Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Inside the Mind of Daniel Fortune...The Artist

Daniel Fortune is nothing less than the epitome of a modern "Renaissance man". He is as talented as his 6'7 frame. Producer, DJ (hence is alter ego "D Smooth"), entrepreneur (Daniel is the creator behind Stylepump, Conflict Rhymes, Art Officially Dope, and his latest venture Freshgianity), poet, and lately he has set off a frenzy as he almost out of now where exploded on the art scene. It's almost like he's a mutant, like Darwin from X-Men (and no not the bullshit version in X-Men: First Class).

Darwin's mutant power was the ability to adapt to any circumstance in order to survive. Only with Daniel, its more like develop a skill in order to dominate. And dominate he has. If ever there was an example that human beings are multidimensional he is a poster child. Today, we will take the time to get to know one of Fortune's other sides, artist.

What inspires you to make art?

Art has been apart of me since I was a child and was one of the 1st few ways I learned to express myself. My father was big on books, always brought them home. I loved to read but when the book was done I still needed something to hold my interest so I used to doodle on the blank pages in the beginning and ending of the books.

You're a man of many talents, what cause you to decided to try art? Are you different than what your art dictates?

 I don't know how a person would interpret me through my art. Am i different then what the art portrays? i wouldn't thinks so. This is a tough question

What is the biggest mistake you have ever made?
The biggest mistake I ever made was probably not trying my hand at painting long ago, I might have very well been quite good at it. But with me there is a season for everything.

What do you think cause you to put painting to the back?

I got into music, and kind of put the drawing down for a bit ocassionally doing pencil portraits for friends and co workers

What are you trying to do to people with your art?
I want my art to make people think, I want them to ask questions, I want them to see an image and ask themselves why was this painted, what is the story behind it.

What's the most annoying thing you've encounter in your time as an artist?
I think the most annoying thing about being an artist is working on a schedule. The art should create itself. Whenever it wants.

Have you created a piece that is deeply personal to you yet?

I think the piece I'm most attached to would be the "Most Queens" piece. Not only the significance of the elements within it tell a story, but this piece kind of took me to the next level. I love the blending, its probably one of the longest paintings I've painted in that size
*Notice Daniel pays tribute with the background of the painting, incorporating "Charles The First" by Jean Michel Basqiaut which had the phrase "Most young kings get their heads cut off".

What was the hardest piece you have created so far?
The hardest piece? I would definitely have to say "The Rebirth of Mother Earth". Some parts took longer than others, I'm not gonna mention it, but that was one of those pieces where it had to be just right, I couldn't half ass it on that one, Well on any of them at that. This one was critical though.

Do you feel people really appreciate art where your from and in general?

Art is one of those things people like but can't really figure out how to love it enough to justify paying for it. Art to me is like a special breed puppy shop. All the dogs look cute until you see that price tag. I dont really see it as people aren't willing to support, I feel like I have to work harder to give them a reason to sacrifice the new outfit and buy something that'll look good on their wall. Art is still the foster child.

Do you feel that you are receiving the support needed by your peers, or that they may still not fully grasp how serious you are about art? Because there is a saying that "A jack of all trades is a master of none" Yet it appears your are the exception to that rule.
Some of my art peers are very supportive some are not, but I've never been the type to make art a competition, In fact the only person I compete with is myself, I understand every artist has their own unique approach so who am I to say my style is better. It's true I like to express myself in different ways not just art but I think those closest to me understand that, I can see how some artist might be offended thinking my heart may not be all the way in it but with everything I do I give it my best

What do you think needs to be done, or what do you think you can do to give art a bigger purpose in your community?
Art is flourishing more than ever in my community, I dont think I alone could do anything to give it more purpose. Art just isn't what's on the forefront, maybe if more celebs or musical artist mentioned art or tried collecting it from locals that would spark a greater interest

What is the best thing to happen to you as a artist thus far?
The best thing to happen to me being an artist and showcasing is it has allowed me to meet more people, And I love to network and see what the rest of the world is doing

Just recently you had some of your pieces showcased at The Funk Art Show at 1310 Gallery. What kind of feeling do you get seeing your work displayed?
I felt proud to be apart of the community, it was an eye opener

How would you define yourself as an Artist?

I would say I'm like a modern day impressionist. I like the look of strokes in my art and sometimes I want it to always look wet. If i could use one word to describe myself as an artist it would be..romantic

What artist do you admire?
Hmm, what artist do I admire? There's so many great local talents where I'm from. It's hard to just pick one. I'm not just an artist but I'm a fan too, I think I might appreciate others work more than my own. Luis Royo would be my fave though, followed Feng Zhu.

Do you have any favorite pieces by other artist?
I have a Luis Royo print hanging in my room. It was a gift from a long time friend. It's called "White Angel".

If you could tell a young kid who is building a curiosity towards art anything, what would you say to them?
I would tell anyone doing it for money to quit now. But to those who genuinely have a passion for it is do it, And dont stop, Share your work with as many as you can.

Whats more important to you, getting paid for it or just creating the art?
Of course you want to get paid for doing what you love, But the thrill is definitely the creative process and the thought that this could be hanging on someones wall, and they might love it more than you.

Walk us through the process of creating an Fortune original?
I find a nice spot on the floor, place all my material in convenient places and i go to work, I like to stand above my work, gives me a nice perspective.

What's the feeling you get after completing a painting?
The feeling after a painting is complete can only be described as, an exciting relief, Like I'm so glad its over now I get to look at it as a fan and not an artist, And I spend hours looking at it.

This time next year what do you wish to have accomplish in terms of art?
I would like to have completed an artbook, Maybe 2 or 3 even. I would like to have a personal site for art and maybe do some really creative events for the art community.

How do you find time with all the other things you do to paint?
Finding time to paint means not sleeping

What is Art Officially Dope? How did you come up with the idea, what is the intend of it?
Art Officially Dope is a play on words, but ultimately i wanted to create a site that brought light to urban art and street art

Thank you kindly for your time and allowing us to get to see the psyche of Daniel Fortune the artist. Any last words?
Your welcome and um support the arts


  1. I love the picture with out a shirt drawing ... Very nice I love ur art work d smooth!!!!! J. You know I love Urs too. Two very talent black males I love it ... Keep doing you! Love u both