daniel gibson and kristi arnold.

[mural painted by Daniel and Kristi for Sugar Salon/Gallery].

Ok DFM-ers, get ready to meet Awesomeness. Really, stand up and prepare to e-shake the hands of two of the most brilliant artists I have ever come in contact with.

Daniel was kind enough to introduce me to his work and agreed to one of DFM’S famous catch-all interviews. Daniel passed along the info to his partner, Kristi and alas– two stars were born in the DFM Hall of Fame. Their answers are both inspiring and humorous, and I just love getting to learn the random facts about my favorite artists. Anyway, are you ready?

Meet Daniel Gibson and Kristi Arnold:

What or whom inspires you and your artwork?
K: The horrific and beautiful aspects of Nature…
D: Ahhh, let’s see. I guess I’m inspired by nature/story-telling/music/the goods and bads of this little world.

Born and raised where? Tell us about your childhood!
K: I was born in Plano, Texas but spent most of my youth living between Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. My parents still reside in Oklahoma…so I guess I’m from there..but I lived in Lawrence, Kansas for 7 years after high school…I consider that home too. Majority of my childhood was spent outdoors because we always lived next to wooded areas and open fields. Growing up in that kind of environment really influenced the artwork that I make today. I’ve also always been a huge fan of horror and science fiction novels.

Was art always a big influence in your life? How did you get started, and when did you realize you were just ‘that good?’

K: Yes, art has always been a huge influence throughout my life. I grew up in an environment where most of my entertainment involved the outdoors. I spent a lot of my time creating things…whether it was drawing or making pies and sculptures out of mud. I’ve been told I had a wild imagination. I started to take art seriously in high school.
D: I guess art was a big influence. I didn’t start drawing until I was 21. My little brother is a natural at art; he could draw anything. He used to draw comics perfectly, and I used to cheat and trace them. I wasn’t good, so I started playing the guitar and jumping my bike… When I moved to San Diego I met this girl who said that she liked to paint (so I lied and said that I did, too). I’m still learning, so there’s so much I can’t do in art. When I figure it out, I think I’ll quit.

[artwork by daniel gibson, on flickr].

Give me a mini-resume. Shows, gallery openings, past experiences.
D: I’ve had shows in San Diego, but mostly L.A. I just took a solo show down at Berdhouse Gallery and have shown at Abacot Gallery and Sugar hair salon/gallery. I love those places.

K: Too many to count. Currently I’m teaching art at a local private art school, dabbling in some freelance illustration, and one
day a week I work for a jeweler named Valerie Mitchell who makes really beautiful pieces.

Dream job?
K: Selling work.. that I want to make. I’d also like to teach at a University one day.
D: My dream job? I guess living off my art. Working from home, building funny bikes, and when I want to get out of the house, I’d love to own an ice cream truck. I’d hand paint it and drive around selling ice cream and ghetto chips to the kids. Oh, and play different music. Those jingles are so played out.

[one of daniel’s funny bikes.]

What pulls you through ‘artists block?’
K: I push myself to constantly create something…even if it’s terrible. Work begets work. Eventually something will come out of it.
D: Time… I play pool/drink beer/ride my bike and wait…

Describe your fashion sense.
K: Uhh… hmm… I love the 60’s.

First piece of art you ever purchased?
K: I’ve always traded with other artists but when I was living in Krakow, Poland I bought two beautiful pieces (one large linocut and one small etching) by a local outsider artist named Jan Nowak.
D: Mike Maxwell, an awesome San Diego artist.

Favorite artist/designer?
K: My favorite painter is Philip Guston. I really like Amy Sillman’s work as well.
D: Manuel Ocampo, Bosch, and friends.

IKEA: Love or hate?
D: Love, but hate trash.

Quirkiest trait?
K: I’m sort of a science nerd. I seem to know a lot of random information that most people could care less about…for example, did you know that majority of the debris in the air is spider legs, sand, and rubber from tires? [Editor’s Note: GROSS!]D: I don’t step on cracks.

Name of your third grade teacher?
D: Miss Macey. Third/fourth grade. She knew I couldn’t read, so she let me tell her verbal stories. I would make them up on the fly.

Favorite flavor of popsicle?
K: Cherry

D: My awesome dog/lil friend is named Pooper. He’s a doxie/beagle mix; a street dog from back home.

Dream vacation?
K: I’d love to travel to Russia and throughout Japan.

Which character of ‘Arrested Development’ were you MOST like?
D: Ah, great question. I love that show. I’d have to say George Michael, ’cause we both have a crush on Maebe.

Favorite season?
K: Fall.

Coffee or tea?
D: Both. Sleepytime and Mate. Oh, and coffee from the 76 down the street.

Pick a superpower.
K: I wish I could fly. Then I could travel anywhere. I love to travel.

[birdhouse by daniel gibson].

Currently in your CD/MP3 player?
K: Gravenhurst
D: Johnny Cash

Fave thing to do on a Fri. night?
K: Stay home, drink wine and make artwork.

Any collections?
K: Old science books. B horror films…

Favorite quote?
K: “That’s the way the potato mashes.”- Tom Waits. It’s not really a quote, but a lyric.
D: “Sing your life.”

Best advice anyone ever gave you?
K: Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Seek them out, create your own options. I think a lot of people get stuck in places…waiting for something big to happen…then 10 years pass by and they are still in the same place, wondering what happened. Thank you, Gus Mazzocca.

What did you spend your last paycheck on?
D: Bills/city of Los Angeles/sushi.

How old were you when you were first kissed?
K: 12…in the lockeroom while playing truth or dare.

Coolest trend right now/worst trend right now?
K: Best? Environmental issues…though I hope it’s not just a trend.
Worst? Reality shows. I despise them. It makes Americans look like drunken idiots. Who really acts like that anyways? I believe that most current shows lack in creativity and intelligence. The best television series I’ve seen since Twin Peaks is Dexter. But hey, what do I know…I don’t even own a television.
D: I don’t know, but I turned on the TV a while ago and for a week ABC went ‘green.’ I almost threw up. A week?! WHAT?!

Anything else you want the world to know?
K: Hello! Support Art.
D: Nature always wins.

A big thank you to both of you from DFM! I look forward to hearing more from both of you in the future!!! :)

p.s. If you’d like to commission Daniel or Kristi for a custom piece, let me know and I”ll pass along the message!
p.p.s. Catch Daniel on MySpace right here.

  • luv nature, luv art…thanks for introducing these artists w/ great questions (last bill paid is interesting)…I love the image of a fri. night drinking wine and making art! TV is certainly getting ridiculous, and I hope I have the guts to seek out opportunities beyond what is given to me. =)
    – Jessie –

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