We had the good fortune of connecting with Dan Baumbach and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dan, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
There are times to take risks and times not to. I’ve made a living as a computer programmer for most of my life. I used to have my own business with a couple of employees, but at some point, I decided to opt for security and got a full time programming job. With my family’s needs taken care of I was able to pursue a side career as an artist. Being an artist is all about risk because there are no fixed ways of being creative. Being creative requires being internally quiet and experimenting and taking chances without knowing what the result will be. Now I’m retired and somewhat financially secure so I’m able to spend more time making art. But making art is still about taking chances and going to new places. It’s all about staying fresh.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I do abstract and semi abstract photographs. They are mostly macros detailing grasses, leaves rocks, water and their combinations. There are a lot of photographers around, but I don’t see anyone doing what I’m doing. Part of success with it is where I live, Boulder Colorado. The landscapes are so colorful and beautiful, it’s a joy working with them. The rest is my great joy of finding combinations of details and colors that are expressive. It became clear to me that being an artist was not going to be a good way to support myself and my family, so for my working life I was fortunate to make a good living as a computer programmer and did photography on the side, There’s always some degree of struggle being an artist. It’s easy to fall into traps of repeating yourself and you have to really want to keep growing and being fresh. My work is very beautiful and very calming. In these times, my photographs are a breath of fresh air.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I don’t live in Denver. I live in Boulder so I’ll talk about Boulder. When we get visitors, I try to take them up the Colorado high country. I’ll take them to the Indian Peaks Wilderness, Long Lake, Mitchell Lake, Lake Isobel and other places. For food, we’ll go to a great vegetarian restaurant on Pearl St called Leaf. I’m not a vetetarian, but Leaf’s meals are so inventive and tasty, I love them. There’s a restaurant near me called Dagabi that I also like. And there’s a great pizza restaurant in Nederland called Crosscut. In Denver the only restaurants I’m familiar with are stuffed pizza places, Paxti’s and Giordano’s. Both really good. And also in Denver, there’s the D’art Gallery in the Santa Fe Art District, where I’m currently exhibiting.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My wife Emily Chaya Baumbach
Photo of me is by Emily Chaya Baumbach. All other images are mine.