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Meet Daena Title in Hancock Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daena Title.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Daena. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
If you know anyone who’s struggled with infertility, you’ve seen first hand what a heart wrenching, primal failure can feel like. After five years of doctors and endless procedures, I was one of the lucky ones. I had a son.

That act of creating, that miracle, re-opened a part of me that I had closed off for over 20 years. I returned to making art.

My “art door” had closed when I went to Wellesley College. Studio Art, it seemed to me at the time, was certainly the wrong focus at such an esteemed intellectual bastion. Besides, I had always wanted to be an actress. I was destined for the silver screen. I was going to be loved.

So, I stopped making the art I’d done throughout my teenage years and after graduation became an actress. Hmm, didn’t quite get the love there. So, I became a screenwriter. Ehhh, not so much there either. I worked hard at it, but it was always more work than joy.

But with the birth of my son, everything reset. Suddenly, I knew on an instinctive, deep animal level that I needed to create again. To draw. To paint.

I’d taken a circuitous path back to my purest self. But as Charles Bukowski has said, “The shortest distance between two points is often unbearable”.

I’ve been showing my expressionist, figurative artwork in galleries, museums and art fairs since 1998. My work is best known for its feminist focus on modern female icons. I’ve painted Barbie dolls and beauty queens. I’ve lived “in a jar of paint” as I’ve tried to move the needle forward on our awareness of society’s often ridiculous double standards. And then other times, I just paint.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The greatest struggle now is to NOT be a professional artist. The soul-sucking necessities of playing the game have begun to bulldoze my joy, sap my energies and disintegrate my freedom. I did not finally return to art to increase my “Social Presence” on Instagram, or to create a “Brand” that becomes my personal aesthetic jail. Yet, the juggernaut of commercialism has seeped into my essence. It is insidious: selling becomes more important than creating; a good review is more important than a day of experimentation in the studio.

I was not meant for that game. My struggle now is to say “No”.

Yes, I want to find ways to share my paintings and find them homes where they are loved. To communicate and contribute. But also, I want to hold on to the purity of birth and creation. If I fail miserably or disappear from view, so be it. But I will die my own death on my own terms doing what I want to do. At least that is the goal.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Daena Title story. Tell us more about the business.
Please visit my work at www.daenatitle.com.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Every day that I can paint is a day that I am grateful.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. Tammy

    April 17, 2018 at 22:51

    I am a huge fan of Daena’s art in all its forms! (And she didn’t do too badly in the creation of her two children either!) Bravo, Daena, for staying true to your art and the meaning it holds for you. It’s easy to get sucked into the commercial machine but I applaud your commitment to creating for the joy of it!

  2. Rona

    April 19, 2018 at 20:08

    This is an incredible interview! What Daena may not realize is that her art, her words and her actions inspire people every day. I am one of them. So much gratitude to this remarkable artist who reminds us again and again where to direct our gaze. Thank you Daena Title!

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