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Q&A with Grace Danico

Illustrator, designer and archivist @ Los Angeles

My name is Grace Danico, and I am an illustrator, designer and archivist currently living and working in Los Angeles, California. I make drawings, animations, comics, and art.

How did you get started in illustration and design? What is a turning point in your professional career?

I wrote for a mid-century modern design and illustration focused blog called Grain Edit from 2008-2014. Writing for the blog put my eyes through visual bootcamp: I researched the work of illustrators, designers and artists past and present. In conversation with and meeting artists, I became more fascinated with pursuing illustration as a career and figuring out the best ways to archive visual materials. I moved in Brooklyn, NY in 2011 to study Library & Information Science and formed a studio practice with some friends at the Pencil Factory.

That was definitely a turning point for me because I starting making images and work instead of just writing about it. Having the studio was a great way to make new friends and be surrounded by of talented people. I'm definitely still figuring things out though!

What is your ideal work environment? Do you prefer to work in your art studio all day long or prefer to mix a few activities?

My ideal work environment is in a studio, but having a full-time day job makes it tough to balance time for work, the studio, and personal life. When I was freelancing, being in a studio forced me to get out of the house, socialize, and focus on making things. I'd work for a while on a project, take a break and cook or go for a walk, then get back to work. I recently moved out of a studio with friends, and am still transitioning to working from home. I'm definitely going to miss hanging out, making a mess, and sharing ideas in real life. At home, I work from my desk in my living room and sometimes make prints in my kitchen. The space is smaller, but I'm surrounded by all my favorite things, which is comforting and inspirational. I'm a nite owl, so I'll play music and work until I can't feel my face anymore.

Where does your work inspiration come from? (Do you believe in 'inspiration' at all)?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. I'm mainly inspired by my friends, as many of them are creatives in the practice of making and doing. I'm also inspired by nature, food, animation, and art in museums. Life's just inspiring!

Where are your favorite art places in Los Angeles or outside?

My favorite art places in Los Angeles are Museum of Jurassic Technology, LACMA, Hammer Museum, 356 Mission, Human Resources, the Getty, and the Huntington Gardens. On my to-do list of places to visit are galleries in Culver City, New Image Art, Gallery Nucleus, and Bergamot Station.

Who are the illustrators / designers you admire most?

Tough question to answer, but some of my favorites are Blexbolex, Tim Lahan, Andy Rementer, Margherita Urbani, Damien Correll, Merjin Hos, Ping Zhu, Jean Julien, Kris Mukai, and Lamar Abrams.