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Meet Robyn Danks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robyn Danks.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born abroad to an American public school teacher and a British graphic artist. Despite being born overseas, I grew up in Kansas. We moved frequently when I was younger and it pushed me to come out of my shyness. My parents divorced when I was very young, leaving my mother to raise myself and my younger brother, challenged by the economic downturn of the ’70s.

Black sheep of the family is how I would describe myself. I was one of few athletes in the extended family and also one of the few creatives as well. The majority of my extended family lean more to the cerebral side of the brain with the exception of a few published authors. My mother steered me away from pursuing art as a career, which ultimately was a wise decision, as the options for women artists were slim in the 80s. I got a degree in teaching and eventually ended up returning to college to become a radiology technologist. The human body is really an amazing biological mass and I have studied it from many perspectives.

When I am not working in my day job (healthcare) as a cardiovascular interventional technologist at Stanford Hospital, I like to travel, ride my bike, hang with my geriatric bichons and of course create.

Please tell us about your art.
I am not a formally trained artist but have created since early childhood. There are so many mediums I have experimented with over the years but generally kept my art somewhat hidden. In 2014, my Mother passed away and I wanted to honor her memory as a part of my grieving process so I opened up, became much more vulnerable with my art. I began posting on social media the art gifts made for friends and suddenly, I found myself with requests and commissions. It was cathartic, to say the least, to honor my Mom and release my creative mind onto canvases and paper through my hands.

It has grown into a busy hobby, some would say even a side-hustle. At the very least, it has become my pathway to expression, to being vulnerable and to a distraction from my day job. I work in healthcare which can be demanding and honestly, a life-sucking force. To come home from work and get lost in an art project for a few hours every night has been nothing short of fun, rewarding and healing.

Fortunately, my art is not my financial livelihood which affords me the creative flexibility to complete a set of abstract pieces on the week, a set of ink on paper pieces the next and a few controversial works along the way. Most larger chunks of my creative time are filled with music of many genres, my pets demanding my attention and a mess of paint or ink inside my tiny one-bedroom apartment/my art studio.

Most recently, I have been working in acrylic paint with some graphic arts styles, some abstract works and also some ink/paint/mixed media illustration. There are pieces of my art styles that contain hidden or embedded meanings and symbols. Some of these items may be for the customer or myself or both. I enjoy the concentration aspect of the detailed pieces I complete. I also enjoy the freedom of the abstract pieces that permit me to place paint on the canvas spontaneously.

My personal reward is when someone finds joy in viewing my art or finds themselves uncomfortable at the prospect of my darker/political works. In the future, I plan to hold my own series of pop-up gallery nights but until then I am creating a collection of works in three genres (abstract, intuitive graphic and illustrative). The message I wish to share is to be unapologetically creative, because I am.

Currently, I live in Palo Alto, California (SF Bay area) but am working my way down to the LA market. Recently, have a few works selected for an exhibit at Gallery 30 South in Pasadena for the Coaster Show in early October 2019.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
Social media and information technology are both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is being able to get your work viewed by more eyes yet on a relatively small screen. The curse is that technology is saturated with creatives, saturated with theft of intellectual property and effectively has nullified many of the benefits of information technology (for many visual artists). On the other hand, the opportunities in engineered art, thanks to technology, are astounding. The thing that will probably never change is that so many people want your creative skills to hang in their homes but don’t wish to pay appropriately for your skills.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My illustrative work is slated to be in a short group/open exhibit in Pasadena, California called the Coaster Show (2019) at Gallery 30 South. I am also active on a few social media platforms. On Instagram as danks_w3 and on facebook as DanksW3Creations and twitter as scoobydanks. I also have some of my work available on a few POD sites such as FineArtAmerica, Redbubble, Society6 although the majority of my work currently sells by word of mouth in the form of originals.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Robin Danks

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