The Mixed Media paintings by Alan Daniels

Alan Daniels

I have drawn for as long as I can remember.

Educated in England in Fine Art, Sculpture. Electronic interactive environments. 

College taught me self-discipline and motivation. I was lucky at school, the teachers we had were David Hockney, Roland Piche, David Hall, Phillip Glass, Billy Apple, it was a very progressive college that believed in developing skills not only in your chosen field but also survival skills for the work environment.

Travelled with the Circus in Sweden.

Moved back to England and did something that as a sculptor I thought I would never do, I started painting cars and pinups, exhibiting widely throughout Europe.

Commercially we started to make a living with the Young Artist agency, now Quantum Artists in London, mostly science fiction illustration. They had tremendous publishing contacts, but no one would give us a break in England until I got the cover of Anarchistic colossus, the American publisher took a chance with us and that helped with the English publishers. There was a lot of work commercially and I was still able to pursue the fine art side.

Worked a lot with Paper Moon Graphics in Los Angeles.

One collector of my fine art work, on finding out that we were thinking of moving to the USA. bought our entire collection of commercial artwork from us, it helped in the expense of moving. He ran Museum Gallery, was  a coin merchant in London, and a bit of a philanthropist. A very good man, who we are still in contact with today.

Moved to Los Angeles to work on Blade Runner.  There were a large numbers of illustrators brought over from the Young Artists agency, to work on the film; they had a connection with Ridley Scott from his commercial filming. It was not an easy time working for the Ladd Company and all the other English artists eventually stopped working for them and returned to England. We had already made the commitment to stay, but if we had had the money in the first year we would have returned also. Working for the movie industry you are at the mercy of too many egos, they had the ability to twist you around. But, this was probably the best thing that happened to us work wise. We made lots of contacts, built our credibility and worked out which field of illustration would suite our work habits.

Having been trained as a sculptor I have a need to be more physically involved with my work so that translated into building furniture. We exhibited the works with the International Furniture Fairs at the Javit's Center in New York.

The fine art work surrounded super realism, paintings of rows of shop fronts, Burger joints, old movie theaters etc. It was a quest to see how real we could paint, and something that aided the transition to product illustration. This was before photoshop and helped tremendously with how to look at things and see what is important.

I will always draw whether or not I get paid for it, but what I draw, that would be different. Having been on both sides, working commercial illustration and producing fine art. There is now so little difference, fine art through the marketing process has attached itself to the commercial realm. I dislike intensely when the fine art “world” criticizes illustrators for being commercial. They really don’t like the fact they can’t control you because the commercial work can give you financial freedom.

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