Not only does travel enrich you as a person, it can inspire you to push your limits, to challenge your own norms, to search deeper within yourself than you thought you actually could. We are inspired by Artist Daniel “Dannyboy” Lucas, who most recently returned from living abroad in Shanghai, and gave us the opportunity to find out a little about this “local” Artist, how living abroad impacted him, and what makes him generally tick…
Us: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got your start…
Daniel: I’m from the East Coast, born in Virginia. Raised the son of a Southern Baptist preacher, the Reverent Wingtip. We moved around a lot. Dad only wrote so many sermons, and when he ran out, instead of writing new ones, we’d move across the tri-state to a church were they hadn’t heard his sermons.
I went to 8 different schools in 12 years, really 13 years, I flunked the first grade…who’s fault is that?!
After a four-year stint in the U.S. Coast Guard, I hitch hiked to LA from the East Coast in my mid-twenties to be a stand-up Comedian. Let’s just say that painting worked out better for me…
I have met so many people in LA that have given me so much and contributed to my consciousness, my beliefs, my creativity…all things come from love, and laughter can cure all.
I live in the LA area with my wife, two kids, dog and a cat. Had a fish but it died recently.
Us: What typically inspires your art? What are your influences?
Daniel: My art is inspired by art or the perception of art. Since I can remember I’ve always painted, made things, created environments that were influenced and inspired by my childhood surroundings…the church stained glass, paintings for sale at the local 5 & dime store, painted lines on the inter-state, the candy display at the corner store. I’ve had no formal art training besides taking a semester of Art 1 in High School. I took 3 years of Spanish 1 but I can’t speak Spanish either…
Point being, I am inspired by people who create that don’t have the background, exposure, or education in art, but are possessed to create purely for the release, the joy of doing. I create because something has got to give, something has to get out. The joy/pain is in the doing, not the knowing. Outsider style inspires and influences me. The story, the content, is more important than technique. The only thing I can draw is flies!
My most recent influences are more graphic, simplistic styles, street way finding, city parks and of course manhole covers.
I create because something has got to give, something has to get out – Daniel “Dannyboy” Lucas
Us: How did you choose Shanghai streets as your current inspiration?
Daniel: Let’s just say I wasn’t looking for an Art Project. Upon arriving, Shanghai opened up my senses like never before. It was the way Shanghai moved. You would expect to see more blood on the streets, but in the chaos of the millions who live there, it had a rhythm and a flow. It seemed there were no rules or methods, but it worked anyway. If you resisted or fought against it, you were miserable, but move with it and you were in ecstasy . In moving with, and not against the flow, these elaborate and ornate manhole and utility covers started catching my eye, then my full attention. It wasn’t a gradual realization but rather an instant obsession. I saw one and it was like WOW! Then another and another and another in what seemed like a life time but was only an afternoon. The next day I found the art supply street in Shanghai and got what it would take to make “lifts” of these amazingly detailed street gems.
Us: What is your favorite “local” thing to do?
Daniel: Man there really are so many! Lately it’s been going to Chinatown because I do miss living in Shanghai, plus with the planning of the show at General Lee’s I’m down there several times a month. It’s a bit surreal, faded and mysterious. But really over all its going to the free concerts throughout LA in the summertime, it’s everywhere and every night. From the pier at Santa Monica to the amphitheater at MacArthur Park to the fountain at the California Plaza, where I can also ride Angels Flight and so many, many more. Not to mention Hot Summer Nights at Chinatown! The Best!
Us: Who are your heroes?
Daniel: Mohammad Ali, Mandela, Grandma Moses, one-legged soccer players from Sierra Leon and the Lovely Lady Laurel Lucas…my wife.
Us: What is your favorite place you’ve traveled?
Daniel: I have been far but I have not been wide. Lord knows I’ve been around. I must say
Shanghai because it is there I regained my sight and began to feel alive again. It is
a very exciting city with many contrasts of culture and commerce.
Shanghai is on Steroids! I will return to Asia for the full experience, far and wide!
Contact Daniel here: firstname.lastname@example.org or on WeChat@ladannyboy
Check out Daniel’s Show on Saturday, February 4th at General Lee’s in Chinatown…
You can also buy some of his Dannyboy Collection here: https://shopvida.com/collections/dannyboy