Step into a world where colors dance and imagination know no bounds—a world crafted by the visionary artist, Nick Valente of Nick Valente Art.

Nick took part in the 2024 Daytona Flying Piston Benefit presented by Motorcycle Safety Lawyers competition. His canvas of choice is a BIG FRIG 64oz growler, where he created an awesome design for the auction.

Nick Valente Art

Nick Valente Art

We spoke with Nick about his art:

Flying Piston Benefit: Could you share with us your artistic journey?

Nick Valente: Yeah, I’m a full-time artist. I got my start in comics. And I did that for quite some time. I spent a lot of time really practicing on my drawing and then eventually my painting skills. That’s how I rounded out my skill set.

Flying Piston Benefit: What was your comics journey?

Nick Valente: I was trying to get into the industry. I would do sample space pages specifically for companies. I’d send out directly to them. And then I got with writers that wanted to get into the industry as well.

Flying Piston Benefit: So, one of your super powers is telling stories with your art?

Nick Valente: So, I’m really into storytelling. That was the main thing with comics. You need a good and compelling story, something to keep the reader engaged. And that’s something that I translate to any of the art that I do now. Even if it’s just a simple one-off painting. I still create some sort of story.

Flying Piston Benefit: Your style is so distinctive! Can you give us a peek behind the curtain and share what influences your artistic flair?

Nick Valente: My style? It’s eclectic! From Neo-traditional paintings with tattoo flair to comic book vibes, it’s all about bold lines and vibrant energy. So, a splash of comic book magic in every piece—I’m talking hard black outlines and superhero vibes!

Flying Piston Benefit: So what comic project are you working on now?
Nick Valente: I’m kick starting one later this year. It is a surreal fantasy-esque type story. It’s detective based. And it’s set in a different universe. The world appears similar to ours, but there are a lot of wacky things that go on. So it’s kind of that odd ball and off-the-wall style that I’m attracted to.

Flying Piston Benefit: So what else do you focus your creative eye on?
Nick Valente: I’ve transitioned primarily to digital and vector art. And I offer custom artwork for logo, branding, and merch design. Customers come to me when they have an idea for a brand or a product that needs artwork or logos.

Flying Piston Benefit: Tigers seem to be a recurring theme in your artwork. What’s the story behind your fascination with these majestic creatures?

Nick Valente: Tigers? Oh, they’re more than just animals to me—they’re the kings of the jungle, the embodiment of power and grace. From the tales of the East to being born in the year of the Tiger, they’ve woven themselves into the fabric of my life.

But it’s not just symbolism; it’s their raw beauty, those fiery orange coats and those bold black stripes. Each stroke of my brush feels like a dance with their patterns, exploring endless possibilities. And their size? It’s just jaw-dropping. So, when I sit down to create, it’s like I’m diving into their world, where every roar and every whisker tells a story waiting to be captured.

Flying Piston Benefit: Do businesses dig that comic book vibe when they’re looking to stand out?

Nick Valente: Oh, absolutely! It’s like having a secret weapon in my artistic arsenal. Picture this: a business needing a logo with a quirky mascot, like a fierce little Viking, right? That’s where I come in! With my knack for custom artwork, I whip up one-of-a-kind designs that scream uniqueness.

Flying Piston Benefit: Do you feel like the art dictates what you draw?

Nick Valente: Absolutely, there are moments when it’s like the art speaks to me, guiding my hand on the canvas. Especially in character design, where it’s about exploration and iteration. Sketching isn’t just about putting down an idea; it’s a journey of discovery. Sometimes, what I envision isn’t what materializes, but that’s where the magic happens. It’s about letting emotions and instincts take the lead, allowing the lines and colors to flow freely until the image reveals itself. It’s a dance between imagination and execution, where every stroke is a step closer to uncovering the true essence of the piece.

Flying Piston Benefit: What music you’d like to listen to while creating you’re art?

Nick Valente: Actually, No. Um, I have a quiet environment when I’m working.

Flying Piston Benefit: Let’s delve into the realm of iconic characters—Mickey Mouse and Rat Fink. What sets these two apart in your eyes, and how would you describe their designs?

Nick Valente: Ah, Mickey Mouse and Rat Fink—two legends in their own right. It’s fascinating how their silhouettes alone can trigger instant recognition, isn’t it? They both possess that magnetic quality that draws you in at first glance. But when you really dig into their designs, the differences start to shine. Mickey, with his smooth lines and pristine colors, exudes charm and wholesomeness. Rat Fink, on the other hand, is a bit rougher around the edges, with more intricate shapes and a rebellious vibe. It’s like comparing yin and yang—each complementing the other in their own unique way.

As for popularity, it’s an intriguing question. While Mickey may dominate the mainstream, there’s a vibrant subculture out there that’s equally obsessed with Rat Fink. From graphic novels to sculptures, Rat Fink has carved out its own niche in the artistic landscape. So, while Mickey may reign supreme in the spotlight, Rat Fink holds its own among those who dare to explore the edgier side of art.

2024 Event: Click here for the details of the 2024 Edition of the Flying Piston Benefit in Daytona, FL. 


Flying Piston Benefit Sturgis AuctionAbout The Flying Piston: The  Flying Piston Benefit is produced by Marilyn Stemp of Iron Trader News &  Jeff Najar of Horsepower Marketing.  Our work raises funds for non-profits and individuals in the motorcycle community, vets, and kindergartners. To help out and to join the team, click here.