Dan Lisowski Art & Illustration
Dan Lisowski entered this earth smiling, clutching a blue crayon in his hand and reaching for the first scrap of paper in the room. He hasn't stopped drawing since, though at times he melts crayons onto canvases instead, or trades the crayons in for pen and ink. Dan was lucky enough to grow up in the color-saturated rolling hills of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where he befriended deer, raccoons, fireflies, and a variety of other woodland creatures. Following his scholarly pursuits, Dan moved to Brooklyn, where he creates drawings and canvases for gallery exhibitions, makes posters, designs tattoos, postcards, t-shirts, and works on the occasional storyboard for a French dandruff shampoo commercial, or a pencil drawing of a perpetual motion machine. During the day, Dan is fortunately surrounded by vinyl toys, mustachioed plush creatures, posters of kitties licking sno-cones, and other aesthetic wonders at Kidrobot.
What inspires you? My fantastic friends and family, without whom I would just be a lonely drop in an ocean. Sunsets from my rooftop. Corroded dumpsters. Torn cardboard. Ink splatters. Sidewalk cracks. Synthesizers. Warm daydreams. Hazy childhood memories from the swingset and the sandbox. Television. Gummi worms. Other people's handwriting. Digital delay pedals. Campfires. Words like "melt", "drip", "sway", "bliss", "fuzz".
Favorite artists? The handwriting of Calvin and Hobbes' Bill Watterson got me interested in hand-made typography early on, which continued with the scrawlings of Ralph Steadman and the calligraphy of Sehmi Satwinder. Those who have allowed their inner child to be manifested in their artwork, such as Shel Silverstein and Alan Fletcher. Those artists that flirt with insanity and conjure epic, sometimes absurd images from their imaginations ... Gahan WIlson, Vaughn Bode, Francisco Goya's "Black Paintings". Oppenheimer's "fur-covered cup". Artists that aren't afraid to take risks and don't mind having the majority of mankind thinking that they are a bit off their rocker.
Favorite music? Music is an enormous part of my life. For me, audio and visual aesthetics are equally important, and my daily pursuits revolve around these two notions whenever possible. Lately I've given a lot of attention to the beats of J Dilla, Madlib, and MF Doom ... the funk and soul of Aretha, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Marvin Gaye and Al Green ... the syrupy tones of Brightblack Morning Light, Sawako, Loscil, White Rainbow ... Springsteen's first four albums ... the leftfield dubbed-out brilliance of Vladislav Delay. 12k ... ghostly international ... cadenza ... anticipate recordings ... "No Diggity".
Plans for 2009? Drawing every day. New canvases. Collages. Processed photographs. Further developing and updating my blog: magiclaughfrosting. Developing a new kind of audio/visual experience with my friend Carl at fishcloud.wordpress.com. Finding new avenues and venues for my art. Noticing the space in between breaths more often.
Challenges of what you do? The biggest challenge I have is that I'd like to spend 24 hours a day on my artwork, but there are things that keep getting in the way.
Favorite websites? I like to do google image searches for random words or random sequences of words. Like "otter licorice". Seriously, the 29th image that comes up when doing that search was some kind of "Licorice Skunk". There's such an insane array of images online and elsewhere in the year 2009 that my eyes will never be bored, ever again. It's great.
What would be a dream project for you? Having huge barrels of melted crayons at my disposal in a myriad of colors to pour on top of something epic. Maybe something that begins with "L". Like the Lincoln Memorial. Or the Liberty Bell. Or Lil Wayne.
Anything else?.... I work hard every day to record the things I see around me and inside me, and my hope is that some of my images will make you smile. Or laugh. Or cry. Or think. Or want to punch stuff. Just something, anything. I'm not trying to be deep, I'm just stating what should be obvious. I'm interested in one thing: making artwork. I want people to sit back, relax, ingest and enjoy. Amen.