Artist Spotlight: Dana Mooney

Noella AndresArtist Spotlight

Dana Mooney is a self-taught artist and creative influencer based in Vancouver, Canada. Her background in makeup artistry and interior decorating paved the path for her to pursue a career of painting, always moving towards her next exciting project.
1. What inspires you?
I get a bit confused when I’m asked that question, because as a visual person I always have been impacted by my surroundings and what I see, but at the same time I just sort of absorb things and hold them in my image memory bank.  I’m inspired by other artist’s growth.  Colors in the world around me.  How colours are attached to different feelings and moods.  I am influenced by my city, living in Vancouver next to the beach is always a beautiful ever changing backdrop to my life.  I’m inspired by what I want to accomplish.  Goals, dreams, ideas of what to create next, travel, architecture, fashion.   It’s really a never ending story!
2. What mediums do you work with regularly and why?
I work with Acrylic, gouache and watercolor, ink, gold and silver leaf.  And sometimes all of them at once depending on the project.  I think there might be two reasons for this.  One, I first learned to paint with watercolor so I naturally graduated to other water-based mediums.  I haven’t had the experience of learning oils and other mediums – yet.  Two, I’m a Pisces.  Very into watery stuff!
3. Explain your creative process.
My projects always start with a color palette and a general mood.  I may be creating a custom piece for a client or new collections in different subject matters but whatever it is I’m making, I always have a sense of the feel I want that piece to be and the colors I will be using.  A lot of my work now is a branch from something I’ve already created an evolution of different ideas and pieces.  But then sometimes I’ll just have a brand new idea come into my mind and keep that in my head for a while, dream about it, think about it, envision it and then eventually it makes it’s way to the surface.  I’m not a huge planner with my pieces and most of what I make is emotion based.  But that being said, I do plan my business tactics and organize my time pretty well.  So I guess for me the creative process is always a bit interrupted with paying attention to my finances and projectory of where I want my career to be going, but eventually, I am getting there!
4. Do you have anything exciting coming up that you would like us to share? 
Last year I had the opportunity to create a few murals and partner with some great brands (Jergens Canada and Saje Natural Wellness) so I am hoping to continue down this path and keep pushing my creative boundaries with collaborative projects like that.  But more immediately, I am really excited about my next painted fabric collection launching this Spring, which will be a line of hand-painted pillows and my latest venture: Hand painted Dog Beds!
5.  How did you begin your career as a professional artist, and how has your career evolved?
I studied Interior Design and was working at a boutique home decor shop in Vancouver when I had the opportunity to create some paintings to show there.  I think that was really an eye-opening time for me because I had always painted for fun but never thought I could make a career out of it.  I started to learn that designers were constantly looking for artwork to use in their projects and as a trend watcher myself I created work that was complimentary to what was happening in the industry.  I realized that I had a unique ability to create work that was filling a niche in the market, and decided to take the leap and go full time as a painter.  It really wasn’t easy but I did everything I could to connect to people who were looking for artwork, and over time I started building my business and a strong reputation through word of mouth and social media.
I also did a few collaborations and each year, and my custom pieces to-do list kept growing and my motivation has only increased since then too.  I love working for myself, and now I’m happy to be able to have more creative freedom with what I am painting and take less custom work on.  Every year I do bigger projects, larger collaborations and just keep pushing forward and meeting new goals.  Honestly, it’s been a whirlwind – one thing that really shows my evolution is that I used to paint and live in my 400sq. ft apartment.  Now, I have a private studio in Gastown and am looking to expand again, not only to a bigger space but to other cities and with larger partnerships.
6. What are your favorite Princeton Art Brush products?
I love the Catalyst tools for my Abstract works, and the Velvetouch brushes for my custom watercolors.