We had the good fortune of connecting with Danni Blackman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danni, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
Music is my biggest inspiration. I can see the sounds and what colors represent the emotion and the story that the song is telling. I also love faces, especially eyes, they can be incredibly expressive and add an entirely new layer to a particular project. I’m inspired by artists like Oliver Hibert for their consistent use of bold colors as well as Sabrina Bosco for their beautifully detailed pieces of the human form incorporated with nature. When it comes to business, I’m inspired by the support of my friends and family who believe in my work. I’m also moved by local artists who work so hard to have their voices heard, it is their ambition that inspires me to continue to fight for my own voice in this extremely competitive field.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a self-taught artist that incorporates dancing and movement to help see my visions of what I want to paint more clearly. Often before I begin a piece of work, I clumsily dance with a hula hoop to help myself loosen up and flow freely. My work is purely emotional and I express that through a variety of colors and brush strokes. I’m most excited about my new website, it is dedicated to music inspired by local bands and artists and then modeled by a variety of different people. I give the artists and models recognition on the site as well and I’m proud of its’ potential to connect with the art world. Business has been slowed down significantly because of my return to school at SFSU but I am encouraged to try and start things back up again and reach a point to where I was before and beyond. Currently, I am donating all proceeds from my work to organizations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement including the LGBTQ Freedom Fund, the Black Trans Femmes in the arts, JusticeLA, and any other organization that my commissions would like their money to go towards specifically. Some things I’ve learned along the way is how to stay motivated and not allow slow business to discourage me from keeping up with my craft. It is critical for me to remember that self-expression is more important than any sort of commodity. I would love for the world to acknowledge and appreciate art that is chaotic and nonsensical. To me, nonsense and the abstract is one way to experience true freedom and limitless possibility within our minds.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
The first place I would take them is Doomie’s, my favorite vegan restaurant in LA. Afterward, I’d take them thrift shopping or the beach and spend the day there. We would have to check out a few local music shows during the week because that is one of my favorite things to partake in. I would take them to the Huntington Library Botanical Gardens and enjoy some tea and sandwiches along with the diverse amount of plants. Our week would be filled with nature and music along with a few bars in the downtown area.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shoutout to my dear friends Chris Purcell, Vincent Kitigawa, and Thom Khemet who all in their own way have given me much encouragement and support to continue making art. They are voices who believe in me when I find it difficult to believe in myself.