After the loss of her father, De Avion Daniel began drawing as a means of expressing and processing her feelings - that was around the age of six. Daniel fell in love with this newfound form of expression and started training heavily from a very tender age. Her involvement in the field has not stopped since.
A resident of Edinburgh 500, Daniel attended drawing classes where she was taught figurative and cartoon drawings. During her high school years, she pursued Visual Arts at CSEC and placed first among her peers, cultivating and sparking her interest in different expressive forms. “I managed to sustain and develop my skills in my 20 years of life where I am now a mixed media painter” she said.
So what do her pieces look like? She explained, “My paintings range from surrealism, abstract to landscapes and are predominantly acrylics on canvas and mixed media pieces. I have a fondness for paintings with texture and this expressive form (mixed media) allows me to avow this feeling.” Essentially, mixed media art refers to a visual art form that combines a variety of media/materials in a single artwork.
Daniel incorporates different materials from the environment in most of her paintings to relay emotions, colour, form and texture while telling a story. “I reckon that art is a collaboration between the artist and the environment. My energetic and emotionally charged paintings are influenced by three entities that are of great importance to me - time, space and dreams” she explained. “I cherish the connection with the literal meanings of each word thus portraying them in my work, for example, the symbol of the clock or moon helps relay these entities.Moreover, having grown up in a household with strong, independent women as role models, a recent theme in my paintings is the juxtaposition of the powerful and the vulnerable in human, in particular - female nature.”
Currently pursuing a BSc in Biology at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Daniel’s intention is to merge her scientific plane with her visual arts side by working towards the manufacturing of eco-friendly art materials. How does she manage school and her hobby? “I still manage to find time for my craft and my business because creating is something that comes naturally for me.”
Her love for the field has gotten her several opportunities within the music and fashion industry. Daniel has collaborated and worked alongside esteemed producers, musicians and designers, creating wearable art and integrating her skills as a painter for a music video. “I have worked alongside producers - Precision Productions and BadJohn Republic - and created hand-painted, wearable art for Zadd and Eastman. Additionally, I work on commission paintings and hand-painted clothing for clients quite often. Many of my paintings that were created on canvas have been repainted on dresses, t-shirts and denim and are sold. I’ve also used the human body as a canvas, painting well-known cartoon characters.” For the past few months, the artist has been assisting fifth form students from various schools with their School-based assessments (SBA’s) for Visual Arts. She is also getting ready to launch her first art class for students between the ages of eight and 13. The class will run for a duration of eight weeks.
Daniel gets her inspiration from Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali. She noted, “His surreal of eightism pieces inspire me; in particular, his painting ‘The Persistence of Memory’. Elements of his work can be reflected in some of my artwork or themes thus emphasising or linking time, space and dreams.” However, she added that a major part of her inspiration also stems from things around her. “Seeing inspiring art of different expressive forms, sometimes seeing a good exhibition, reading an article, even listening to music or seeing a movie can have a great impact. It gives ideas and inspiration to create. I was fortunate enough to travel to Art Basel Switzerland last year and the art exhibition has impacted and further expanded my ideas as a creative.”
So how does the young artist feel when her work is appreciated and applauded? “When someone appreciates what I am doing, it motivates and inspires me a lot. It means that my work is important, and I am contributing to something meaningful and inspirational for others. Inspiring others inspire me to create more. Observing small details of everyday life can inspire a lot - I love observing the surrounding world, light, movements, people, animals and nature.”
Daniel hopes to be recognised regionally and internationally as an ingenious creative. She said, “I also envision myself using my platform or creative spotlight not only as an artist but as an inspiration to help young professionals, all while changing a generation’s outlook on art. My drive is creating contemporary art for the younger generation, in hopes that they can relate and appreciate fine art in a world where everything is now digital.”