I've been drawing for my whole life, starting as a toddler with a crayon scribble-mural on my bedroom wall. My earliest visual influences were cartoons, 1970s graphics and animation (i.e. Pinball Number Count), Jim Henson puppets, and old storybook illustrations. I loved the popular works of Picasso and Van Gogh when I was introduced to them in elementary school. In the 1980s and 90s, my attention was grabbed by a variety of bold artists like JM Basquiat, Keith Haring, Diane Arbus, Frida Kahlo, Barbara Kruger, and Jan Švankmajer. I was fully enthralled by the visuals of rock bands, music videos, modern dance, album artwork, graffiti, and the multi-faceted visual lexicon of indie rock and DIY art-punk and activist subculture.
I draw by hand -- and I especially enjoy drawing upon paper (and in settings) not intended for "art." My drawings are generally brisk, improvised, internally sourced, and without narrative -- but feature a strong vocabulary of faces, figures, and elements of nature. I've developed a certain boldness of style that hovers between primitive and cartoonish / grounded and whimsical / natural and supernatural.
While I never draw with a story or concept in mind, I've come to retroactively view many of the mysterious faces, figures, and beings in my collected work (2002 and later) as protectors or sentinels of Creativity -- my own and other people's. I see them as a poetic, organic extension of my healing and recovery from childhood abuse... and from being socialized by (and still living inside of) an anti-creativity capitalist patriarchy! I've also been keeping handwritten notebooks since 1997, which is when I started truly unblocking and recovering my creative self thanks to The Artist's Way course. I never went to art school, but took as many art and photography classes as I could in high school. I draw and write with Sharpies, pens, pencils, markers, crayons, and my hands (Touch Drawing). Many of my finished works on are actually drawings glued onto wood panels. Collage, rudimentary printmaking, photography, and sculpture sometimes get mixed-up in my process. Occasionally, I do large-scale improvised performance drawings on giant paper, with fat paint markers. My current creativity heroes are LYNDA BARRY and DENISE GOBLET.
Recent art highlights:
In 2016, my studio, my art, and I were guests on Rythea Lee's comic-therapeutic series Advice from a Loving Bitch for Episode 16: Creativity Explained. Back in 2012-13, I was the subject of a friend's experimental web series called Drawn to Dana, which she shot and produced over the course of a year. In 2012, I was also one of four artists to conceptualize, design, and complete this 128-ft. sound wave mural.
NOW = NOTEBOOK DEVOTION
I'm falling in love with my current notebook routine. Thanks to Lynda Barry, it's evolved so that my handwriting and my drawing -- historically two forces that rarely occupied the same paper space -- are becoming not only closer in proximity to one another inside of the same notebooks (!) but also less and less distinguishable as two separate types of marks / gestures / activities. I'm also having a love affair with my 20-year collection of old filled-up notebooks, which I'm turning into a variety of projects including but not limited to the sculpture experiments below + a post series called The Secret Life of Notebooks + more to come. I really believe that developing a notebooking habit can change your life!
** I share new notebook-art regularly on my Instagram, and collect it in this album on my Facebook page.