Dani is a multidisciplinary creative based in Toronto, Canada. Her expertise ranges from art direction and set styling to product and still life photography. Outside of freelance work, Dani also acts as the in-house Art Director for Kastor & Pollux.
RE: WHAT SHE’S LISTENING TO
These days I’ve really been into The Argument podcast from The New York Times opinion section. The premise of the show is a host-mediated discussion between two people on either end of the political spectrum. Every week, there’s a new topic and both people get to share their opinions on the issue. Their tagline is:
“These days more than ever it’s important to listen to people who disagree with you. Maybe they’ll teach you something new, or maybe they’ll just teach you how to beat them.”
That resonates with me.
RE: HER INSTA MUSE
If you like cooking, eye-catching photography, or have a big thing for kitchenware like me, then you need to be following @healthy_ish (part of the Bon Appetit family). 50% of my saved posts on Instagram are their recipes. Though my cooking skills have only grown marginally, my collection of dishware and serveware is really popping off haha.
RE: AN UPLIFTING HOME PURCHASE
Something I recently purchased that’s had a positive impact on my home is my calamansi plant. I like to think of it as my version of a Himalayan salt lamp… it’s a real mood booster to wake up next to a blooming citrus tree. The bright color of the leaves and fruit breathe life into my space.
RE: WHO WE SHOULD BE PAYING ATTENTION TO
The Los Angeles based studio Waka Waka has been inspiring me lately. The designer Shin Okuda handcrafts wood furniture and functional objects that have lots of character. The silhouettes are really bold and have influenced some of my set design work.
RE: HER SORTA-UNUSUAL OBSESSION
Dead flowers and greenery! Lots of conceptual floral brands are using dried flowers so I guess it’s not that unusual. Depending on the type of plant, sometimes I prefer the look once they are dried. It’s very sculptural.
RE: ADVICE FOR ASPIRING CREATIVES
Shoot on your time off, paint during the evenings, attempt DIY tutorials you find in the depths of YouTube.
Every creative project, whether it’s directly related to your field or not, is a great way to stretch your artistic muscles. Experimenting with different mediums has helped me be a better communicator by acting as a crash course on the lingo of other artisans. For example, taking woodworking classes in the past helps me better design and communicate my vision to a fabricator when I’m planning an installation for a brand.
I'd also encourage aspiring creatives not to overplan. Personally, the best opportunities and outcomes have happened when I’ve gone with the flow. As long as you are saying yes to opportunities that feel right and trying new things, you’ll find your way! Just be patient.
RE: CERAMICS CRUSHES
Forever fangirling over ceramics makers. After taking a three-month course and only having blob vases to show for it, I have so much respect for the art! My three fave right now are:
Eny Lee Parker for her lamps
Rachel Saunders for her Found Collection
Sophie Alda for her use of blue
RE: APPROACHING NEW PROJECTS
As an Aquarius and INFP, I’m a double introvert by nature. Oftentimes I work alone, but I’ve come to realize that my best projects are the ones that I’ve talked through with my collaborators. Even if I’m working on a project solo, I make it a habit to verbalize my ideas before executing them.
If my listener can understand my idea clearly, it passes the test and I know I can move forward.
If it’s too convoluted, I know I have to take it back to the drawing board. Shout out to my sister and boyfriend who are the best listeners!
RE: OPTIMIZING FOR ENERGY
My biggest burst of energy and creative flow happens in late afternoon. My trick for getting the most out of my day is to tackle my less mentally challenging tasks like replying to emails and sourcing materials in the morning. If I can, I’ll break up my day with a lunchtime pilates class. After class, the mix of endorphins and creativity kick in and I’m ready to take on more challenging tasks that require creative thinking.
RE: TAKING INCOMPREHENSIBLE NOTES
Since I’m on the move a lot, I record spur-of-the-moment ideas in the “Notes” app on my iPhone. This often results in a long list of incomprehensible memos written in half gibberish. My last note says, “Infuse gin with forbidden rice.” My first note says, “In our flat world, colour creates that emotional connection.”
RE: HER IDEAL ENVIRONMENT
People ask if my space is bold and busy like my work, but actually it’s the opposite. I like to keep it very minimal and simple. My ideal environment is organized and visually quiet. With so many ideas cluttering my head, I need my physical space to be clutter-free. Lots of natural light and a hot cup of tea really put me in the right mindset to create, as well.
RE: HOW SHE USES BARBICAN
We love playing hostess, so the Barbican Trolley will inevitably be used for serving cocktails to dinner guests.
In fact, the day the trolley was delivered, Taylor arrived home first and unboxed the package. By the time I returned home an hour later the Barbican was already fully stocked with all our bottles and bitters! Later that night, she mixed up a round of Negronis straight from the cart. We really wasted no time.
For more on Dani, head here.