Guys! I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend, Daniel. I had the opportunity to meet Daniel not too long ago, and I think the first time I met him, we were at our mutual friends’ house decorating a Christmas tree and playing guitars. Since then, we’ve discovered our shared love for the musician, Propaganda, and the pursuit of artistic endeavors. As I’ve gotten to know Daniel better and had the chance to see more of his art, I have been so impressed with the sincerity and heart behind his work. So often, his work speaks directly to what my heart needs to hear.
What kind of art do you like to do? Do you have a favorite medium? I think my favorite outlets are drawing/photography. If I hear a song lyric I like or a quote, I’ll grab my Moleskin sketchbook and do some sort of typography work with it. Photography was my original outlet, and I’ve gone away from that somewhat, but I’m starting to get that itch again for my camera!
What do you see as the goal or purpose behind your art? My goal, ultimately is to use what I do to raise awareness of racial/social justice issues and to share a bit of God with every thing I make. I have a huge passion, specifically for race issues, and I would love to use my art to spread truth about that.
How did you get started? Well, this is an interesting question. I was a missionary with an organization called YWAM (Youth With A Mission), for the past four years in Australia. At that point, I did not have a clue I liked to draw/design/wood burn or anything. But after a year and a half, I started to work in our media area, and soon discovered I loved graphic design. I had no experience, but learned from Youtube, Udemy, and most of all from friends that I worked with, and it has grown into what I do now!
Where and when do you do your work? I do some sort of design work every day. Whether it’s for personal use, or for orders, or to sell, I make a point of doing it every day. If I am wood burning, I do that in my house, but sketching and other design work I like to do at coffee shops. I am a bit of a coffee lover…well…addict is probably more accurate.
Are there certain people or circumstances that have encouraged you to pursue your art? Honestly, the biggest encouragement in my work has been my fiance, Christiana. She bought me my wood burning kit for Christmas last year, and she has been so incredibly supportive and helpful! Other than that, my mom has been a huge encouragement, and pretty much all my friends.
What inspires your work? I’d say the two biggest inspirations for my work are God, and music. The basis for pretty much all of my design and wood burning orders has been from the Bible, or a song lyric. I figure that if God put me in a place to discover something I never knew I had a passion for, then why not have Him be my inspiration? And as for music, I am always listening to or playing music. So that just is always gonna be part of what I do and make.
Who do you look up to? Are there other artists within the realm of your work, or other creative outlets, that you look up to? There is a company called Hand Lettering Co. that I really look up to. They are a husband and wife that do typography and wood burning of scriptures and other quotes. Their Instagram is what made me realize I love wood burned typography.
What projects are you working on right now? Anything you are particularly excited about? Well, I am currently working on a couple of wood burning orders for friends, which is always fun! And I’m getting stuff ready to launch my own Etsy store!! I’m stoked about that!
What do you hope to accomplish with your art? Any specific hopes and dreams for the future? I think ideally I want my work to help people seek truth for themselves. In every issue on race, or poverty, or whatever, it’s really easy to read articles online and let that dictate what we believe on that issue. I want to challenge that with my work and inspire people to seek out truth and experience things for themselves. There are actually a lot of things that I want to accomplish with it, but this is the one thing that is currently on my mind.
Do you have any advice or encouragement for people who want to pursue their own art? I would say, honestly, just have a go! If it’s something you are passionate about and, above all, enjoy doing, why not go after it? Also, no matter how good you are, there will always be people who don’t like your work. It’s just part of life, so don’t try to please everyone with your art, because you will burn yourself out.
Where can people learn more about your work? I have a website that I’ve used for the past couple of years as my blog when I was in Australia, but I am revamping it to work as my website for what I do. It’s still a work in progress, but you can still check it out! Also check out society6 and Etsy!
Daniel’s Etsy store is now up and running, and you should definitely stop by to see his work there, as well on society6. He also has some amazing photography in the gallery on his website. I love the vibrant colors of the scenes he encountered during his travels in Australia, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand.
Thanks so much for stopping by to read my first Friends of the Littlest Friend interview, and a million thanks to Daniel for his thoughts and photos!
Have a great day, all! xo