We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Curran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I am not certain that I ever consciously chose to be an artist. I believe it was something that just naturally evolved within me as though it was in my blood or part of my genetic make up. As a young kid creating art gave me confidence and excitement and it felt like I had found the one thing I was good at. I would look forward to my art classes and the idea of going to an art school always lingered in the back of my mind. Art also gave me a strong sense of individuality and independence that I craved. I became absorbed with the practice of combining my mind with my hands to create and all of this only became more powerful throughout the years.
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.
I have been a painter for 24 years now and I have spent countless hours developing my own style. While I was in school at the Atlanta College of Art I studied painting and sculpture and that background in sculpture had a significant influence on my work as a painter. The whole experience developed into this idea of conveying a three dimensional aspect on the canvas. Most people think of paintings as flat images and I wanted to explore this idea of creating something more unique.
With each of my paintings I begin by building a sculpted layer of texture on the surface and from there I gradually add layers of paint to form a vibrant heavily textured result.
Early on in my career as a painter my subject was the landscape but I have devoted the last 7 years to focus on portraits of both animals and iconic people in music and pop culture. With each painting my goal is to capture the essence of the subject while also incorporating a vibrant and colorful palette. I have continued to develop a body of portraits with this process but in the last few years I have also ventured into the world of digital art where I have focused on creating a series of owls as well as many other creatures and animals. The digital art has played a big role in advancing the success with my art with the ease of productivity and reproduction although traditional painting on canvas has always been my preferred method of creating art.
In 2018 I was offered the opportunity to start painting live at a weekly event at Park tavern alongside Piedmont Park in the heart of Atlanta. I was excited but also terrified because I had never painted in front of anyone before. This was a chance for me to overcome the fear of being in front of a crowd and the fear of sharing my work and my process in an incomplete stage, which I had never done before. I knew I had to take this huge step for my career but what I didn’t know then was that this event would jump start my production of art as well as my confidence in my work to a level I could not have foreseen. I began getting commissions and participating in large art markets and festival events. I also got the opportunity to create a design for the Atlanta Braves and attend a game to do a meet and greet with fans. This was definitely a proud moment in my career that I have cherished. I have now been the live painter for this event for the last 3 years and have since then set up an online shop to sell my art to a wider audience. I never knew how much art I could produce and sell but it took a lot of hard work and dedication to get to where I am now.
One of the main lessons that I have learned along this journey is to never give up. There have been moments and hardships along the way that have discouraged me and tested me, but I have always persisted and pushed forward and I attribute this to my success. I encourage anyone who has a desire to make any form of art to pursue that path because it has made me a better person and built up my confidence to a level that was unimaginable to my younger self. I have also decided that my goal in all of this is to create my art as a contribution to the world. Being an artist has been a part of my entire life and is something I will always do. If I can turn that into making the world a better place by making someone smile or inspiring a memory of something they love then it fulfills me to keep moving forward.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I were to introduce a friend to Atlanta I would love to show them some of the historical places like The Oakland Cemetery, The Georgian Terrace, The Fox Theater and Piedmont Park. I love walking through Piedmont Park on a beautiful day. The park is also connected to The Beltline trail a recent addition to the city, which connects multiple neighborhoods through miles of redeveloped rail line and has rotating public art projects. The Beltline is an excellent path to explore Atlanta with someone new to the area. Nearby to Piedmont Park there is a small local bar called The Highlander. This place is a gem in Atlanta. They have walls covered with art for sale by local artists and they have a very interesting menu for a place considered to be a dive bar. They also have pool tables, air hockey, and pinball so it is a fun place to hang out. Some other areas that would be fun to visit are the Little Five Points neighborhood with very unique shops and bars. The Porter Bar, Corner Tavern and Brewhouse are great spots to have a drink or a bite to eat. I also love The Virginia-Highlands neighborhood. In the Virginia-Highlands I would definitely recommend Surin’s delicious coconut soup and experiencing Blind Willie’s Blues Bar. It is a tiny spot but it is a fun time and the music is always amazing. I think venturing into these old spots and neighborhoods is where you can find the best parts of Atlanta.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shout out to my fiancé Brittany Munson who has been a supportive force in my life and has helped me navigate the difficulties of choosing a creative career.
Youtube: Daniel Curran Art
The Main picture in my studio for the feature is credited to Dave Gastineau https://davegastineau.com