1. Who are you and what do you do?
Daniel Shepherd: I am a father, an artist, a husband, a DJ, an advisor, a dreamer, a friend, a hopeless optimist , a trouble maker, a cat lover, a son, a grumbler, a mammal, a record collector, a non- musician, a problem, a solution, a good talker, a handful. What I do: make art in the areas of collage and minimal abstract paintings, but I’m also working on my continuing series of organic creatures and spacemen figurative works for some future exhibit. I look after my kids, [and] page endlessly through old books and magazines for images that interest me. I tend to be rather insular and don’t pay any attention to the things going on around me. some might say I live in a dream world, but, whatever.
2. How did you get your start?
My first memory of doing anything with art was sitting on my great grandmother’s lap and we’d play a game she called squiggles . I’d draw some random shape and she’d turn it into something. i loved doing it and continued from there, i was like maybe 5 years old i guess. It showed me at an early age and gave me the freedom to think that art could be anything. I could draw anything I could think of, I didn’t have to be real. It didn’t have to be anything but what i wanted it to be. i really liked that idea. It’s basically stuck with me to this day.
3. What inspires you?
The simple answer is everything. It could be really anything. A blank canvas: if i stare at it long enough sometimes i see things appear. I can find beauty in a old worn scrap of paper torn from a water damaged book. The Arizona clouds, a crack in the sidewalk, a certain memory, the laughter of children, a deep breathe, 1972-1977 issues of penthouse magazine, jazz. But i think mainly girls in Hot Dog on a Stick uniforms.
4. What do you like about AZ?
I love love love the desert landscape. I have very fond memories of being curled up in the front seat of the family ’64 mustang with my dad driving from California to Texas to visit relatives and loving what it looked like here. I was maybe 10 years old at the time. It looked so different to me. Martian like, just something i had never seen and I thought it was beautiful, plus the clouds here are better than any other clouds I’ve ever seen anywhere. I had the opportunity to move here in 1989 and jumped at the chance.
5. Where can we see you(r) work?
6. What would you like to accomplish before you die?
My answer is, I really don’t know. I don’t think that far ahead. But I guess it could all be over tomorrow huh? Who knows. I like that I’ve made a lot of art that will be around long after I’m gone from this world, so maybe I live on through that? I don’t really know or give it much thought. I do hope my skull ends up some place nice. I’ve always wondered where my skull will end up.
7. What is your mantra?
breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out………