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Life & Work with Daniel George

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

Hi Daniel, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Gainesville Florida. My upbringing on a sprout farm and being homeschooled was not traditional but was wonderful. While earning my degree at University of Florida I fell in love with ceramics. After graduation, a six months immersion in Central America organically led me to moving to Malibu 17 years ago. Coming from a hardworking, creative and design-oriented family that encouraged to be passionate about my existence led me to applying to grad school in ceramics at Cal State Northridge. In 2010, I finished at Northridge and have been passionately pursuing my career as an artist while enjoying my daily working with my hands.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Not many things that are worth doing are easy. I have been very intuitive about finding my path in life. I feel very blessed to be passionate about what I do on a daily basis, but there have been challenges. Although I am now becoming clear on how to translate my creativity and love of working with my hands into dollar signs, it wasn’t always that way. As I mentioned earlier, I fell in love with clay early on and it was the “gateway drug” into the exploration of a career in art. While in grad school, I was exposed to a variety of mediums that were ultimately intended to inform my body of work in ceramics. I became creatively distracted by my love of printmaking, drawing and mixed media, assemblage, etc. it became hard for me to know what medium to put my energy into because I enjoyed them all. After graduation, I saw that tendency in myself and started a hat and apparel brand to attempt a focused business. I hand sewed 3000 pieces and burned out. Making a living with art has not been easy but I’m very encouraged by the way the world has responded to my creative pursuits.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My main squeeze has always been clay. Specifically, I’m fascinated by the balance of the functional and esthetic of a medium that started as mud excavated from the ground. I believe that my path in life is to spread good vibrations in the world via my creativity. I believe that grassroots energy exchange will ultimately leave the world a better place. Those small daily rituals and familiarities in life like using the same mug for tea/coffee are subtle yet powerful. I’d say I’m known best for my work in ceramics but as I eluded to earlier, I’ve made and sold linoleum block prints, done watercolor commissions, produced and sold recycled apparel, built furniture from upcycled wood, shaped and glassed surfboards from recycled foam and my newest passion is ceramic lighting designs.

Ceramic lighting designs is a new spin on the functionality of clay for me. It allows me to imbue people’s lives, public and private spaces, with an ambiance that enriches it while continuing to spread positivity through the enhancement of environments. It’s amazing how much a well-designed and lit space can improve the way we feel. My lighting designs are in restaurants such as Great White in Venice, CA and the subsequent locations they have opened, homes around LA, Orange County, Florida, and New Mexico. I’m proud of the way my focus on this wonderful niche of design has allowed me to build a business that is successful while allowing me to continue to be inspired and stretch the possibilities of my creativity.

What’s next?
I’d like to continue to work hard and play hard. Connection in its many forms is an integral part of our experience as humans. Balancing my connection with nature as a surfer and thriving as a creative entrepreneur/artist is a dream come true. I will continue doing both and see how much positive change I can affect in the world. Speaking of change, I feel very strongly about helping the environment, especially our oceans. They are the lifeblood of the planet. By contributing my creative elbow grease to organizations like sea trees, that my friends started, I’d like to help Mother Earth along my path as well. I think that community is very important as well. Creating places and events where the human connection can be reinvigorated and regenerated will be pivotal moving forward. I would like to do more art shows as a parallel to building my lighting business. While I focus on that business, I will continue to build my recycled surfboards and make pots that will precipitate in shows at galleries. My first solo show out of grad school in 2015 was called “Sticks and Mud.” It was in Mar Vista at a great gallery, C. Nichols Project.

It featured my artistic and functional surfboards and a slew of functional ceramics. I’d like to do more renditions of that theme here in LA and around the world.

Although the meditative practice of creating and making solo is very enjoyable, it’s great to collaborate. This kind of creative cross-pollination has stoked my creative fire over the years. Making work with friends like fellow renaissance man Cory Bluemling (@corybluemling) and ultra-talented Phoenix-based painter and muralist Andy Brown (@sleisure) has not only produced interesting intersections of our mediums, but we have had a good time doing it. It would be great to continue doing these kinds of collaborations and mixing mediums with other creatives in unexpected ways.

Contact Info:

  • Email: Flyingukedesigns@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @danielgeorgedesigns also @foamwrangler

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