I’ve seen some of Danielle Forbes pieces in a few shows and loved her style so it seemed only natural to ask her to do an interview! We got down to it via the internet and then finally met at her house last week. I got to see some of her works in progress, we talked about some ideas she has brewing for a new series and generally just hung out and talked about life, relationships and art.
p.s.–This interview will be a little different from others as Danielle has included inspiration and explanation for the work featured here.
“Anxiety”Character Defects Series 8×24 inches Acrylic on stretched canvas
Blending In. Being a Chameleon. I learned early on to blend in and go unnoticed. It’s honestly how I got away with a lot of stuff… when something went wrong, no one would even suspect me because they did not know who I was. In high school I skipped gym class nearly every day for an entire semester without getting caught. My teacher took attendance, everyone walked to the gym, I left. I just blended in, made sure I was forgettable. I also blended in with groups of people. Whoever I was around and admired most, I tried to be like them. I tried to be just enough my own person they wouldn’t catch on, but I don’t know how many times I said I liked this or that, or dressed a certain way, just to fit in. I wanted to be unique and cool, but I also desperately needed every single person’s approval. If you approved of me, I approved of me. This is another defect that has been drastically changed and nearly removed. I grew away or lost friends because of this, but I’ve met people and held on to the people who really know me for who I am and love me anyway.
Following that, she got involved in summer camps teaching art (mainly ceramics) and ended up working with kids in the Central Ohio Camp Fire USA Council for almost a year before choosing to become a stay at home mom. Not having the money for studio space and starting a family led to a long break after graduation. Despite lack of studio, she has been actively producing art and showing locally in Columbus since April 2014. Fortunately, in February her family moved into an Upper Arlington home with room for studio space (yay!!) so now she is able to work from home while caring for her two preschoolers.When asked to categorize her art, she believes it fits into the category of surrealism. All of her work comes from what she deems as ‘unconscious in my mind’ that she then tries to depict. Growing up in the country, she had many “pets” (barn cats, dogs, goats, chickens, geese, rabbits, lizards, mice, fish)….and she loved all them; felt like their mama and was drawn to them from a very early age. Caring for animals feels comforting for her and painting them brings back buried emotions while soothing her.