Lacrosse is an incredible sport that allows players more opportunities than just playing. This website is a perfect example of how Matt and I turned our passion for lacrosse into a separate part of our lives. There are lots of people that have done the same thing with different avenues. One person that has really directed their passion into amazing creations is Vinnie Ricasio, or The Art of Lax. His talent for drawing is only rivaled by his love for lacrosse and appreciation of the wonderful game.
Drawing, and creating art about athletes, has taken Vinnie from an average doodler to a renowned artist. Vinnie’s art has allowed him to turn his passion into a lifestyle and he has worked with many impressive companies. Some of his most impressive clients include Nike, The MLL, Sports Illustrated, and The Tewarraton Award. I was lucky enough to get in contact with Vinnie to hear his story and now I’m happy to share it with you. Hopefully, some of you can use his story as inspiration for you to find your own niche that you can use to fuel your passion for lacrosse in other ways.
Taking Lacrosse Outside The Lines
For Vinnie and so many others, Lacrosse is only one of his passions. He was an artist before becoming a player, but both are part of who he is. Like many of us who play lacrosse, Vinnie wanted a way to combine the two and luckily he was able to do so successfully. During art school, he decided that he would pursue drawing a history of lacrosse that was criticized heavily by his professor. Despite the adversity, Vinnie remained true to his passion and was able to establish his company. This company is completely powered by his art, which also includes depictions of athletes in many sports. I wanted to understand his company and the man behind it after seeing his art in many places, so I reached out. Vinnie was extremely nice and completely committed to helping me get a better understanding of The Art of Lax.
Passion Along With Pride
What really impressed me most about Vinnie is how seriously he takes his art. I loved how he compared his consistent drawing to wall ball and how he uses it to stay sharp. While it is not only very enjoyable, it is also incredibly useful for his skill. Regular maintenance and upkeep on yourself as a player as well as an artist is very important. Anytime you want to be better at something you have to stay committed to it and practice often. This is exactly why Vinnie consistently works on his craft and stays competitive with his art.
It’s All In The Approach
Along with a tireless work ethic, Vinnie also values staying sharp and having the right attitude. He approaches each piece much like he approaches playing in a game. Excitement along with some nervousness is the norm for Vinnie when he works. He also said, “In lacrosse, or any sport, you’re only as good as the last game you’ve played. In art, I’m only as good as the last piece I finished, whether it’s for myself, or for a paying client.” This attitude is exactly what has propelled Vinnie to the top. He has the connections, experiences, and life he wants because of this mentality. His biggest competition is himself and he always intends to be competitive with himself.
Lacrosse Becoming Life
While Vinnie has become a successful artist with a still improving career, his success isn’t what he values most. Vinnie believes that his art is his way of giving back to a game that has given him so much. A great deal of his art is based on original Lacrosse, not the modern game. The historical significance and traditions of the game come to life through his pen strokes. This chapter of Lacrosse’s history can’t be forgotten, and Vinnie’s art continues to remind us of the amazing origins our sport has.
Each piece of art is as different as every game. Everything is variable and nothing is automatic or guaranteed. This mentality allows Vinnie to be the creative individual that he is and he has taken this into his life. He is incredibly grateful for the opportunity that he has earned and recognizes the rarity of his situation. Vinnie also has always appreciated and recognized the positive response to his art. Without the love that others have expressed for his art, The Art of Lax wouldn’t be where it is now. That is the impact of our wonderful community and the same can be true for you.
The Road of Lax
An end isn’t in sight, and it isn’t much of a concern to Vinnie at the moment. His future will be much of the same if he has anything to say about it. While he is unsure of how long his physical body can keep playing The Creator’s game, Vinnie wants to be an artist for a very long time. Like I said before, he sees his art as a way to give back to the game and that’s why he wants to continue. If he keeps being dedicated to playing, drawing, and being a great person that’s always a friend in the lacrosse community the world will keep surprising him in great ways.
Promotion and education of lacrosse are key values of Vinnie. His art fulfills both of those, so his drawings will keep getting churned out. As far as the game of lacrosse itself, Vinnie acknowledged some problems with our sport. Diversity issues along with a high cost don’t allow the sport to be accessed by the masses. More inclusion will only help the game and promotion through art can be a valuable way to work towards that. So hopefully we all see Vinnie’s work in even more places in the future. Keep your eyes peeled for any of his work and be sure to check out his site along with his Instagram. You can get apparel, prints, customs, and more on his site if you’re interested. I highly recommend you check it out.
Find Your “Art of Lax”
For now, I wish the best to Vinnie and know he will continue to be persistent in his pursuit to excel in his art. I also wish the best to anyone who wants to take their passion for lacrosse and develop another way to use it like Vinnie has. None of us will play forever and a very, very low percentage of us will play professionally. For those who do play professionally, congrats; but, even they have their hands in outside interests. You should do the same. It can be anything you want and think you are good at. No matter what, if you devote your best effort and produce solid content people will appreciate it. Trust me, it’s not impossible. Ask a friend of mine named Vinnie Ricasio.