Dave Danchuk is a very talented artist currently living in Canada. His work technique is unusual, and the colors he applies are happy and energetic. I found his work spectacular the first time I saw it… I still do, that’s why I try to keep up to date with his new artwork. I had the honor to have a short interview with him, which I will gladly share with you:
The Pompomist: Why are you an artist, Mr. Danchuk?
Dave Danchuk: I feel the need to be creative. If I don’t make something, I feel like I’ve wasted the day. I work fulltime at a glass studio now, so that feeds my creative habit somewhat, but I enjoy working with wood, power tools and paint, so my scrollsaw pieces are very satisfying. I also like having my kids see me be artistic and creative, they often want to help, which is very cool. My 3 year old daughter paints my frames for me now. My grandmother was a painter, my aunt is a painter, my mother’s a poet (writes a poem every morning soon after waking), and my father’s a very creative workaholic, so I have the genes for creating.
The Pompomist: Could you tell us about your artwork?
Dave Danchuk: The thing I’m most known for is my “scrollsawed paintings”. They are colorful pieces of cut up wood /MDF (that’s where the scrollsaw comes in to it). They usually consist of hundreds of pieces which are all then hand painted and glued back together on a backing board. I draw the designs (usually “colorful characters” or random thoughts I have) directly on to the wood. Because I have to cut it all up, I have to make sure that every line in the drawing is either touching the edge of the wood, or connected to another line. This makes it a bit tricky, but it’s a fun challenge.
The Pompomist: When and how did you start working with a scroll saw?
Dave Danchuk: My wife and I went to an outdoor art festival a few years ago (where my mother had a booth of her poems), and there I saw the work of an artist, who at first, from a distance, his large pieces looked like paintings, but on closer inspection, they were all little pieces of wood (intarsia) put together. I was blown away by the detail in his work and the fact that it was all wood. I talked to him for quite a while, and told my wife that I think I could do something similar with my own twists. I started researching on the ‘net, then a few months later my wife found a used Dewalt scrollsaw for sale near our home. We couldn’t really afford it at the time, but I had to have it. It’s definitely paid for itself now.
The Pompomist: What artists have influenced you, and how?
Dave Danchuk: Anyone who creates inspires me. I love seeing different artists in any media, seeing what they come up with, how they piece their work together, seeing things that I would never have thought of. There are a few art groups on MySpace that are great for inspiration. Most of my current favorite artists I’ve found through MySpace, and many are in my “top friends”.
The Pompomist: What other interests do you have (besides painting)?
Dave Danchuk: I love hanging out with my kids. My daughter Maya’s almost 4 now and my son Zack is about a year and a half. If I ever run out of ideas for a new piece, Maya always has some pretty brilliant ideas. I played bass in a band in the mid 90’s, and music is still a huge part of my life, although my only audience now is my wife and kids.
The Pompomist: What inspires you to create your art pieces?
Dave Danchuk: You have to wait for the inspirations I find, if you go looking for them, they aren’t as good as the ones you get unexpectedly.
The Pompomist: How have you handled the business side of being an artist?
Dave Danchuk: Not very well. It’s not a fulltime job yet, and I think the dynamics of it would change if I “had” to create. I love every step of what I do now as there’s usually no time limit set, which is nice and enjoyable. If I had to pay bills and support my family strictly through my art, I think the stress factor would rise considerably. I make quite a few name plaques for locals which help, and I have an online shirt store at www.cafepress.com/amazedcreations which does fairly well now. I now have a big enough inventory of work that I can start to find gallery shows to do, and that’s my next step is to get more people to see my work in person.
The Pompomist: Could you talk about your latest art pieces and what you are trying to achieve with them?
Dave Danchuk: My latest piece is a 4ft x 2ft piece titled Death Masks. It features a human skull with a pharaoh on one side and a Buddha mask on the other side. I’d never drawn a skull before, so it was about time I tried to create one. The three “masks” can be interpreted in a number of ways which I like. Some people get remembered more if they are given a mask to wear once they die.
The Pompomist: Which artists are your favorites, and why?
Dave Danchuk: I got to see a few of Dali’s pieces when I was in London, his work is brilliant, thought provoking and he had ideas that I never would’ve thought about doing. It was very cool to be able to see his work up close. I’d like to inspect a few of Alex Grey’s pieces in person; his work always makes my eyes happy.
The Pompomist: Do you have any advice to offer younger artists?
Dave Danchuk: If at first you don’t succeed, cut it into hundreds of pieces and make something with the cool pieces.
The Pompomist: Thank you, Mr. Danchuk.
Here is just a few samples of his creations, including his latest piece “Death Masks” he mentioned earlier. You can see more of his work at http://www.amazedcreations.com/ and on his MySpace webpage http://www.myspace.com/amazed_creations.