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Artist Proof: Dan Dippel aka 1000 Styles aka Dan Dippel is a New York based artist and was part of a team that was recently nominated the no. 1 music video of 2009 by Time Magazine’s ‘Year in Pictures!’ for their work on Raekwon’s music video called ‘House of Flying Daggers’.
Artsprojekt: What inspires your art? Dan: Everything - my environment. Cityscapes and associated elements, horror movies, anatomy, people and places, machinery, music, dirt and grime, other artists’ work, rusted metal, spraypaint fumes, my wife and my dogs, old photography, architecture, my mood that day, anything and everything.
AP: What is the relationship between technique and content in your work?
Dan: Technique can be altered quite substantially based on content in my work - a piece that needs to look ‘softer’ would be done with a lighter hand, maybe, or a smoother application of medium. A piece with a lot of charged emotion, like something violent or something that includes a lot of contrast or visual impact, may be the opposite - heavy linework or rough, sharp, strokes with the brush, more texture with the medium. Technique can enhance the feeling and overall power of the piece a huge amount, so it makes sense to use it consciously.
AP: Describe your first experience of making art and how it affected your life’s journey.
Dan: I don’t remember my first time creating art, I was too young, but I do remember a drawing I made when I was probably 9 or 10 years old, a sketchbook drawing of my dad and brother watching TV in my family’s living room. Their likenesses were pretty on point, and I was really impressed with myself. That was an early turning point for me, I remember thinking like ‘wow, I can do this. This may be what I do, where I go.” I was already the kid who drew constantly, but I remember this being something that really gave me confidence to continue with it and take it seriously.
AP: Describe your most recent experience of making art.
Dan: I just completed a series of four t-shirt graphics for the band Gym Class Heroes. All 4 turned out really well. The original art was done at almost 150% of eventual printed size so they’ll look really nice and crispy when reduced to final print size on the t-shirts. Pencil drawings on watercolor paper first, then inked with a brush. Inking with a brush is my new thing, I absolutely LOVE the results compared to a metal nib or a felt tip pen. The thick-to-thin linework looks 1000% better than anything you can get with a nib or pen. Anyway, then the inked drawings are scanned and digitally colored in Photoshop. They let me use 8 colors so I was pretty stoked on the projects. I can’t wait to see the printed shirts.
AP: Take us on a guided tour through a day in your life as an artist.
Dan: Well, for now, the first 10 hours of my day are spent at my day job, as a graphic designer and illustrator for a state university. The work can be boring and creatively restricting at times, but when I get home I can get into the fun stuff, whatever freelance design and illustration gigs I have going currently. I always come home, take stock of current deadlines and try to tackle as much as possible before I run out of steam around midnight. Some days are more productive than others, but the good part is that with the limited time I have available to devote to the freelance work, I can turn away the work that doesn’t interest me as much. Everything I do is a lot of fun. Occasionally I’ll find a few hours for some sketchbook doodling or some work on a fine art painting or something, but that time is rare these days…eventually when I go full-time freelance, there will be more time for “me” work…