We had the good fortune of connecting with Dan Bynum and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dan, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think there are degrees of risk in everything. So, understanding it can’t ever be completely avoided, I try to be mindful of my options and choose the risks worth taking. As it relates most directly to my career, I always seem to lean towards risking my financial security for the reward of enjoying what I do every day. I’ve always opted for the freedom to choose my projects. I’ve spent the last 15+ years working as a recording engineer, a live sound engineer, and a tour manager. It’s mostly freelance, so financial security isn’t guaranteed, but I’ve always been able to line up more than enough work to live comfortably. That was the case, at least, until last year when the pandemic started and my industry shut down; a risk of working in live entertainment not many could have foreseen. I found myself at home with a seemingly endless amount of free time. It pushed me to explore ways to be creative outside of the music business, which ended up becoming what is now my ceramic practice. A path I never planned, but one that has thoroughly consumed me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love the hand-building process. I prefer organic, asymmetrical forms to those that feel too perfect or mass produced. My interest in this started a bit selfishly. I wanted to create pieces that were more specific to my tastes as opposed to what would typically be available in stores. I made pots for my plants, catch-all dishes for tabletops and dressers, etc. As I experimented with more abstract forms, textures, glazes, and glass, I began to develop a personal voice for my work. I’ve had to learn a ton since coming to this with only distant memories of trying it in a high school art class. My skills for hunting down tips and techniques on internet forums have grown much sharper. I’ve also had to become more patient, as the process of taking an idea to a finished product takes several days, and rarely turns out as expected the first time. Over time, friends and family began encouraging me to share my work more publicly. I created an Instagram, which led to more interest and purchase inquiries. About a month ago, I launched my website, which serves as an online gallery for my work, and offers visitors the chance to purchase any available pieces. I’m still experimenting through trial and error, and working my way through this first venture in e-commerce. But I work at my own pace, and the fact that it’s a fun, creative pursuit keeps me coming back day after day.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ok, here are some highlights… Dinner outdoors at Salazar for tacos and margs. Sushi from Sushi Go 55 in Little Tokyo. Drinks and live jazz at ETA in Highland Park. Live bands and dance nights at The Echo and The Regent Theatre. Driving up the 2 for hiking in the Angeles Forest. An afternoon walking around Huntington Gardens. Checking out art at the Norton Simon Museum. Catching at least one game at Dodger stadium. And finally, Swingers in Hollywood any time we need a good diner. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shoutout my girlfriend, Samantha Greenfeld. She’s an amazing artist and she opened her studio to me when I needed a space to “work from home.” Having her to discuss ideas with, and whose critiques I trust, has allowed me to progress at my craft much more quickly than had I been on my own.
Dan Bynum, Samantha Greenfeld