Victor Ving & Lisa Beggs of the Greetings Tour
Whether you are a North Park local, or visiting from out of town, you have probably caught a glimpse of the “Greetings from San Diego” mural in North Park. With its fast social media growth, the mural has taken on a life of its own and has become one of the go to places to get a photo in San Diego. We took the time to chat with Victor Ving and Lisa Beggs, the dynamic duo behind the Greetings Tour, about life on the road and what’s next for their exciting cross country road trip.
Carli Bazinett: Has traveling always been a passion of yours? What made you decide to road trip through the states?
GREETINGS TOUR: Both of us have always been into exploring places we have never been before. In 2014, we were on a road trip in California and we simply didn’t want it to end. We came up with the idea of this project to be able to live on the road and explore the country. Lisa’s family also used to own an RV business called “Beggs RV” in Ohio, and we bought the motorhome from her brother-in-law who’s still in the business today.
CB: How has this project impacted your life?
GT:Living in New York City, you feel like you are in the center of the world, but once you start spending a lot of time on the road, you realize that NYC is actually a unique world of its own. Crossing the country so many times made the United States feel a lot smaller, and unlike traveling by plane, you really get a sense of the different landscapes that this country has to offer.
In addition to just traveling and taking things in, it feels good to really give back and add attractions and landmarks along the way. It’s a great feeling watching from afar via social media when the murals take on a life of their own after we leave.
CB: What about the vintage inspired postcard appealed to you?
GT: Lisa’s grandfather used to shoot images for Florida postcards in the 50-60s. Victor started collecting these large letter postcards and using them for color/lettering references in his pieces. It’s great to be able to paint different scenes and styles which keeps every wall we paint interesting and challenging. This style was also a way to incorporate both of our talents, photography and mural work into a piece. We always try to push ourselves to do something better in each mural that we paint.
CB: What is your process for choosing a city and location within the city?
GT: Originally, we really wanted to have murals spread out geographically across the United States. After the last mural in Orlando, I think we have reached that goal and are now looking to paint the cities that we personally enjoy. Currently, one of the cities we are still looking forward to checking out is Nashville, TN. Hawaii and Alaska are also up there on the list of places we would want murals in!
CB: What made you decide on North Park in San Diego? What do you think of the art scene here?
GT: Victor’s childhood friend from New York, who now lives in North Park, connected us with Edwin Negado from Gym Standard. He eventually connected us with Beryl Forman from The Boulevard BIA, who helped arrange the wall at the Belching Beaver Brewery. It was quite the chain of people we went through, but it was also great to connect with so many locals as well. We think that the art scene in San Diego was great and actually got to attend a few shows while we were out here. There’s definitely a lot of local talent like Pursue, who helped us paint his Bunny Kitty character into one of the letters.
CB:Do you have any interesting stories from traveling for the Greetings Tour?
GT: Yes, a year’s worth of traveling stories! A lot of them involve animals, but one interesting story happened right before we started the tour. We bought the RV in Ohio and drove back to NYC to pack our belongings and do the custom paint job. We parked the RV for about a week under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We took the train home and came back to move it daily for alternate side parking. One day, we couldn’t find the keys and looked everywhere. It turned out that we had left our brand new RV in NYC with the keys sitting there on the driver’s seat! No harm done, and we are still in the RV today. I suppose it would be pretty hard to hide a stolen RV in NYC, but we certainly got lucky there.
CB: What’s your favorite city that you have visited for the Greetings Tour? Where is one you would like to go?
GT: San Diego had good things happening! We’re talking about subletting an apartment there this winter and possibly working on a project for Liberty Station when we are back. We are big fans of anywhere on the west coast really.
CB: Where do you hope to see the Greetings Tour in five years?
GT: An established amount of murals spread throughout the United States. Hopefully on our way to having at least one in every state. We’ve talked about Greetings Tour going international