Thursday, August 5, 2010

HOUSE CALLS with Danny Brito

The work of Miami based artist Danny Brito is both cute and a little edgy, all at the same time. His art is colorful, playful and reflects a vintage style in the situations and details of the images he depicts. Rosey cheeked girls, pig tails, cats eye glasses, bubble gum and beehives all feature prominently, but let me pass you over to Danny for the best introduction to his work.

Danny, the stage is all yours...

Describe the work that you do? "I like to draw kind of fashion related girls, although I don't really gain inspiration from trends, I draw cute and dainty things. The girls aren't exactly conventionally beautiful, but have different quirks like unproportioned features, gapped teeth, or lankly limbs, which I find to be beautiful. I mainly work in colored pencils, but I do like to paint from time to time, I just feel like I get the most detail out of pencils."

What was the career/education path you took to get to this point? "I started school as a Graphic Design major, I still have interest in it but I got so bored with fiddling around in design and things like being confined in side guidelines and pixels. So after two years I dropped out and decided to find my self art-wise. I wouldn't suggest people just drop out of school if you're lost, but it was the best option for me and it worked in my favor. I was able to find myself as an artist and a person. Last year I quit my job and have been working full-time as an illustrator ever since."

Where do you get your inspirations? "A lot of my style is inspired by the types of art you would find in thrift stores, paintings of wide eyed children and things like that. I really love the illustrations Matel used to use for Barbie and Skipper in the early 1960s as well as illustrations on sewing patterns from the same era. Lately I've become infatuated by 1950-60s japanese illustration, really wide-eyed girls with dazzling eyes."

Ghost World Enid and Rebecca Print

Poisoning the Cheater, Watercolor and Doily on Paper

Describe the creative process in designing and constructing a particular piece? "I rarely sketch, since I work in pencil I'll usually sketch out the shapes of what I want to do on paper then erase and refine, I do that a bunch of times until I get what I want. I usually work at my desk next to my iMac so I'm able to watch movies or listen to music while I work. I tend to listen to really twee type music like Emmy the Great, Slow Club, The Ditty Bops, anything like that. I usually watch fantasy type movies like Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket's. I'll sometimes get an idea for a drawing while watching a movie or listening to music and I'll quickly jot it down for future reference. I tend to lay out a pad of paper then spill out all my colored pencils and set aside my most frequently used colors, I also have an electric sharpener, the kind you would see in an office setting. That thing is a life saver."

Braided Couples Wood Print Transfers

Where do you create your work? "I work out of my home, in my own room actually. If I could get rid of my bed I would just to have more room to create! I have a desk from Ikea, it serves it's purpose but I wish it wasn't made of formica because some areas are beginning to warp. It's put up with me for three years though. I also have a lightbulb hanging above my desk to provide adequate lighting."

Would you share some of your favourite artisans whose work you most admire? "Danielle {Knee} Estefan, she's a local artist. Her illustrations just have so much character to them, and I love seeing her paintings in person. I actually own one she did for a show we were in together.

"Waiting for Grief", acrylic/sharpie on canvas

Olivia Mew, she has the cutest style and does and amazing job applying that style to so many different mediums. I especially love her work with felt plushes. If I could afford to build a small army of them, I would.

"Jessica and Oliver" papercut illustration

Aurora, felt plush

Gemma Correll is an obvious favorite, she's just such a lovely person and a fellow pug owner, she has a great ability to convey emotions in drawings with her simple yet confidant lines."

Pugs Not Drugs Tote Bag

"If I Knew You Were Coming", Card

Where can we get our hands on your work? "If you're local you can visit Pink Ghost in Hollywood, Florida, I have a few prints and pin sets available there, possibly more quite soon. You can also visit my etsy shop. I also accept commissioned pieces pretty much all the time, the turn around time might be different considering when you contact me. All my contact info can be found on my website."

A selection of Danny's pins

What/who are the things you love most in your life? "I'm a crazy dog person, I'm the person that stops to hug your dog when you're walking them. I have three of my own and love them with all my heart. I could go on and on about things I love because I'm a person with a book full of interests, but to put this question in a short and sweet way I would say my perfect day involves cuddling puppies, going thrifting, eating sushi, and having ice-cream at night while watching harry potter."

A selection of Danny's work from his solo show, At the Sock Hop

What would you do in your "wildest dreams" if you had no restrictions? "Ah! I think definitely I would love to live in a foreign country. Immigration is such a pain in the butt, If it were up to me I would be living in a small flat in London over looking the embankment with lovely wooden floors, a fully stacked kitchen, a great studio with perfect lighting and a huge desk, and a living room with wall to wall book shelves filled with things like blythe dolls, ugly dolls, kid robot toys, old cameras, and dvds. One day I'll have that life, I'm still very young, but that's definitely my "wildest dream""

What is your greatest professional achievement? "I would love to design things for people, like t-shirts and bags. I want to go into a busy city and see someone walking around with my illustrations on their shirt. That's my biggest necessity for my art, I want it to be obtainable… I want to people to able to easily buy a print for their living room or purchase a pin to put on their tote without having to bend over backwards and not break the bank while doing so"

What is new with you and your work? "At the moment I'm focusing on being a vendor at a few local arts and craft fairs, I love them. It's such a great way to meet TONS of people. I love meeting people that like my work and I like being able to put a face behind my drawings. it's a great way to support the handmade independent movement."

Do you have a motto for life? "Just be nice, I often tell myself this. I do get down on my self from time to time, I think everyone does. But Life is great, I get to wake up every morning and be my own boss and love doing what I do. So just be nice, because I could still be working at a craft store or answering phones. I'm very thankful."

I adore Danny's work and his positive and vibrant spirit. What a talented guy he is! How cool would it be to have a portrait of yourself done by Danny? I see myself with pink hair, some kind of green 1950s dress, cats eye glasses and a little pug tucked under my arm for good measure. Oh Danny......!?

1 comment:

  1. Great interview. It's nice to hear about artists in Miami, especially a different Brito from the other Britto that's so popular in the area. I think I like Danny's art better too. :)


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