MakerStories — Dania Strong (aka Twirble)

Image: Dania Strong aka “Twirble”

Today we’re excited to be featuring Dania Strong aka “Twirble”, a resident artist at the Hive Gallery in Los Angeles. Dania is an artist inspired by Flemish and German expressionism, surrealist and pop surrealist art. Dania has fully embraced technology in her artwork and has been active in online communities like Steemit and has also started integrating her work in native digital mediums like AR/VR.

How did your story start as an artist?

I grew up in a small town in midcoast Maine, then moved to Massachusetts with my mother after high school. I attended college there and later began working as a caregiver. I later moved to Maine to be closer to family, but after ten years the winters got to me so I moved to LA. I have shown in five different gallery’s here so far and I am a resident at the Hive Gallery downtown.

An unblemished piece of paper has been a gold mine to me.

Were you always interested in art growing up?

An unblemished piece of paper has been a gold mine to me since I was a child. I have complete control over my own world and on that sheet of paper I am king of my own world and no one can take that from me. In school it was my one comfort while teachers droned on endlessly about things I already knew.

When did you decide to follow your path as an artist?

I don’t remember not wanting to be an artist, I worked briefly in graphic design and motion graphics but I never thought of art as a means to make money until I recently began selling my work and making a tiny bit of money online.

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

For my more surreal work I usually begin with pencil on black paper, allowing a combination of my subconscious and pattern recognition to help assist me in envisioning an image. After I flesh out the details I sometimes add wax pastel, oil pastel or gouache.

For my collages I usually start with a quick sketch of a basic idea and then help it come to life with tissue paper, paint, and a sometimes newspaper and other items.

War of the Sky Gods by Twirble. On sale for 1ETH on MakersPlace.

Do you have a favorite artist which you draw inspiration from?

No one artist. I was influenced by “Golden Age” illustrators and the Wyeths when I was younger. Later I became obsessed with Hieronymus Bosch, Dali and Francis Bacon, and then the underrated paintings of George Grosz and Otto Dix. One of my teachers suggested I give Chagall a closer look. I didn’t like what I saw of his work at the time but he later became a large influence.

I’m now a fan of many pop surrealists and artists on Steemit.

What are some challenges you’ve faced in creating art, and how do you deal with them?

Arranging my world to make art. Also just making ends meet and finding time to work at the same time — there are always sacrifices.

I see a digital world of people making art in virtual reality and finding ways to share and profit from it in the form of crypto.

How do you see the art market and the art world changing?

On the one hand I see a digital world of people making art in virtual reality and finding ways to share and profit from it in the form of crypto. Imagine wearing a pair of virtual glasses and creating entire worlds around yourself, or simply painting on a virtual canvas in a virtual landscape and being able to sell the results as tokens or share on sites like Steemit for cryptocurrency.

On the other hand I see the tactile and real joys of making physical art continuing as long as people can move in its space. Giant installations like Meow Wolf, the art at Burning Man and Maker Faire will eventually create new trends in tourism where people visit worlds created by artists.

How has technology and an increasingly digital world impacted your work?

I’m always finding new kinds of art and new ways to promote and explore my art online, from 3D VR galleries to show my work to collaborative works on I also post regularly to social media sites like Instagram.

And then of course there is the blockchain, the creative possibilities with Steemit, Ethereum and EOS are endless. I have been sharing my art on Steemit and it’s changed my world dramatically.

How do you think blockchain and the ability to own digital art will affect the industry?

It may take time to catch on, years perhaps, but as the world digitizes further and people realize how blockchain is forever and not going anywhere it will become a regular part of buying and selling digital works.

Why are you excited about MakersPlace?

The idea that artists might actually be able to make a living being “gasp” artists, what could be more exciting than that? People regularly trade digital currency, why not tokens in the form of art while investing in artists at the same time?

Follow Dania Strong aka “Twirble”

You can find more of Dania’s work and follow her on: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, DeviantArt, Steemit and her personal site.


Dania is a featured creator on MakersPlace and you can buy and collect her digital artwork on MakersPlace.

Follow along as we share more stories of digital creators on MakerStories. Next up we’ll be talking with illustrator and 2017 Emmy Award Winner, Mauro Gatti. (MakerStories link)

Image: Mauro Gatti

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