or enjoyable; pursuing a career as an artist is anything but secure and predictable. But, both incredibly life giving and rewarding. I drew inspiration, work ethic and passion from both to become the woman I am today. I wouldn’t trade any of the adversity – rejection, injury, disappointments – for anything. It is all the more reason I keep going, to become the best version of myself and inspire others to do the same.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My go to spot is Little Italy. There is always something going on and never a dull moment with the wide variety of restaurants and people in the area. Both tourists and locals come here to hang out so the atmosphere is laid back but alive with excitement. Morning Glory is my favorite brunch spot being an open-patio/rooftop concept with amazing food and the most interesting and eye-catching interior design. Can never go wrong with the Soufflé pancakes. The Farmer’s Market is always a must. People flood Date Street to try samples from the best local food vendors and artisans..
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?
To my undergrad professors at Point Loma Nazarene University. Dave, Lael and Kelsey, who remain my mentors to this day, thank you for everything and how you continue to inspire me to be a better artist and woman.