Danika, were you always drawn to art? How did you start in the Art Industry? What is the first memory you have regarding art? How did you fall in love with art?

Since an early age, I had a healthy fascination for everything colourful.The first memory I have of painting is during high school. I struggled with the medium and became very emotional about not being able to master the techniques associated with what I wanted to create. A friend looked over to me and calmly said, “Just paint what you see,” and from that moment it all fell into place.

I fell in love with splashing colour onto canvas, mostly in the form of fruit and floral shapes which are my favourite sources of colour. It wasn’t until I finished high school and began University study, that I realised painting had become my escape. I now paint on a signature black background, incorporating beautiful blasts of colour to evoke happiness in all who view my work.

When did you know you would be an artist?

Six months ago, I transferred to a Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Youth Work) at Tabor College, Adelaide. I’ve always wanted to work with young people in exploring expression through creativity and I think of art (in all forms) as an alternative form of communication.

It wasn’t until I heard about the work done by Living Arts – a program developed under Life Without Barriers (LWB) – that I knew I wanted to pursue my artistic endeavours. The program is run by a collection of artists who deliver creative projects to young people associated with Child, Youth and Families, Disability, Mental Health, National Immigration Support Services and Homelessness. I hope to one day be a part of such a wonderful initiative.

Were your artistic interests encouraged? How? Did your upbringing influence your art? If yes, how? If not, what influences your art? Where do you get the inspiration for your art?

Growing up, I incorporated colour into everything I did. From decorating school assignments to painting stage backdrops, I put my hand up for anything remotely creative.

My mother has always encouraged balance in my life: although I was expected to excel in my studies, it has been equally important to keep my soul happy.

During school holidays, my mother would always give me creative projects to do around the house. I have also been a student (and now teacher) at a local dance studio for 21 years. I am inspired by everything around me; how I feel; what I see; what I want to communicate. I love the idea of finding the colours to paint what is left grey in the world.

My mother has always encouraged balance in my life: although I was expected to excel in my studies, it has been equally important to keep my soul happy.

At what point in your life, did you decide you would pursue art as a career? Do you remember the moment?

Early days for me! I have a few years left of University study, but I plan to keep my creative endeavours alive and kicking. Sounds very cliché but balance is the key.

What is a typical day in your studio like, how do you start your day, do you have music on, or do you like quiet, tell us about your studio and work flow?

Studio days always start with a great coffee. I usually paint sitting on a drop sheet, mostly outdoors, using as much natural light as possible. Music is a must. I don’t have a specific “go to” genre but being able to sing along to things relaxes me into my work.

If you could have dinner with any artist in the world, who would it be and why?

I would love to sit down with Picasso. I think he has offered so much to the world in all forms of art. I would very much like to hear his views about what the modern world has become and his ideas on how creativity has helped to shape it.

How did you become involved in RAW gallery?

Just over a year ago, friends finally convinced me to start up an Instagram page to share my work. A short time after, I was contacted by RAW Artists Adelaide to feature in their upcoming showcase (Oasis). Although I was hesitant at first, I decided to take a chance and jump right out of my comfort zone.

Thank you Danika for your time and sharing your talents with Hashtag Oz.