We had the good fortune of connecting with Damien March and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Damien, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
It was a spur of the moment realization or epiphany that hitting my 40’s something was missing in my life. I had always been a creative person in my youth and achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree by the time I was 21, but only occasionally pursued it in the subsequent years. My mum having a stroke and Dad being diagnosed with dementia close together reinforced that life is very short. Everyone has god given talents in this world and we should use them, mine is painting. What started out as drawing and finding escapism through this medium developed into full on mixed media painting. I got great reception for my work through social media then had an exhibition. During this first solo exhibition since university I managed to sell out all work displayed. This was the catalyst for my thinking I can actually make money by doing what I love, the wheels were then in motion for my business,
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Through the use of materials such as ink, acrylic, sand, pumice and resin I create a unique visual experience. Surface textures and expressive techniques form the essence of my creations. I want my work to capture its audience, to gain and maintain attention, to draw the viewer in aesthetically. Having an audience stop and be captured by the techniques and the style which I paint. Expressive gestures permeate the surfaces creating a push and pull effect, contrasting media and line work further enhance the visual escapism. I have had eight solo shows and sold many works both locally and internationally and feel very proud of where my work has been acquired and is represented. It has been a hard road but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, I firmly believe to achieve anything in life you have to learn from the lows to get to the highs. I have had moments where hardly anyone has come into the gallery, and I think to myself what am I doing here. Then an hour later I have sold three paintings and I am buzzing. Because I like to control everything myself, I have had some enormous challenges, such as cancelled shows due to COVID. The last year in particular has been tremendously challenging but I have found other ways to make the business thrive , such as online sales , social media sales along with recommendations from previous buyers. I have learned over the years to be adaptable, to show my work anywhere and pick and choose how I want my brand to be seen. Highlights include having my work in the board room of Rodeo Reality Beverly Hills, the same place where Marylin Monroe signed her first ever contract. My work is also in Thunder Road Pictures in Sant Monica which is pretty cool, I have also sold to numerous celebrities and well known entertainers which is very rewarding. Having my art seen is the most important aspect of my business and building a unique brand that is exclusive as my work is never the same or mass produced. I want the world to know that an original Damien March artwork is highly unique and can dramatically enhance any internal space.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would definitely take them to stay at either the Mondrian or the Roosevelt hotels. Both have that chic, cool LA vibe and both I always feel sad when its time to check out. Skybar at the Modrian over looking the spectacular pool, listening to some cutting edge DJ’s is great fun, and a real cross section of people mix here. At the Roosevelt I find the Hockney mural in the pool amazing , as he has inspired my artistic style with his use of cool pastel hues and clean lines. I love the fact the first ever academy awards were here and its grandeur is from another era. Dining out in West Hollywood I love the asian inspired cuisine at EP & LP , the food his stunning and so fresh. Afterwards have a few relaxing drinks on the rooftop bar and soak up the views of the Hollywood Hills and Sunset Strip. During the day I love to hang out around Santa Monica and people watch, I love the coffee at Ruth Caffe and it has a great ambience. The minimalist modern architecture and Baroque Revival influence of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels designed by Rafael Moreo is well worth a look , I particularly love the stained glass windows and spectacular facade. Grand park is a great place to unwind with a picnic and watch the free entertainment and enjoy some fresh air. No visit to LA is complete without checking out Rodeo drive and Beverly Hills, I just love this area and will exhibit here again soon . Being an artist I like to get others involved in the visual arts too, and what better way than doing an art class at either the Getty Centre , Getty Villa or LACMA. They have some amazing run pen and ink drawing classes, even offering some free ones. Unleash the inner artist that is in all of us I say when in LA. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many people have been involved in my journey , I hope I don’t miss anyone out. Mum and Dad always believed in me, I can remember painting with Dad on location as a child, he was a very talented painter . One particular teacher in high school Mr Thatcher offered advice and took time to listen to me as a troubled teenager, he directly led me to pursue Fine Arts. All my friends both in Australia and LA have encouraged and supported my art and feel very honored to have my work displayed in their homes. LA friends Matthew George of Acacia Entertainment and Matt Altman of Altman Brothers Realestate have both supported, encouraged and feature a number of my creations in their own homes. It is an amazing feeling seeing your work on show in fine homes around the world. My two boys Ethan and James who keep me very grounded and can offer advice on my art as only kids know how, which can be funny. My boys are my greatest achievement in life and I love every minute of watching their own life journeys. Finally, I must make special mention of my partner Laura, she is the most beautiful person inside and out, the love of my life and supports me like no other. I am so lucky to have her kind love and support everyday.