We had the good fortune of connecting with Dalton Portella and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dalton, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Embarking on a career as a fine artist is fraught with risk, you throw away any sense of lasting security. The alternative is suffering a life of servitude to some other master and turning your back on the gift of creativity.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been drawing and painting all my life. Art was always where I found solace. I thought I would become an illustrator, I’d grown up admiring album cover art and the illustrations of artists like Marshall Arisman and Ralph Steadman. I enrolled in Parsons School of design as an Illustration major. I lost my financial aid due to a mix up in paperwork and had to drop out. I had taken a job as a photo retoucher and that became a career that I never felt comfortable with. It was financially rewarding, I became a freelance movie poster finisher for Miramax and Dimension films, Pulp Fiction was the first poster I worked on for them and that led to 15 years of posters I helped create, I retouched covers for all the major beauty magazines and worked on the photography of some of the best photographers, Avedon, Meisel and others but I always felt I had more to contribute to the world than that so after 9/11 I left the commercial world to pursue my fine art. It has been the most challenging and rewarding decision I ever made. Periods of extreme financial stress and periods of incredible creative and personal fulfillment. I have taken the skills I learned as a digital artist and married them to my photography and painting/drawing skills to create for the sake of creation. I am a multi disciplinary artist working in traditional and digital mediums and have created a diverse body of work that is impossible to categorize.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I know I’m one of, if not the only, artist on Voyage LA that lives on the east coast, Montauk to be precise, about as far east as you can go. So we would go surfing at the coves near the lighthouse and eat seafood at The Dock and The Harvest on Fort Pond, I’d take them to get drunk at liars Saloon although I myself do not imbibe the evil alcohol anymore. We would explore the bunkers at Camp Hero, a decommissioned army base from the 40’s, inspiration for Stranger Things where rumored time travel experiments took place.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to give a shoutout to Tod Tarhan, the designer of the Pulp Fiction poster and many others <https://www.tarhancreativeinc.net> and Andrea Shapiro, an amazing designer and artist <https://www.dredesign.co>