Daniel Cicchelli is an amazing artist who's making big creative moves around the country. I met Daniel in 2015 when he did live painting at our TRiP 420 Party at Gold Star Market in Detroit MI. Seeing the way this guy selected his colors and moved his hand across a canvas was mesmerizing. He's been doing his thing at just about every Detroit KL event since.
Now let's talk about Creativity!
What kind of art do you make? Why?
Raw, visceral art. There’s a kind of punk rock sensibility to it. A long time ago, a college
professor referred to it referred to as “Fuck You Art” and I really dug that. I want my images
to strike emotions we’re scared to confront. I make paintings, drawings, sometimes a
combination of the two. Sometimes I use some pretty wild materials to create mixed-media
pieces. At the core, art is very therapeutic for me and painting is an outlet for intense
emotions that I don’t feel can be appropriately articulated in the everyday reality we live in.
Do you feel different?
I guess “different” is a pretty relative term, but if I had to say yes or no, I’d say absolutely
yes. I’ve always been pretty quiet for as long as I can remember… kind of just in my own
head. Anxious. At the same time, I’ve always felt super susceptible to stimuli in my
external, surrounding environment. I don’t know. There’s a lot of wild shit going in my
head… yet isn’t that the case for everybody?
Did you have a hard time “fitting in”in school growing up?
I got along with most people in school but always gravitated toward creative types. I liked
the weird kids. They were just more interesting and I felt like I could be myself. I wasn’t
troubled or confrontational. I felt isolated but it was my choice. I found a sort of comfort in
it. Still do. I think if you asked most people I went to school with about me, they’d just say I
was really quiet.
When did you discover your creative abilities?
14 or 15 years ago. When I was about 13 years old. It started with music. I began playing
bass guitar and something just… clicked. About 5 years after that I started drawing. From
that point it just kept evolving, and now I’m here.
Did your family encourage you to pursue a creative life, or
did they try to convince you to try and be something else?
Thankfully my family is very supportive. They just want me to be happy.
What inspires you to create?
I’m very driven psychologically to make art, and like I said, the root of it is therapy. A few
tangible things that inspire to to create are: books, films, traveling, music, nature, dreams,
and surrounding myself with people that are in search of ultimate artistic truth.
What do you hope to accomplish with your creative abilities?
My creative abilities have become my voice. I hope that through the expression of my
abilities, people are inspired to find that same fire inside themselves and work for
something their soul truly desires.
Do you think that artists are important to humanity?
Absolutely, I think we are essential.
If you had the power to give one single rule or order that
the entire world has to obey, what would it be?
Ugh… just one!? This is hard. I want to say no militaries. You didn’t say it had be realistic
Do you feel like the society that you reside in is
conditioned to accept or reject art and artists?
I feel the powers of the world either view art as unimportant or a threat. Which is why it’s
rarely made a priority in society on a global scale. However, being an artist in Detroit presents
you with a lot of opportunity. I feel generally accepted here.
Do you have any favorite signs or symbols?
Not specifically, but sometimes I start making these weird symbols that almost resemble
hieroglyphs or something. It’s like I make them without thinking… they come straight from my
subconscious. I have fun thinking it’s alien text being transmitted to me telepathically. Haha.
Vivid imagination, I suppose.
What, if anything, are you trying to say with your art?
I’m trying to say there’s something inside all of us that holds truth… both personal and
universal. Even though the path to uncovering these truths can be quite dark and daunting,
realization always brings beauty and liberation.
Do you have any advice or wisdom that you would like for the world to absorb?
Inspiration doesn’t come easy. Don’t wait for it to fall into your lap. Force yourself to make
something if you feel lazy. Force yourself if you feel depressed. It can seem like the hardest
thing to do, but not once has it made things worse for me. In fact, I’ve created some of my best
work this way.
Yebu-Tonu is an amazing Digital Artist that Kaleidoscopic Label connected with through the Glitch Artist Collective, an online community of data benders and digital punks with no limits to how they use technology to create. Check out this in depth interview with Yebu!
Let's start with the basics...
Now we're going to talk about your creativity...
8. What kind of art do you make? Why?
I have made, and make, a combination of glitch art and 3D art. Recently I have tried combining some of the concepts I understand in theory into my art, such as psychoanalysis. I’m sure if I wasn’t creating in a digital format of art, I’d be trying to express myself in other ways. One could say I have a lot to “sublimate” from within my body, and making art is as much creative as it is connected to my symptoms.
9. Do you feel different? If so,when did you first discover that you
I’m sure all of us feel a bit different? Or I would hope so, as individual subjects can be quite different from one another. I suppose, in terms of myself, I definitely did feel a bit like an “alien” or “outsider” growing up. Although, I think a lot of these things stem from pretty likely locutions in the end: your familial environment, historical conditions, how you’re thrown, etc.
10. Did you have a hard time “fitting in”in school growing up?
Somewhat implicit in the last question, yes, I did. I rarely “fit in” when growing up. In high school, my best attempts at growing up and fitting in came from trying to embellish a masculinity in me, I felt was mandated by older boys and young men. It was also a means of being able to “work through” other complexes in myself I had no language for at the time. Suffice to say, I’m no long a big weight lifter, and instead prefer making art and reading today.
11. When did you discover your creative abilities?
Probably around the age of 14 when I got access to this game called Jedi Knights Jedi Academy, and installed this server-side mod (Lugormod) for a server I started that allowed the admin to sort’of re-script the game using its own libraries while playing it. I built entire cities, quests, attractions, etc. It was probably the first time I felt genuinely creative, and also responsible in creating a small online community.
12. Did your family encourage you to pursue a creative life, or
did they try to convince you to try and be something else?
It definitely was a mixed bag. I think my family a lot of the time was trying to figure out what to do with me and my anxiety. My desires seemed to be all over the place (and sometimes that continues today), so it was difficult for them, as much as for myself, to orient things such as creative pursuits.
Now let's talk about your artwork...
18. What are your mediums?
My mediums are Cinema 4D, Daz Studio, Photoshop, After Effects, Processing, Python, and the list goes on…
19. What have you been working on lately?
Mostly on client work recently. However, I’ll soon be getting a new computer, so hopefully I’ll be letting out some exciting stuff around the corner.
20. Do you have a favorite piece that you've made? Why?
I’d have to say I have two favorite pieces currently, not one. The first being the animation I created called Waterslide. The second being a still I made called Narcissistic Perversions. Both are inspired by psychoanalytical material.
21. Do you have any exhibitions coming up?
Not currently—just finished working with a client for a good period of time, so I need to start submitting and creating again soon.
22. Do you have a dream exhibition in mind?
Five words: biofeedback cubist video projection installation.
23. Do you have any favorite signs or symbols?
Enactments “symbolically” have been something I’m interested in exploring further. How are the characters interacting with each other? What are they doing? What are their relations to one another in and of-themselves?
24. What, if anything, are you trying to say with your art?
To speak from somewhere raw or more refined, that maybe plays with the tension or boundary of something either being raw or refined. At-least that is the best thing I can really say for now.
25. Do you have any advice or wisdom that you would like for the
world to absorb?
Really interrogate with where your desires and feelings come from, and “enjoy” your symptom.
Creators, we hate being "paid in promotion". We should never accept being paid in promotion... unless there's some serious promotion involved or the end product could add a lot of value to your portfolio. If a huge client, like a Mark Cuban or Elon Musk, needed some new designs and marketing materials then I, as a graphic and web designer, would want to hop on that opportunity. Not only do I know my designs would make it into important hands and be displayed for millions to see, but these works would also increase the value of my portfolio. I sure hope someone with the success of these example clients would offer to pay for their needed services, but if this were the case I wouldn't be working for promotion, I'd be investing my time and abilities for a potentially huge pay off. Sure, they could end up hating my designs and using some from elsewhere, but what investment doesn't come with risks? At least I'd still have the experience that I could use later.
This theoretical situation is an unlikely occurrence, but you're surrounded with more realistic ones. There are businesses starting up every day by people who are focused, that have succeeded in things before and have the potential to succeed in their new venture. A lot of these businesses are funded out of pocket, or with very limited start-up cash and could really use valuable services like web design, graphic design, video production and social media management. If you have the skill and use it to build the proper relationship, this could result in something big for you.
If you're good, you could get all of this in a single conversation. If you go about this the correct way, you will have everything you need to know weather or not you want to buy into this new idea with your precious talents. Worst case scenario, you could end up with a new connection that could potentially open doors for you in the future.
If you decide to invest your talents and abilities, make sure you pay close attention to the flow of everything in and around the business. You need to be able to constantly gauge how much time and stress you need to dedicate. Always give your best effort. If you ever begin to feel that you will need to back out of your investment, do so without breaking the connection that you've established. Communicate with your contact and express your feelings and concerns. Try to give no excuses and don't place the blame on anyone. Own up to your decision and promote the idea of you being available for future opportunities.
So now that you have an idea about how you could invest your talents and abilities, you should work
on sharpening your networking skills. Here are a few helpful resources:
7 TIPS FOR NETWORKING
Are you familiar with artist Craig Blackmoore?
If not, take a minute and check out his 2016 Animation Reel.
Blackmoore is one of Kaleidoscopic Label's resident artists and he's releasing some of his 2016 animated loops for free. These can be used by artists, promoters, VJ's, and musicians for promotional and non-commercial purposes.
Visit his website's store to download them!
More animations will be coming soon so stay tuned! He's also available for commissions.
These plugins will help you get that crisp and full analogue synth sound for cheap or free!
Here are KL's Picks:
Image Line Poizone
Image Line Sawer
Welcome to Kaleidoscopic Label
We've done a bit of reorganizing and updating.
Here's what's new.
The Scope, our new blog, is up and running. We will be featuring:
If you are a content creator, artist, blogger/vlogger, podcaster, or anything of the sort that's interested in publishing on Kaleidoscopic Label, contact us!
Spotify Playlist Curation
We've started curating playlists for Spotify! Have any cool releases you want us to check out? Shoot us a link and we'll have a listen!