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Art & Life with Daniel Monroe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Monroe.

Daniel, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Growing up, the arts were always something that was encouraged and nurtured in my household. My father is an artist and my mother love to play piano, so naturally, some of that God-given talent was bound to be passed down. Since I can remember, I’ve always loved art. There’s something fascinatingly beautiful about being able to portray and reflect my perspective of life and all of its meaning onto a canvas. This passion also bled over into a love for poetry and music (which up until recent years, I didn’t know could flow with, coincide with and even compliment the fine arts).

This passion led me to take a wide variety of art courses and workshops throughout my youth—many of which the Lord utilized to both sharpen and ironically, broaden my craft. This path eventually resulted in me graduating and receiving my B.A. in Studio Art from California State University Dominguez Hills. Simultaneously, I furthered my talents as a producer, songwriter and emcee performing at a number of shows, venues, and events alongside many of my close friends and peers who’ve shared that same passion.

Currently, I am a commissioned-based fine artist under ‘Monroe Collectibles’ as well as an independent music artist under the stage name, ‘New Gen’.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My motto is simple yet potent…Express. Create. Discover.

For me, what this means is that when I sense the need to express myself (my thoughts, heart-set, beliefs…etc.) this will lead me to create something through art which can open the doors to discover truth for not only myself, but (in varying measures and degrees) all who lay eyes on it. Once new revelation is received on that level, I’m then inspired to express an entirely new level of understanding and the cycle repeats itself.

Understandably all of this can sound a bit pretentious and for lack of a better term, “fake deep” **sigh** But while it can sound a bit complicated, its application is pretty straight-forward within the context of art.

All things considered, while I do love and have delved into many approaches and types of art, my favorite thing to do by far is portraiture. It’s so simple yet conveys so much emotion and heart. Oftentimes people’s stories, testimonies, and beliefs are on full display in their face. It’s actually one of the most vulnerable positions to be in because portraits capture and reveal so much about just who we are and equally who we are not.

As far as mediums go, I’m open to anything to an extent. Yet, pencil and charcoal are a classic and will never get old as far as I’m concerned. Visually, I’m drawn (pun absolutely intended) to the idea of contrast—pencil and/or charcoal on white paper lend themselves perfectly to that. I also enjoy reversing negative and positive space with white pencil or chalk pastel on black paper. I’ve recently even ventured more into utilizing a digital canvas with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Ultimately, I’ve learned that regardless of medium, the outcome of the work is completely dependent on and according to what drives and fuels the artist. I really do my best not to frown upon or condescend to any manifestation of art in any context. Everyone has a story and everyone has their choice tools through which to tell it.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
I believe that art in all facets (fine art, music, dance, theatre) has always inherently been a reflection of the times…even now more-so because there is an ever-increasing number of artists, perceptions of what art is, and avenues for that art to be presented in both public and private forums.

As an artist, I’m convicted to not only present what I see as the current state of things, yet offer hope and potentially a new way to perceive and understand the world we live in. I’ve never been one to adhere to trends or whatever the social, economic, or political climate around me is. I adhere strictly to that which is constant and never changes…truth.

My art may have themes or underlying commentary. but its message is intentional, purposed…directed. Never just commentary for commentary’s sake. If I create it, it’s meant to at the very least plant a seed of change in the viewer and potentially challenge mindsets, beliefs, biases, etc…

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Though I’ve showcased my work in a couple of galleries and exhibitions (namely the ‘RAW Artists Los Angeles 2015’ Exhibit http://www.rawartists.org/monroecollectibles) I’m not currently showing at any venues. I do eventually plan on having work go up soon in a couple of establishments, restaurants and galleries.

In the meantime, I’m in the process of building a website/digital portfolio and furthering the brand “Monroe Collectibles’. Much of my work is accessible online via https://www.facebook.com/monroecollectibles/ and https://www.instagram.com/monroecollectibles/. I currently am selling prints of one of my film portrait series pieces titled ‘Logan’ which can be seen and purchased at https://www.inprnt.com/gallery/monroecollectibles/logan-portrait-bw/. Be on the lookout for more pieces to be released as prints very soon.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photo Cred. @atdesigners

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