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Meet Daniela Barbani of Daniela Barbani in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniela Barbani.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It all started with art and animals.

Growing up, I was always encouraged to be creative by my family. Crayons and paper were always readily available at my parents’ and grandparents’ homes. I would spend hours coloring and drawing in favor of watching TV. Art was always a part of my daily routine. So, were animals. There has not been a time where I have not been surrounded by them. I am originally from the northwestern region of ‘The Valley’, where wildlife would roam around our neighborhood on a daily basis. I eventually realized that I had all of the artistic inspiration I needed right in my backyard. Although I liked to draw many things, and still do, animals always found their way into my sketchbook.

Throughout college at Azusa Pacific University, I would spend my time painting funny animal illustrations in hopes of one day illustrating kids books. I eventually discovered the medium of printmaking when I took a class with artist and professor Jamie Sweetman and decided that I wanted to learn more about that technique. After undergrad, I spent two years at Cal State Northridge, where I received a Master of Arts degree in printmaking. I loved the graphics and hands-on quality of the medium so much that I decided two years of study was only the tip of the iceberg. I am now currently an MFA student studying printmaking at Cal State Long Beach. While my theme has consistently stayed around animals, I am now focused on creating work that draws attention to the urban wildlife living within Los Angeles’ city limits, in hopes of educating the viewer of these magnificent, and often times neglected beings. I also volunteer with CLAW-Citizens For Los Angeles Wildlife, a non-profit organization, whose values align with my own creative thought processes regarding animals.

Has it been a smooth road?
In the big picture, things have been running along smoothly. That is not to say that pursuing art is not difficult. In fact, it has proven to be one of the more challenging aspects of my life. There have been many tears. Graduate school is not designed to be easy, and critiques can make an artist question every choice they have ever made. However, when you find something you are passionate about, you learn to pick yourself up over and over again. Making art that is socially engaging with the environment around me has been something I refuse to give up on. Not everyone will agree with the messages I am putting forth with my art, but that is not an excuse to stop making the work. If anything, that’s what keeps me driven.

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Daniela Barbani

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