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.