The Q&A: Danie Drankwalter

By Peggy Roalf   Monday August 13, 2018

Q: Originally from [where?] what are some of your favorite things about living and working in [your current locale]?

A: I'm originally from the middle of Long Island, I then moved to Baltimore for art school [MICA], and I've been living in Brooklyn since 2013. I love that there's somehow an endless supply of activities here and you can get ice cream from a Mister Softee truck year round if you try hard enough.

Q: Do you keep a sketchbook? What is the balance between art you create on paper [or other analog medium] versus in the computer?

A: I keep a book that’s mostly a collection of ramblings, extremely rough sketches that should never see the light of day and various to-do lists. These days I don’t create a ton of work on paper, but when I do it's very special to me. I would love to figure out a process that allows me to utilize both digital and traditional mediums, but its challenging when having to meet deadlines.

Q: What is the most important item in your studio?

A: In my studio the most important things are cats, plants and coffee. When I'm stuck there's always a cat available for entertainment, and when I'm extremely stuck, there's always a plant that could use some watering, or fertilizing, or deep googling of how and why I've accidentally killed it.

Q: How do you know when the art is finished—or when to stop working on it?

A: This is one of the hardest things, but usually—time willing—I will give myself some extended time away from whatever I'm working on and then revisit it within a few hours, but ideally the following day. I also like to turn the piece upside down a lot and that seems to help inform a decision. 

Q: What was your favorite book as a child?

A: As a kid I loved the Goosebumps series. I still think R.L Stein's book covers are the creepy kitsch that we all need more of in our lives! 

Q: What is the best book you’ve recently read?

A: Recently I absolutely loved I'll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara, which is a super chilling deep-dive into the Golden State Killer, and (if you ask me) ultimately led to a man being apprehended in the case this past April after roughly 45 years at large!

Q: If you had to choose one medium to work in for an entire year, eliminating all others, what medium would you choose?

A: I love gouache and I never get to use it any more, so definitely gouache [Ed. Note: as in Buritto Map, above] 

Q: What elements of daily life exert the most influence on your work practice?

A: Dogs interacting with one another in parks, plants, a good rain and riding my bike too fast down a hill. 

Q: What was the strangest/most interesting assignment you've taken that has an important impact on your practice, and what changed through the process?

A: A few years back I was able to work on a few illustrated/animated videos for Apartment Therapy, for which I had to challenge the way I think about figures, everyday objects, and how they move. Before this assignment I was always very quick to get frustrated and abandon any sort of drawings where there needed to be a developed background or a ton of much realism. However, this particular assignment really challenged me to think about the beauty of the spaces that we live in, and how folks move about in their environments.  

Q: What would be your last supper?
A: A heck of a ton of my mom's eggplant parmesan, broccolini and a stuffed artichoke!

Danie Drankwalter is an illustrator living in Brooklyn, NY. She is a plant and animal enthusiast, and asks that you please let her pet your dog. She studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she earned a Bachelors degree in Illustration. Her work has been featured in American Illustration, 3x3 and CMYK Magazine. Most recently she has worked with clients such as TNT Drama, Food52,  Apartment Therapy, Rhode Island Monthly, Lenny Letter and Nylon Magazine.
instagram @danieblobwalter
twitter @daniedrank



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