In First Grade, Danny wrote, illustrated, and bound a book, Underwater Animals, which earned him first place in a city-wide competition. The next year, he once again took top prize for his book The Lone Ranger Through Time. His love for books and paper never wavered, and since the mid-’80s his work in design, editing, layout, illustration, and writing has appeared in hundreds of publications—from comic books to CDs to magazines to novels.
Born and reared throughout mostly rural Oregon, Danny spent much of his life wandering the world around him, never satisfied to remain merely “comfortable” in either where he was or in the things he did. Through working for a newspaper in Sweden while living there on a writing scholarship, he began his work with design and illustration, surrounded by the artistic heritage of a European setting. Short stints at both a Bible College and a Catholic Seminary in Southern California, as a U.S. Army Linguist, in Japan as a curious onlooker, along with travels to many others settings, have all helped to further form his unique vision.
Eschewing a formal education in Writing, Languages, and a focus on Playwriting and Theatre, Danny began a more serious pursuit of traditional book-binding, printmaking, and drawing in the early ’90s. Expunging himself from the West Coast in 1996, Danny moved to Manhattan to run the design end of independent record label Trip Records, specializing in digital design, while also freelancing album covers and other music-related items, and sporadically publishing small pieces under his own imprint, Baby Rhino Press.
Finding in Maine a reflection of many of his favorite places, Danny finally settled along its Midcoast in 1997. The granite coastline and natural setting inspired forays into more tactile arts. Sculpted fiber constructions, hand made boxes and books, and multicolored block prints all project a sense of depth, imbued with a fascination for the primitive and organic. In 2008, he once again returned to the world of words and print publishing, and has since had a hand in editing, designing, and providing relief prints and illustrations for books and magazines by publishers from around the world.
Having had no formal art training, Danny returned to school at the University of Southern Maine, where he studied Printmaking, Book Arts, Art History, Music, and Philosophy, graduating summa cum laude in May of 2016. He was awarded the 2016 USM Art Department Discipline Awards for both Printmaking and At History. Never satisfied sitting still, he also sings in various choirs, studies flute, practices multiple forms of martial arts, and is fascinated with languages. He has served on the boards of various writers’ and community organizations; helped to found the New Hampshire based speculative fiction convention Anthology, curating its Juried Art exhibit; sits on the board for the USM Chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi Collegiate Honor Society; and is on the Board of Directors for River Arts Gallery in Damariscotta, Maine.
Danny’s artist’s books The Hive and Jelly were selected for display in the 2015 University of Southern Maine Juried Student Exhibition, the latter winning Best of Show, and his Beachcombers was selected for the 2016 Exhibit. His book Ghost Reef received a 2016 Emerging Paper Artist Award from the Movable Book Society. Many of his book and paper works debuted in a 2015 solo show, Pulped Fiction: Stories in Paper, at the Pope-Cheney Studio in Portland, ME. Copies of his Field Guide to UnNatural Wonders, based on a mail art construction, and his Devil Boy and Bearded Lady paper toys are held in the special collections of Maine College of Art’s Joanne Waxman Library. His print, illustration, fiber, and book works have appeared in shows in San Francisco, CA; Athens, GA; Indianapolis, IN; Columbus, OH; Portsmouth, RI; and throughout Maine, and regularly appears at The Hive Gallery in York, PA.
Danny lives in Maine with his partner of over twenty years, and is currently obsessed with structure and light, and how people interact with both art and their surroundings.
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
– Kurt Vonnegut
“Every project is a puzzle to be solved. I see something I find interesting and draw from it, playing with the form and exploring methods while learning from the materials. How far can I push a certain piece of paper, or a technique, and what might the result be? How can I play with it, either by adding to its surface or folding or mutilating it, to create something unexpected, and where can this lead me? How can I integrate everyday items and play in a way that creates a world or a story unique to each viewer?
“I learn so that I can teach, exploring techniques and mediums that are possible with common items that anyone can use. I create so that I can share, striving to tell stories or conjure individual moments that connect to the personal lives of others. If the ability to create makes us human, then the ability to share our creations, and with them our skills and stories, is what builds our humanity.
“At one time I told stories through words. Now, I tell my stories through imagery, and, just as with words for the reader, it is up to the viewer of the things I do to create their own meaning, to extract their own feelings, to tell their own tales, from and through these things. If my work leads someone to smile, or think, or even inspires them to create their own worlds, then I have been successful in my attempt.”
“Only through leaping off the cliff, taking the plunge into creation, can we begin our shared journey. The goal is not a perfect landing, but rather to show others that we can all fly.”