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Interview with

an Artist:

Danielle Spradley

Danielle Spradley



Q: It is clear from viewing your work that you have a deep interest in the stories of the natural world. How do you view -yourself- as a member of the animal space?


A: I use animals to tell stories of the human condition because in the end we are just animals. I think people can relate and empathize with images of animals and they are just so fun to draw.


Q: How has working in politics shaped how you approach your art?


A: In all honesty I haven’t found much time to make my own art since getting involved with politics. My job entails creating graphics and communicating through social media and writing to educate the public on what the Missouri government is up to. Graphics have always been important to politics as they get people’s attention. My work has always been highly political, and I decided I needed to get my boots on the ground in making policy.


Q: What are some of your favorite books and who do you return to for salve and succor when you need inspiration (for the art or for just being alive in the world)?


A: So, I have two favorites: Black Elk Speaks which is told in the perspective of a native American shaman and the classic Catch 22. Both of these books educated me on how western values have shaped our country and the world. I get inspiration from images of the natural world because I can see narratives that relate to human events in them.


Q: When you begin a new piece, how do you envision scale? Do you have an idea of how large you want a piece to become, or how small, or does size evolve with the creation?


A: When I had a papermaking studio in my basement, I would create the paper with an image and size in mind. I made large grand pieces because I wanted the viewer to be engulfed on the work and create an environment. Since moving and no longer having access to that I have been working on a much smaller scale. So, at this point it's more a matter of space.


Q: Do you have a dream project for your painting and/or woodcutting?


A: I would love to create some large murals again and also want to create a graphic novel of quotes I collected while teaching.


Please visit Danielle's website for more information regarding previous and forthcoming work at

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