Tell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
“Hello! My name is Danielle O’Malley. I’m a printmaker, illustrator, and mixed media artist living in Oakland, California.”
What’s your inspiration?
“90’s cartoons, myths, fairytales, discarded objects, places that have been forgotten or abandoned, strange people I’ve met in my travels.”
What is art to you?
“Art is the regurgitation of reality. It’s how I digest the mixture of external stimuli with my internal feelings. It’s a cycle of consumption, digestion, expulsion. It feels as natural to me as eating. It’s an instinct. It’s a breath. I take the world in, and I exhale through the creative process.”
What does your typical day look like?
“I wake up, make coffee, take my dog Hank to the park. I bring my sketchbook, so I can sit and think about what projects I want to work on for the day. I usually spend the rest of the day working on them. But I always need to travel for a few months out of the year. So some of my days are spent just roaming around, trying to find adventures.”
How do you keep motivated?
“It’s easy to make art. It just feels like what I am supposed to do to be happy. What is difficult is putting my art out there, dealing with the art world and knowing that people are going to be judging it. It gets my inner critic going, I get nervous and shy. It feels very unnatural, but I know it’s something I have to do.”
What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
“Sometimes, my artwork feels like a message in a bottle I’m sending out to the world. I just want to travel the world and make art wherever I go. Like leaving my very own trail of bread crumbs. Of course, I’d like to be financially stable through my art. But in the end, i just want my voice to be heard. I want to find a context within the whole.”
What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
“Stop comparing yourself to others. Be confident in whatever you do, self doubt is the biggest waste of time and mental energy. just stop over thinking everything and go for it. just be happy in whatever you do. anything else is a waste.”
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
“Learn to appreciate the simple things in life.”
Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
“Pretty much what I told my younger self. Comparing your art, your path, your successes to others will make you completely miserable. You have your own unique path, pace and creative process. Learn to work with it, instead of trying to force it into someone else’s’ mold.”
What are your thoughts on art school?
“I am very influenced by my environment, especially other people within my environment. I feel I make the best work in isolation. I can think more clearly. I was too influenced by what other people were doing in art school. I hate critiques. I took them too personally and didn’t have much creative confidence. Schooling helped me take myself more seriously professionally, and I loved having access to the facilities, but I didn’t like much of the art I was making until my very last semester there.”
What’s your dream project?
“My dream project is to create my very own old boat mill ride. Like Its a Small World After All, but totally fucked.”
What art supplies do you use?
“found objects, house paint, ink.”
How could the art industry become better in your opinion?
“There needs to be more community. More helping each other. More DIY endeavors. Less ego and belief in the individual creative genius. Art is just a recreation, you are borrowing your ideas from the world. We can’t take too much credit.”