Interview Series: Danielle DeFoe

Some of our friends like to call Danielle DeFoe baby genius – and for all I know it is not an overstatement. Discover the art and style of a young, edgy Hollywood artist whose work is deeply rooted in rock & roll culture… sex and drugs included. Favorite pics and Q&A!

What makes you tick / what makes you click?

Music. The Stones, psychedelic 60’s rock, punk, post punk, garage rock, I like all music though, even country, LOVE early Carter Family. I grew up in Atlanta with black living room walls and my mom loved The Pixies. My father plays guitar and the harmonica. It’s always been a lifestyle, an essence, ya know? Pop culture is a pretty big force too, I started to draw from comic books, I played a lot of video games. Growing up in the digital age has had a major impact on my art making process and way of thinking about things. I’m also heavily into literature, I read a lot, look up words, and write every day. Learning and language is incredibly important to me. Basically anything that allows me to explore and try to communicate this thing called existence. Oh yeah, I’m also a bit boy crazy.

LF: Do you consider yourself a voyeur or an exhibitionist? Or both? Why?

DD: Definitely both. If you look at my art there’s a lot of kittenish kink happening. I like work that pops, life in full color. I’m a wild cat, I gotta big meow.

LF: You live in Hollywood. Where do you seek inspiration?

DD: I find inspiration in books, film, and artists that I admire. I cover my walls in imagery. I spend a lot of time researching, I think it’s really important to be knowledgeable about your passions. Whatever my senses are engaging in at the moment is what inspires me.  I have spent a good chunk of my life traveling. Anything that is somewhat uncomfortable, makes me think, and is challenging. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of Henry Miller, psychoanalytical theories (mostly about dreams), playing the guitar everyday. I like to dig into the past and apply it to the present. I don’t really follow a lot of popular culture today because I don’t think a lot of it is very intelligent. I saw Avatar recently, that was bizarre but interesting. I prefer Tarantino, Godard, and Meyer over Hollywood blockbusters. I do love Twilight and True Blood though. Living in L.A. is a big influence, I love California so much I get homesick when I’m away. I’ve never experienced that living anywhere else. Almost all of my friends are creative, that energy definitely has an strong impact on my work.

LF: Where do you want to take your career? What is the next step for you?

DD: The challenging part about this question is that I have my hands in a lot of different cookie jars. I either have to focus on one thing or just say “fuck it” and try to do it all, which is what I’m doing now. I design websites, shoot photos, style, and draw/paint. I just did a board series for Captia snowboards with my friend Corey Smith. I would love to do a skate deck series as well. Basically whichever makes me the most money. I’m never going to stop making art but I would like to buy myself a Black M6 Convertible. I like the glamour money can buy you. However, I’d rather be poor than be forced to compromise my talents by doing something mundane and uncreative for the rest of my life. That’d be soul crushing, good thing I’m a hustler!

LF: Do you believe in love?

DD: I think it’s a different experience with every person and therefore cannot be confined by a name. There’s a lot of fish in the sea, lust and desire are the bait. I do think I’ll probably meet someone rad and get married but I haven’t had those fireworks yet. The type of guys I like are wild, confident, and successful, no one wants to settle down in their prime ya know? I don’t at least. My knees have been weak though, ohhhh what a feeling. I love when a dude makes me nervous.

LF: If you could give women one piece of dating advice, it would be:

DD: They always come back, especially if you ignore them. ha. Everyone wants what they can’t have right?

LF: What about for men?

DD: WRAP IT UP SON! seriously.

LF: Who’s your favorite designer right now? Does fashion drive your art, or is it the opposite?

DD: I went to Paris for the Fall 2010 Fashion Week, seeing Vivienne Westwood and Galliano in person was life-changing. Fashion is such a big inspiration to what I do, there’s so much work going into being a designer, it can be really inspiring. Givenchy’s Spring RTW 2011 collection this season was incredible. Riccardo Tisci has exquisite taste, plus Mert and Marcus shoot their ad  campaigns.

LF: What do you want to be when you grow up?

DD: I’ve always said an artist, photographer, and author. It seems to be working out. I also wanted to be an archeologist, I really like ancient tomb.

LF: What’s your biggest photographer’s fantasy?

DD: Big budgets.

LF: How fast do you live?

DD: Let’s just say I try and live my life to the fullest with no regrets.

LF: What’s your style? favorite designer or trend?

DD: I wear a lot of black, Levi’s, and leopard print. Red lipstick and hot rollers are a must.

LF: Art talk: what inspires you? Favorite artist or piece of art.

DD: Let’s just do photographers: Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton, Mert and Marcus, Tim Walker, Ellen Von Unwerth, Hedi Slimane.

LF: What gets you off? Literally or figuratively.

DD: Aggressive foreplay.

LF: Travel talk: favorite destination

DD: Western Europe, try em all.


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