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Rising Stars: Meet Dick Daniels

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dick Daniels.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
When I was in the 6th grade, I discovered that I could make my classmates laugh with my goofy cartoons. That’s basically been my direction ever since. As a child of the 50’s who blossomed in the full glare of the psychedelic 60’s, I was influenced by the underground comics movement, abandoned amusement parks, American folk art and cheap commercial packaging. I’ve worked as an illustrator for the KC Star and a humor artist at Hallmark Cards while drawing and making my own stuff for fun. That evolved into painting my oddball characters along with smartass words on found, discarded wood and selling them at art fairs, bars and restaurants. For the past two years, I’ve enjoyed making geometric abstract paintings on wood.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I’ve been lucky to make a living as an artist. Early on, I worked as a commercial graphic artist so I didn’t have the worry and pressure of selling my own personal art. But I always tried to make and sell my stuff as a side hustle which was just gravy. So if I didn’t sell something or get accepted in a show, it didn’t really matter much.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
The cartoon-type work that I’ve been doing for the past couple of decades, the stuff I’m kind of known for, has always been for my own amusement, for fun. To get a laugh and entertain. I learned a lot working at Hallmark in the Shoebox Greetings line, developing characters and making them bold and colorful to stand out on a rack of cards and grab attention. And the incredible humor writers there really influenced me with coming up with my own sarcastic quips and phrases.

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