We had the good fortune of connecting with Sir Daniel Winn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sir Daniel, what inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who help make a difference in other people’s lives. If I see someone helping someone else who is less fortunate or in need, I’m inspired. And I’m not just talking about materialistically or financially, but also emotionally and spiritually. If I see someone guiding and helping others as a leader, whether through religion, philosophy, or financially, it gives me hope for humanity, which gives me comfort that our world will be a better place. These acts of kindness, generosity and altruism are what truly inspire me.
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 artistic style is called Existential Surrealism, which encompasses the universal truth of who we are, why we are here, and what our purpose is. My visual language is trying to communicate that message—to help us understand those existential aspects. And if I can communicate that to even one individual, so that they can embrace or understand their own existence, then I have accomplished my mission. In terms of what separates my art from others, I believe it’s in the reason behind my work, which is to say, I don’t create art for decorative or aesthetic reasons. Rather, I create my work more as a communication of what I want to convey about my philosophy. Whether people understand it or not depends on how they view it, but that is my purpose behind it: to convey a specific message. That said, I also find that people do love it, which surprises me since it was not created for aesthetic reasons. But because it is pleasing to the eye aesthetically, it draws the viewer in and creates a desire for more understanding of what my messages is. And I’m very proud of that aspect of it. I am passionate about what I do. I also don’t do it for financial gain; I do it for spiritual and emotional nourishment for my soul, because I feel my existence in this world is to relay a message. And when I leave this world, it’s my intention that my message will carry on through generations and will help people embrace their existence and have a better life in this brief moment that we have, regardless of what that may be. Whether it is one extreme or the other, it’s my intention that they understand what it’s about and embrace it—and ultimately come to terms with their own personal existence.
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 love the beach, so I would of course take them to the beach. But I would also want to take them to the downtown area, to East LA, or to Beverly Hills—all over—in order to show them the wide variety of social life and how people live and interact with one another here. One is not necessarily better or worse than the other; the point would be to show the extremes and a variety of communities or societies, since that is Los Angeles, and that is very much my personality and my artwork too.
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?
It’s hard for me to give a shout out just to one individual because it takes a group to achieve big things. If you look at the Egyptians, for example, it took a lot of people to build the pyramids. So, you know, shout out on all of them! [laughs] But in terms of those who have most directly helped me achieve my success, that would be my partner and my staff. And if I look at this on a broader scale, the people I’d like shout out to the most would be the patrons of the arts—the people who collect my art and appreciate it. Whether they purchase it or just admire it, that is what gives me a purpose to continue to create. Without the patrons of the arts, the artist does not exist; without people who appreciate art, artists would not have the desire to create because there would be no one to share that vision with. It’s almost like you’d be speaking but nobody would be listening. I’m so grateful to be speaking, and so grateful for being heard. And if that voice can be carried into action into a betterment of humanity, then I am especially grateful.