We had the good fortune of connecting with David Fratu (ILL.DES) and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi ILL.DES, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in Chicago, IL. I’m a first-generation American from Romanian immigrant parents. They’ve taught me what it means to work hard and to achieve your goals. My father is a master woodworker who has taught me the value of disciplined meditation in my craft. I work meticulously to create vibrant images that teach the viewer to slow down & work with intention.
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 strive to create timeless abstract art that draws you into my colorful, chaotic world. My work is about finding balance and creating a meditative moment within chaos. It is a reflection of the human experience, showing the importance of finding balance within ourselves even in the most intense of times. I do this by creating a balance between organic and structured linework using color gradations to show tonal value. I’m most proud of the large-scale murals that I’ve been able to paint around the country. One of my goals is to paint a mural in every city that I’ve lived in.
My journey as an artist has had it’s ups and downs. I never quite had the full support from my family to pursue a career as an artist. I was told that I’d never become successful or that I’d never make money from my work. This was fuel to my fire. I wanted it more than anything, and I was willing to put in the long hours to make it happen. Having a career as a full-time artist has always been a life long goal. Something that I’ve learned along the way is to always be humble. No matter the amount of success, it’s important to always keep an open mind. I believe there is something that you can learn from everyone you meet. My overall vision is to push the boundaries of abstract contemporary art by adding my own unique twist. I’ve got a lot of new ventures in the works, and I’m excited to start unveiling them soon.
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.
The first stop would definitely be to take them to the RiNo arts district. I haven’t lived here for too long, but that area is one of my favorite places to take friends to. It reminds me of the Old Fourth Ward arts district back in Atlanta where you can see tons of incredible murals. There’s also tons of amazing spots to eat in RiNo like Aloy, Los Chingones, and the Denver Central Market. The second stop would be to take them out to some nature. Colorado has so many beautiful destinations that are only just a short drive away from the city, St Mary’s Glacier, Strawberry Park Hot Springs, and Red Rocks are a few of my favorite spots. |
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Early on in my career, I was invited to join an art collective called Apex Collective. They are a group of incredibly profound artists who have encouraged me and motivated me along the way. Their belief is that collaboration is the key to success. I’ve also worked closely with a gallery/agency based in Atlanta, GA called, ABV that is curratd by Greg Mike. . They’ve given me a lot of amazing opportunities and helped make a name for myself in the Atlanta art scene. Without their help and mentorship, I don’t think that I would be where I am in my career today.