Today it is my pleasure to introduce the next Lulu Art Design Team Member for 2017.
Introducing Dani Choate from Pyglet Whispers. Dani is known for her beautiful mixed media artwork, particularly her cute whimsical girls.
I asked Dani to tell me about herself and asked her a few questions over a virtual coffee.
Dani Choate is a mixed media artist, designer and art journaler form Sydney. After studying Graphic Design in the early 90s she spent the next 12 years immersed in the Natural Health and Alternative Therapies industries. When her children were small she was inspired once again to return to art making. These were adventures in soft toy design, zine editions, lino & gocco printing, ATC & ACEOs, book page line art and a hobby turn at children’s fabric design.
Her current work is most often whimsical, feminine and full of colour & pattern. She displays a playful, childlike quality within each of her pieces.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I predominantly spend my time being a mum to my 3 young girls…7, 10 & 13. I am a mixed media artist, designer and illustrator. I am also a collector and source and sell all kinds of vintage and eclectic bits and pieces, not only online but also from a space that I have at a vintage emporium in Sydney’s Alexandria. Arting is my release, my time. The moments I can be most, myself.
How/when did you get interested in art?
I think I have always been interested in ‘making things’ and creating. I cannot remember a time that it wasn’t just a natural part of how I functioned.
Can you remember one of the first things you drew or painted?
Aside from preschool painting and creating and at home as a child with my mum, a teacher…. I do remember a particular time when I was about 8 or 9 when I saw a stranger painting a seascape at the beach. I remember being particularly transfixed by what he was doing. I stood behind him and watched for ages until at some point he turned and offered me a small canvas board and a paint brush. He set me up next to him and began to show me step by step how to paint the water to get the foam at the top of each wave and how to paint the clouds to get a little shadow on each fold. I remember thinking it was a bit like magic!! Seriously…I must have painted that particular image a thousand times over the next few years, practicing and perfecting what I had learned from him. I was not very good at it…but I was hooked at trying to be!
What is your favourite piece of work you have created?
Do you have a favourite artist?
So many favourites… the list is really never ending. Currently I am inspired by artists like Estee McLeod, Maria Pace-Wynters, Lizanne Tran, Helmtrud Kraienhorst, Hanna Ekegren, Tina Berning, Kyoko Uematsu. Cori Dantini, Gustavo Aimar, Claire Desjardin… do I have to stop??
What is the best thing about being an artist?
Exploration, possibilities, expression, immersiveness, stillness, clarity – the space it draws you into.
Do you like to have music playing while you create and if so what kind of music do you listen to that inspires you?
I have current favourites but they are always changing… at the moment I am listening to a lot of Mansionair, Rufus, Palmistry and Christine & the Queens .
What is your favourite thing that you often include in your work?
Faces, flowers, pattern and colour.
What are you doing when you are not creating?
Adulting, taxiing family members and scrambling to make a living… would much rather be arting.
What are your favourite products to use
White sharpie, acrylics, posca pens, caran d’ache neocolour II, collage & spray paint (when I get a chance)
Do you have any tips or inspiring words to share?
As a younger person I was encouraged to approach the world from a perfectionist standpoint. I grew up in a family where art and art making was given little importance and doing only what you were good at was valued over doing what you loved.
In my experience, this perfectionist standpoint makes it very difficult to ever begin the process of art making. If you begin to create something, with an attachment to a specific outcome, you give yourself no room for error, no room for exploration, no room for mistakes. Yet, mistakes are important, mistakes are our teachers, mistakes are in fact, vital. Mistakes allow you to observe yourself and your responses and to explore your capabilities. Mistakes give you the gift of being able to discover your new ‘edges’ and have faith that abilities that you didn’t even know yet existed will always be ENOUGH. Embrace the mistakes that you may make within your art. They are the teachers that we can rely upon to guide us along our way.
Where can we view your work?
VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCq2T-XZ-aTUS4x64N5xbbA (Dani Choate)
Do you have any upcoming online or offline classes where we can enjoy learning from you?
It has been in the works for a while but hopefully this year I will be holding some local workshops – will keep you posted!
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Dani, our next Lulu Art Design Team Member. Pop back tomorrow to see Dani in action when she creates a free tutorial for you.