Daniella Fishburne | Madame MadFish

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Carried Away

I was lost for a long time. I spent my twenties not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I think a lot of people can relate to that though. I changed my major so many times that I'm not even sure what they all were anymore. I started off with interior design, but I couldn't get past the drafting classes. I wanted to create...not measure and plan. Then I tried nursing....but I think most people would agree...you really don't want a nurse who passes out everytime they see blood. So obviously that didn't work out. There were several other majors tossed in between.... spanish.... english.... art history.... pottery (was that a major or just a class? I can't remember). Then I landed on web development. Which I do enjoy troubleshooting, and when you figure out the code that makes something work the way you want it to, it's like...wow! It works! (happy dance) But staring at code all day doesn't exactly spark a sense of passion. So I tweaked my major slightly and changed it to Digital Arts which is a combination of graphic and web design. This was one of the best decisions I could have ever made because it forced me to learn two invaluable programs, Illustrator and Photoshop. They gave me the foundation I needed to create these images.

"Carried Away"

I think my real education came outside of the classroom though. I bought Creative Photoshop CS4 by Derek Lea and began teaching myself by working through the projects that interested me most. If you are ever interested in learning more than the basics of photoshop, I highly recommend it. Looking back, I think it's kind of funny how I ended up doing photography. I was quite reluctant actually. My brother-in-law is a very talented photographer and graphic designer, so when I got my camera he would always ask if I'd taken it out on a shoot yet. And I'd say....no, but I learned how to paint in photoshop! I just think I wasn't ready yet.

My creative journey turned in a new direction around March of this year. I had just married my best friend and I wanted to reuse my wedding dress for a special project. My plan was to turn myself into a ghostlike figure and what better city than Charleston to create that kind of image! My husband took a couple of shots of me in my wedding dress at home (because I didn't want to walk around the city in my dress) and then we headed downtown to find the perfect background. I took a bunch of shots that day. It was so much fun walking around and exploring Charleston! But my favorite part came afterwards when I began editing.  After I created "Butterfly Whisperer", I had this burning desire to create more. I've never had that kind of passion before. And with a slew of Charleston shots on my computer, I started playing around with the possibilities. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I had a small portfolio.

It was late April when I discovered an ad on craigslist calling for artist for a new art gallery. I don't know what made me decide to submit my work. All I remember is being really pissed off at work that day and saying...what the hell...what have I got to lose! I honestly didn't think they would ever call me, but Mackenzie contacted me a few days later and asked me to come in. I remember it being complete chaos. I came in on Saturday and they were literally opening on Monday, so there were busy bees everywhere trying to get everything ready for the big night. To my surprise, Mackenzie liked my work and asked me if I could have some pieces ready for the opening. It was such a whirlwind trying to find frames and get everything together. I think I only had six pieces on my wall, but I had something! I had my art in an art gallery! And if nothing ever came from that, then I was completely satisfied just knowing that I could mark that off my bucket list. 

I don't know what will happen next, but my work is continuing to grow and so is the art gallery. If you ever get a chance to visit the Art Mecca of Charleston on King Street, you will not be disappointed. It's amazing to see how much it's grown and I feel like I've grown with it. There is so much to see there...it's like a visual candy store! They have everything from jewelry, to furniture, to art in every medium you can think of. So I'd like to send out a special thank you to Mackenzie and Kelly for having faith in my work before I ever did. Without your encouragement, I'm not sure that I would have ever been brave enough to share my art with the world. And for that I will always be eternally grateful.

For this week's image, I used a combination of textures and painterly techniques to create a dreamlike world of infinite possibilities. Sometimes my imagination gets a bit "Carried Away".

Dani Fish2 Comments