Introducing the cheerful art of Grace Danico

Grace Danico is one of our friends who engages in a diverse range of activities from art, illustration, design, writing to archiving. For illustration, her work is always lively with a dab of unforgettable quirkiness. She’s passionate and she has a lot to share about it! Enjoy : )

Hi Grace! Please tell our readers who you are and what you do.

I’m a hungry person. I have a voracious appetite for too many things: food, music, nature, travel and adventure. To compensate, I gobble as many of those things as I can. Illustration happens somewhere in between.

How did you get into illustration?

I studied English and was the Illustration Editor at the blog Grain Edit for almost 6 years, where I curated and wrote their illustration posts. Seeing the amazing work that other artists were making, as well as interviewing and becoming friends with them motivated me to start making my own work.

I moved to New York to study Library and Information Science in grad school, and ended up getting a studio in the Pencil Factory to work outside my home with friends. At first, it was just a space used to get out of the house, socialize, and work on my day job. Eventually, it evolved into actually producing my own work, and with time, developing a personal aesthetic and studio practice.

What do you love or hate to draw the most? And why?

I love drawing plants, food, and people because there are so many varieties that it never gets boring. There isn’t one thing I hate to draw; anything can be interesting, challenging, and fun. There are days when I do get tired of drawing though, and that’s when I take a break and do something else.

Could you share some tips to promote your work?

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people; though do be genuine and do your homework so you don’t end up in the garbage.

Make good work, and keep your portfolio up to date. Making good work means making work that you enjoy and are proud of. Only show the type of work you want to make, because that’s what clients will be asking for. I usually promote my work via social media (Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), and am working on a series of postcards to mail out. If one person likes my work, usually someone else will too, and that eventually spreads.

Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to people; though do be genuine and do your research. Starting out as an illustrator can be tough because you need to spread the word about your work as cost effectively as possible. Contacting people and publications that you admire, whether it be blogs, art directors, and/or fellow artists, is a great first step. The worst thing that can happen is someone isn’t receptive, and that’s okay. As long as you make an effort, that’s what counts.

But do remember to do your research! From a blog’s perspective, we get a lot of emails and take content submitted seriously. We try our best to respond to every message we receive. It’s a bummer to receive emails from artists that ask to be featured when their work is clearly not a good fit for the audience of the site. It shows that they either don’t care or know enough about the blog, and those messages usually end up in the trash. So know yourself, and do your homework so you don’t end up in the garbage.

If you could only draw one thing to save the world, what would it be? 

Plants: all day, everyday.

Any idea what the future holds?

The future holds so many possibilities! I recently moved to LA, and am taking time to work on personal work. What that work is will eventually reveal itself in time. My prediction: shifting from the digital to the physical world. I plan on creating textiles, books, music, and images of course. Oh, and working in a library amongst other things.

Thank you very much! And good luck with your new adventures!

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