Monday, November 17, 2008

Artist Feature :: fIDOArt

Real Name: Danny
Online Alias:
Location: Georgia, USA

Where are you from? How does that influence who you are and what kind of art you create, or do you think it does?

I was born and raised in a small town just south of Atlanta, Georgia and am glad that I grew up when and where I did. And I'm still here. It's all I know. I don't know if it really influences my art or not. My first response would be that I don't think it does. I've never really thought about that much before.

When did you first start drawing/painting?

I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. I can remember drawing lots and lots of aliens and spaceships and things like that when I was in the primary grades and then lots of Batman, Superman, and other comic book heroes as I got older. I remember taking some private art lessons when I was about 13 or so and I really enjoyed that as well. It's just something I've always done and enjoyed.

How would you describe your current style?

Good question. I wish I knew. It seems to be all over the place. I always look at the style and work of other artists and think to myself, "Why can't I be like that?" I hope to one day be able to answer this question. So...can I get back to you on this one? LOL

Where do you get the majority of your inspiration for your pieces?

I really enjoy creating things that deal with a thought or an emotion of some kind. I am constantly looking and listening for a word or a phrase that makes an impact on me. Even though I consider myself very poor at expressing myself through words, I enjoy playing around with words and ideas connected to them.

Many of your pieces of art have text and phrases incorporated into them, can you give us some insight into where these thoughts come from and why you decide to include text in your work?

I think the answer above kind of answers this question as well. I just really like the look of text incorporated into art. There's just something "magical" about it to me, especially when it connects to an image. For me, it seems to put the finishing touch on a work of art and brings it all together.

What is your favorite medium/media to work in and why?

I guess the media I'm most comfortable with would be colored pencil. For some reason I just feel more "in control" when I'm working with them. While I own a very nice set of Prismacolor pencils, I really use my trusty 'ol Crayolas most of the time. I use watercolors a lot as well, but they seem to have a mind of their own and control me more than I'm able to control them. LOL Lately I've been experimenting with putting several mediums together like watercolors, colored pencils, and water soluble crayons.

I discovered your art through IllustratedATCs and was an instant fan. But because of only seeing your art on an Art Card forum, I am wondering if you do larger scale art or just work in miniature?

Basically, all of my creations are never bigger than the standard 4" x 6" postcard size. I began majoring in art in college and did create quite a few larger works back then which I have since given all away. I ended up getting my degree in elementary education instead of art because I was concerned about making a living from my art. During all my years of teaching, my art was used mainly for things that I needed in my classroom...posters, bulletin boards, etc. I never really took it very seriously until I discovered the world of atc's about 4 years ago and I've been hooked ever since.

When I found out that I could create these tiny little works of art and trade them with people all over the world I knew that I had finally found my creative outlet. The small size is a big plus for me because it doesn't take days or weeks to complete a piece. It's been the longest that I've ever stuck with anything creative. Over the last 30 years or so I've dabbled in lots of things...drawing, painting, woodcarving, photography...and never really stayed with any of them very long. Since I've been creating and trading art on the internet I've met a whole lot of talented and wonderful artists and have developed friendships with many of them. They have been a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to me and I feel that I have truly grown as an artist myself because of them.

Aside from trading ATCs, painting and creating, what do you do?

I am a teacher of gifted children in grades K-5. This is my 32nd year of teaching and no matter how much I promise myself that I won't allow it to overtake my life each year, it always does. Although it can be very difficult at times and very demanding, I really love what I do. My wife is also a teacher. We have one son, Adam, who is almost 17. We enjoy spending time together and all of us are very active in our church. In my spare time I enjoy reading, getting together with friends and eating, and as much as I hate to admit it, watching TV. LOL

What does art and the creating of it mean to you? Is it a hobby or pastime, or is it something bigger and more meaningful?

Mainly, it is a hobby but it is also a way for me to express myself. People are constantly telling me that I should sell it and make money from it but I've found that when I HAVE to create art I lose all the joy in creating it. Maybe when I retire from teaching I might pursue some ways to make a little extra income from it but for now, I'm content with the way it is.

What is one of the pieces that you've created that you especially love and why?

This is another question that I find difficult to answer. When I trade them away I more or less forget about them. What matters to me is that someone else was able to find something to like about a particular piece of mine enough to want to trade for it. I really like one of my most recent postcards entitled "Un Coeur Simple" (A Simple Heart) because it was one of those rare times when it all just seemed to come together from somewhere deep within without much effort. It has been traded to a very good friend of mine whose artwork I really treasure and get great pleasure from. I'm glad it is now hers.

What are your goals as an artist, short term and long term?

To just keep on creating and enjoying it like I do at this moment