We had the good fortune of connecting with Dan Young and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dan, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
On some level, I don’t think I had a choice. It was a drive that I had to chase. It was never about income or status. It was a life choice that made me happy. Through the tough years, I never questioned giving up. I made sacrifices so I could keep going. It was about pursuing something that was very important to who I am as a person and why I’m here.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been a landscape painter for over 32 years. I’ve always tried to paint what I know to share with others. It’s always been about my take on the scenes I paint.. I strive for the emotion of the place and not the details. If the viewer walks away feeling like they’ve stood in my shoes and viewed that place through my eyes and it evoked an emotional feeling, I hit a home run. It has been a long process that will continue until I take my final dirt nap. I hope to always be a student and continue to learn and grow as an artist. Yes, I did the starving artist thing for awhile and it was part of the process that make you appreciate the journey more. Enjoying that process is just as important as the monetary success. Those early days of driving around and working out of the back of my truck were exciting. I go for as long as I could until I ran out of money and had to take a part time job to do it again.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I was going on a week long trip, it most likely wouldn’t include a city. There would be paint gear and hopefully pack horses. We would have a few of the conveniences like a gas stove and a tent. If we really went first class we would hire a cook and have the luxury of painting from dawn to dusk. My favorite spots don’t have street lights or restaurants. I’m more of an out in nature kind of guy. Most of my friends that I enjoy traveling with are the same.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It does take a lot of support and understanding to deal with the creative type of person. Of course my wife Kathy has been through it all with me. The good and the bad. I know there were times that she struggled with the saying” You love what you do more than me” I thank her dearly for sticking with me. As far as a professional mentors, I have several close friends that have supported me through the years on multiple levels. Milo. (Skip) Whitcomb has definitely been one that has pulled me off the ledge of cliff in so many ways. He’s been a true mentor through my journey.
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