We had the good fortune of connecting with Danielle Hutchens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danielle, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I was motivated by an internal feeling — that making art makes me happy and puts me in a flow state. That flow state is something people chase far and wide, it’s a magical state, and I realized I had that at my fingertip… if I could only make time for it. So I decided just to make time for it.
I had read about other artists and the work and dedication that it takes to make a career around art and felt intimidated at first, but then I realized it’s a practice I can commit to daily. I’m still learning and evolving my own practice, but I can’t believe I waited this long to make time for art.
Please tell us more about your career. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
The majority of my professional career was spent behind a screen as a graphic designer and creative director, but I’d be quietly envious of the illustrators and artists I would hire for projects. Although Creative Director is an incredible seat to sit in, I realized I wanted to be making the art and not the strategy. Early on in my career, I worked for a lot of start ups and realized they placed a huge emphasis on job title. The ambitious climb for a higher title really limited me and put blinders on what I enjoyed doing. After a couple unfulfilling job roles, I decided to take a step back and remove the veil of the title and ask myself what I really like and dislike doing and why. This was a pivotal moment in my career, I realized how working behind a screen was making me feel empty and drained. Meanwhile, throwing ceramics for 6 hours, I’ve lost all track of time and it’s suddenly midnight, but I leave feeling alive and energized. It’s around that time I decided to leave behind my seat as creative director and forge my own path, trusting and following the work that left me feeling fulfilled and happy.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First off, yay, I love friends in town! I’m going to pretend this would all go down pre or safely post covid. I find a lot of joy cooking for/with company, so I would take them to the Santa Monica farmers market for some food for the week (and bonus color inspo). That farmer’s market looks as vibrant as it tastes. Next, we could go on a hike up Paseo Miramar, it’s one of my favorites. After that, we would continue north for some beach time and Pescador or Matador in Malibu, with a pitstop at Vintage Grocers for poke or sandwiches. Maybe grab a bottle of wine for sunset. Another day we would do some thrifting on the east side, followed by roller skating at Moonlight Rollerway and drinks at Bar Bandini or Gold Line. I don’t like to plan too much into a trip, I hate the feeling of having to be hurried or thinking about the next place. So other than that, just alternate between biking to the beach or long windy hikes absorbing nature and letting convo and laughs flow freely.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Some credit for where I am? One of my really close friends, Alex. She’s always been so supportive and inspiring but there was one occasion, where she was asked to write down her favorite artist– and her answer was me. She didn’t know I would see her answer, and it was before I had pursued a career in art. So that always reminds me that I was an artist in her eyes before I had the confidence to call myself one.
image credit for framed painting and art against brick wall to Danielle G Adams