Photo by Seth Combs
Lisa Beggs and Victor Ving
You'd think Victor Ving and Lisa Beggs would be sick of each other by now. For more than nine months, the couple has been traveling in a small RV as the "Greetings Tour" and creating city-specific murals inspired by the "Greetings From..." postcards that were all the rage in the middle of the 20th century.
"I think we're both really easy going so that helps a lot," Beggs says. "You realize you don't need much. And if you get claustrophobic you can just step outside."
Ving is putting the final touches on the duo's San Diego mural on the side of the Belching Beaver tasting room in North Park (4223 30th St.). The mural includes iconic local imagery within each of the San Diego letters. The "A" is a Coronado Bridge scene. The "D" is inspired by a picture of Sunset Cliffs. The "O" features the Giant Dipper roller coaster in Belmont Park.
The San Diego mural is the 12th in a series that Ving says started back in 2001 when he did a "Greetings From..." mural in his old neighborhood in Queens, New York. He remembers getting so much positive feedback on the piece that, even then, he felt compelled to try it in other cities.
"It felt good, because people really liked it and wanted to protect it," Ving says. "Everyone has hometown pride."
In June 2014, he did another "Greetings From..." piece in the Chinatown section of New York City and he and Beggs officially began to consider taking their show on the road. After finishing murals in Redhook, Brooklyn, and a rooftop in Manhattan, the couple purchased an RV and traveled to Coney Island, Jersey City, Canton, Ohio, and beyond.
"Every city has a different story," says Ving. "Some cities like Cleveland will reach out to us and sometimes, like in Denver, we have to go out and roam around to find someone willing to let us paint a wall."
The couple was essentially just roaming around San Diego when they were introduced to Edwin Negado who owns North Park skate shop and gallery space Gym Standard. With his help, they secured the Belching Beaver alley wall for the mural. They do most of the murals for free (they have a sponsorship deal with Montana Cans spray paints) and Beggs serves as the project documentarian. An accomplished photographer, she takes pictures of the process and finished murals, and posts them to the project's website and social media. The couple had agreed to do the tour for a year, but now they're not sure when they'll stop.
"We said we'd do it for a year, but it's been nine months and we've decided to keep going," says Ving, adding that they're headed to Orlando next. "I guess it'll go until, well, I don't know. It's kind of indefinite right now. I never thought I'd be 32 and living in an RV, but I like it. You open the backdoor and you have the biggest backyard in the world."