We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Rona and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Daniel, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
Success to me is winning the little battles along the way of our journey we are all on. I’ve never really looked at success as a huge, end all goal but rather the building blocks that, to me, can play into a the bigger picture. It can be setting goals and completing them – making a painting, selling a painting, having an art show, and even the most monotonous of things such as waking up in the morning and self care.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My artwork is above all, the pursuit of creativity and exploring my imagination. Making something from nothing. Telling stories about the journey and myself or just painting because I want to create something cool. I bounce between on the nose illustration centered around a character and a style that is focused on creating abstract and surreal structures that come to form figures or humanoid-like forms. The biggest driving force behind all of my work is the consistent progression and evolution of my imagery, visualization, and story telling by just creating. Every new painting or drawing is the opportunity to challenge myself and push it just a little bit further.

Growing up I have always used the internet to my advantage and shared my artwork and passion for creating with communities I was apart of or on random art and graffiti hubs that existed across the internet. The ability to bridge connections between other artists, random people, or even potential clients all over the world is awesome – and in this case with an interviewer! The most impactful opportunities so far for me and my career have been through connections made locally. My first successes in Columbus are accredited to a lot of emails to local galleries or any place that would hang my work. At that time I was creating so much and needed to make room for the new ones coming, even if they didn’t sell or it was only for a short period of time. Since then it is still the same constant hustle to create a business behind the work while also sharing my joy and passion of creating art with the world. I’ve never really needed a reason to create, it’s always just been pretty naturally flowing.

The most inspiring aspect of art to me is individual style and how ideas just come out of people that are easily identifiable to ones self and art. I started observing this through my interest in graffiti and how my favorite writers can continue to push the limits of what their letters and name look like. My character and symbols such as flowers and targets are representative of that in my work, bouncing throughout almost all of my paintings in a red and white striped shirt. The X faced figure is always the starting point for every painting, and how I continue to keep myself in my work.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Franklinton, Columbus has always been a go to suggestion for people looking to have fun and view art. It’s a continuously growing and thriving artistic community that harbors many galleries such as The Vanderelli Room and in close proximity to great food such as Strongwater. Catch the area on their Franklinton Friday’s for an outdoor market and nightlife. There are also many great galleries, food options, and experiences towards the heart of the city in the Short North Arts District and Discovery District such as Sarah Gormley Gallery and Blockfort. Eating at The North Market is my favorite place to eat with many great food and drink vendors. Honorable food mentions for me are Wario’s, The Guild House, Melt, Marcella’s, and Slurping Turtle. Honorable place mentions for me are the Scioto Mile, Gateway Film Center, and definitely catching a Columbus Crew game.

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?
My career and who I am as a person wouldn’t be anything like it is today thanks to the help of my Highschool teacher and mentor. I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to Dan Gerdeman and Adam Brouillette.

Website: Danielrona.com

Instagram: @solewashere

Twitter: danielrona

Image Credits
Josh Miller, Matchbox Ltd. 2020 (Photo of me painting roller)

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