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Life & Work with Dan TwoTrees

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dan TwoTrees. 

Hi Dan, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
My one true wish was always to be an artist. Storytelling became my first passion in life, and gradually the art of story evolved into a devout practice for me — almost like a kind of faith or spirituality. It provided me with a means to escape. I would spend long hours watching movies and TV shows on my family’s old ‘80s television set while sequestered in the basement of my childhood home. There I could gain some understanding about the larger world — which was still mysterious to me or to seek meaning in life, or just to catch a glimpse of truth — while living vicariously through the characters I saw on-screen. Their lives were meaningful and impactful, and I wanted mine to be so as well. 

Even in my youth, I was writing scripts, teaching myself the scriptwriting craft using books I took on loan from the library. When I came of age, I started my career as a screenwriter, writing feature-length screenplays for the motion picture business. I moved to Los Angeles in 2006 and obviously drank too much Kool-Aid, as I was certain my career was headed for a meteoric rise. 

That cliché of easy success was obviously not in the cards for me. The years passed, and I grew restless with the scriptwriting format. Indeed, writing itself had become burdensome, somewhat tortuous, and isolating endeavor. Things were only made worse by the fact that my scripts would languish forever in an un-produced purgatory. It left me feeling that my artwork was incomplete and that I was not a real artist, as I never saw my creative vision become a reality. 

Yet, the fortune cookie that is life did ultimately strike me dumbfounded with an epic realization that “story” — like water — could take on an infinite number of forms and shapes. All Art — and not just writing — is a vessel for story. While I do love hearing and reading a good story, my one true love was to SEE story in its myriad of forms. I am most guided by my visual sense. And with time, the artist’s eye opened, and I began to see story in a more complex way, having it appear in painting, in photography, and truly in everything around me. 

The old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” took on new and immense meaning for me. I came to appreciate the documentarian aspect of storytelling & journalism and to create solely as a form of self-expression. I believe that an entire universe can exist in one piece of artwork. And so, I devoted myself wholly to the visual arts, to perfecting my craft, and to finding my own unique creative voice. 

Thus, I began my journey as a photographer and video artist 11 years ago and I have never looked back since. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has never been smooth. The struggles to emerge as an artist, to find the skill set required for a unique style, and to simultaneously find economic opportunity and stability, are eternally present. 

Yet I understand this stark fact puts me in very good company. Any Master would be required to toil and to struggle in order to overcome their own unique set of challenges. I would rather this authentic life — one that is uncertain and unpredictable than to have had one placated by the silver spoon of privilege and too much comfort or certainty of outcome. For all its downsides, I do thoroughly embrace the arduous journey and like to take the path less traveled. I find the views here are better. 

I must say that the challenges along the way have only hardened my resolve and, indeed made the taste of success that much sweeter. 

I use the motto to never give up, never surrender, especially when your dreams are at stake. Learning to cope and to work through challenges in a calm fashion has been particularly helpful in opening new growth areas for me personally and as an artist. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a photographer, video artist, & creative director. For video, I specialize in making what I call “Digital Tapestries”, which are my experimental video art pieces that are projected & collaged onto real-world surfaces, facades, and any environment or object. I project my images & videos onto landscapes, water, abandoned places, and urban structures. I also make music videos for artists and display my work at art galleries, live events, festivals, and concerts. 

As a photographer, I specialize in portrait, fine art, commercial and fashion photography. I also do backstage work on movie sets. But my origins are as a street photographer. I documented my years as a young person traveling the world, pursuing the arts, & communicating the stories of people and disparate places I encountered along the way. 

I am most proud of embarking on this journey and maintaining courage throughout. The result of these challenges has been the gradual chiseling of my eyes and hands into that of a sculptor, a real artist. My style is mine own, one developed over countless hours of trial and error. It felt like chipping my teeth in the darkness. To emerge from that is a great triumph. It cost me everything, yet I deem it to have been worth the sacrifice. 

What sets me apart is the experimental nature of my work. I like to push the envelope creatively, to break new ground, and create a whole new style. And I have range as an artist, able to work with a variety of styles, genres, and themes, which I find unique as well. 

Alright, so before we go, can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I love to hear from other artists, creatives fans, and even stans! Please reach out with any inquiries, opportunities to collaborate, or just to say Hi! I can be reached on Instagram; my handle is @dantwotrees My email is dantwotrees@gmail.com 

My website is www.dantwotrees.com 

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Dan TwoTrees

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