CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?
DF: I studied graphics, film and photography at university and these have all had major influences on my painting. I would like the work to have a visceral impact on the viewer, where the colors and forms give an experience.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
DF: My inspiration comes from different elements of culture: film, music, literature. All of these tell emotional stories, and I would like to share similar human narratives through my own work.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
DF: I will see a photo of someone that resonates with me in a way that I can see how they might feel and what it might provoke for others. I look for relationships or connections between people and keep a collection of source images. I will then combine these with a space that I think might help emphasize the story.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
DF: I like the idea that there is a connection the audience will have with the work by feeling they have personally experienced something in the scene before. I’m looking to awaken a memory in them and bring the experience closer like that.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
DF: I’m lucky to find peace in painting, so it takes most of my time and I enjoy the immediacy of the pigment, the way it shifts and changes. I’m a morning person so work as soon as I wake, before I can start to worry about the world and where it is going.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?
DF: I’m not a good planner, so intuition feels right for me. I know that many years of creative practice allow me to work like this on impulse, yet feel confident it is informed and builds on the visual language I have developed.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
DF: Take as many risks as possible. I think this helps to build a tension within the work and this communicates something more authentic to the audience. I try to set many different challenges within my practice and for every canvas to try something new and uncomfortable.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
DF: Style and taste seem to be things enforced by society. I’ve always been interested in counter culture and am impressed when I see individuals going their own way.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
DF: Getting comfortable and being repetitive is always a risk. It can be easy to slide into a routine and to not ask questions about your own work and where it is going. There are values I have, such as generosity, communication, sharing and development that I truly value.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
DF: I’m a visual person and images allow me to communicate. Otherwise I feel like a mute person in a world of words and sounds.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?
DF: David Lynch and Ridley Scott both had a profound impact on the way I look at things and the way I work. I like the way they ask the big questions and don’t pretend to have the answers.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
DF: I love technology, having access to things and being able to create stuff with programs like Photoshop or creating web pages. Those are creative, but I worry about my kids and all the dangers that technology can bring. I have fond memories of times without mobile phones where we all watched the same TV and had things to talk about in common.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
DF: It depends on what ‘creative’ means. I think there are creative people that aren’t artists and also artists that are not creative. It’s a state of mind rather or an attitude rather than an action. It can be painful to expose yourself to being vulnerable as a creative person, which may be why many people don’t follow that path.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
DF: Travelling is a wonderful way of putting yourself in new situations and feeling something different. I always feel richer when I come home from somewhere new. Rather than specific places, I like the movement, especially on a motorbike where the wind gives that sense of trajectory.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
DF: I like a lot of authors, especially authors like Herman Hesse, Hemingway, Jose Saramago, among many others who present very emotive stories about the human condition.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
DF: Goals always expand and evolve. I’m content with exploring and trying new things, allowing images to find me. I have a few different projects where I am exploring different types of imagery such as architectural spaces and connections with nature. I’m confident they will lead me to new challenges.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
DF: Being an artist has allowed me to change my life. It has taken me out of a darker world and stops my mind from wandering. It brings me peace and a sense of meditative calm, to watch and feel.
CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?
DF: I’ve got The Knife on shuffle repeat at the moment. It’s weird and freaky and I love that electro vibe. I usually listen to loud electronic music when I paint and time just falls away.
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?
DF: Look from afar, look close, notice connections between textures and contrasts in colors, and feel the gratitude I have for giving me your time.