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Out of Office
Business Observer Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 10 months ago

Data-driven CEO finds colorful outlet in painting

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Paul Fioravanti engages the left side of his brain at work. Outside work, he turns to the creativity and vibrancy of the right side.   
by: Beth Luberecki Contributor

Executive: Paul Fioravanti, 55, is CEO and managing partner at Naples-based business consulting firm Qorval Partners. The work the company does for its clients tends to revolve around what Fioravanti calls three “its” — grow it, fix it and exit — and he enjoys the challenges and unpredictability that come with the job. “When you do consulting or advisory work, there really are no two situations that are alike,” he says. “I like the opportunity to help people make their businesses better.”

Diversion: Painting. Fioravanti has been creating artwork in some fashion since he was a kid. He started picking up a paintbrush more recently, when consulting projects for clients worldwide kept him awake at odd hours. “For good or bad, I’m a person that does not require a lot of sleep,” he says. “[Painting] is a nice balance to writing operating plans and doing cash flow forecasts and writing business plans. As great as that stuff is, it sometimes isn’t as creative as I’d like."

Courtesy. Paul Fioravanti says he needs to be "somewhat Zen" when he paints. This is one example of his painting work.

 

Create anywhere: Fioravanti doesn’t need any kind of special setup to paint; he can do it almost anyplace he might be. “In some cases when I’ve been traveling, I’ve painted in the hotel room,” he says. “I’ll go get a canvas and get some plastic and do a quick acrylic painting of some kind that’s small and fits in a checked bag. Sometimes you see something when you’re traveling and something kind of clicks in your head and inspires you to do something.”

Find inspiration: Architecture and the different shapes found within that often serve as catalysts for his paintings. Traveling also often sparks ideas for his artwork — like what happened when a work project took him to Puerto Rico. “I’ve spent some time in Italy, and obviously there’s no better place in the world for artwork,” he says.

Courtesy. Paul Fioravanti gets most of his art supplies from Michaels. Here's another example of his work.

Tools and techniques: Fioravanti gets his art supplies from Michaels and is a fan of working with metallic acrylics when creating his contemporary, often abstract pieces. “There’s a metallic sheen on there where you can have some interesting effects,” he says. Opting for the best quality canvases and paints leads to better outcomes. “You can’t buy cheap paint, because you don’t get good results,” he says. Most of his works are on canvas, but if he needs something framed, he turns to The Frame Up in Naples.

‘For good or bad, I’m a person that does not require a lot of sleep. Painting is a nice balance to writing operating plans and doing cash flow forecasts and writing business plans.’ Paul Fioravanti

Finished products: Fioravanti has completed about 50 paintings, and he winds up giving a lot away. “I produce more than I really have a place to put them,” he says. One client who has 15 retail stores displays some of his paintings there. He hangs other paintings that he keeps in his office.

Family favorite: One of Fioravanti’s favorite pieces is a painting that’s more detailed than his typical work. He grew up in a family grocery business, and he painted a street scene featuring that business in tribute to his past.

Feel the spirit: Though Fioravanti can paint anywhere, it’s not always the right time to pick up a brush. “Sometimes the worst thing is to try painting when you’re not really in the zone,” he says. He’s found he needs to be “somewhat Zen” and not too cautious or careful when painting. “If I’m not in the zone and I start painting and it’s not going well, I just stop,” he says.

Courtesy. Opting for the best quality canvases and paints leads to better outcomes, says Paul Fioravanti.

Out of your head: Painting isn’t only a creative outlet for Fioravanti. Time spent concentrating on brushstrokes also sometimes helps him work through challenges or issues that arise during consulting projects. “You have the ability to process information differently and you’re a little bit detached from your thoughts, because you’re focused on the canvas,” he says. “Sometimes that really helps in terms of the flow of solutions, because much of what we do is unique and requires a lot of contemplation and understanding. If you let those thoughts flow, the creative process can help the problem-solving process.”

Something new: In 2022, Fioravanti plans to get a small space in Naples to use as a creative zone. That will also allow him to keep exploring other art forms like sculpting and 3D art. Recently he’s been working on a 3D piece using hotel key cards and brass keys. “I’ve done a lot of travel in my life,” he says. “I’ve spent probably 2,500 nights in hotels, and I’ve always accumulated these hotel key cards from different places. So I’ve put them together on a 24-by-48 board with stainless steel screws. It’s kind of interesting.”

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