Weekend Warrior: Startup entrepreneur Jason Carvalho lauds painting for making him a big-picture thinker

I grew up in a small town, Kitimat, and my fiancée grew up in a smaller town, Harrison Hot Springs. We lived in downtown Vancouver for close to seven years. In 2013, we had sold the company, Marilynjean, and moved out to Coquitlam. We bought a house right on top of a mountain, and every single day I’d be walking out and I would see a bear or a doe or birds I’ve never seen before. I thought I’d try to capture that by taking photos. Then I said, “Why don’t I try and paint some of this?” I started off watching Bob Ross YouTube videos. Being an entrepreneur, you’re kind of OCD, so I wanted to get started right away. I had Amazon Prime ship me the Bob Ross painting kit, which was my first set of brushes and oil paints, went to the local art store and got a few canvases and started going at it.

I really embraced the remote work lifestyle—being able to build companies globally but still be in a place where you’re inspired locally. The creative process about painting is similar to that of building a company. It takes a lot of time to think through how you’re going to build a picture. We were in Nova Scotia a few summers ago, and I took a picture of the coast. This was a really intricate photo, and the Bob Ross YouTube videos weren’t going to cut it in terms of allowing me to think through how I was going to develop that painting. Similar to developing businesses, starting off with business plans and marketing plans and financial plans and trying to understand data, I had to figure out how I was going to build such an intricate painting. So I watched even more sophisticated YouTube videos that were actually painting in real time.

The sooner that a person becomes creative or tries to be creative, the more they realize that there are no boundaries to doing whatever it is they want in the world. I think that the form of expression through paint is what I find the most compelling about it. Just like an entrepreneurship, there are no limits, so that’s where I see the connection between the two.

Warrior Spotlight

Jason Carvalho launched and sold two online enterprises before starting his latest ventures. Carvalho Capital is a socially conscious early-stage angel capital firm that invests in purpose-driven startups, while his R&D company, Carvalho Interactive Inc., develops technologies to identify trends and create companies whose products improve society—like online mentorship through AI chatbots.