Q&A with Emerging Artist — Danny Tanabe

This interview is part of a series of interviews Etch Collective has been putting together this past year. If you’re an emerging artist or just someone interested in the creative spectrum, we hope you derive inspiration from these short question and answers by real emerging artist from across the globe. Our goal is to create inspiration for you to go out and explore your own creative pursuits.


Danny is currently a student at Oregon State University


Etch: How long have you been involved in the art scene and what makes you intrigued with it?

Danny: I’ve been ‘doing’ art since I saw my sister drawing when I was 6 or 7. I’ve always been interested because there are no rules to creation. For better or worse, you have free reign to create whatever you want. Now whether it sucks or not is up to your audience

E: Do you think art/creativity has inspired you or has broadened your life and if so, in what ways?

D: Absolutely. Art has allowed me to tap into my creativity with everything. People don’t realize this, but everything uses creativity. All the most talented programmers, scholars, chefs, bakers, writer, speakers, etc. all have massive creativity. The feeling of coming up with something absolutely breathtaking at the snap of a finger is best feeling in the world.

E: What, artist (musician, painter, sculptor, author. etc ) dead or alive, inspires you to create the things you do?

D: I love doing everything from drawing to writing to playing music to photography to whatever. Someone who I look up to is someone who dabbles in just about everything. Right now that person would be Donald Glover. He acts, writes, does stand up, sings, raps, you get the point. He tries everything, and that’s what I love.

E: What is your creative process? How do you get in the zone for your creativity? (what are your rituals, habits?)

D: It kind of just shows up out of nowhere. Mostly when I’m supposed to be doing something else like studying or sleeping

E: If you’ve learned one thing through your creative life, what would you tell aspiring young artists?

D: It sucks to suck, and that’s okay. Everybody, even the greats, started out where you are right now. So if you’re trash at this very moment, don’t give up. Chances are next week you’re gonna be less trash.

E: If you could tell your 5-year-old self-today a lesson you’ve learned by being an artist what would that be? (in other words: what is something you’ve learned now that you wish you had known growing up?

D: I would wish that I would’ve known that’s it’s okay to be different than the other kids. You don’t have to follow. You can do whatever you want, and if no one follows at first, that’s okay.

E: When you hear Creativity what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

D: An essential quality not enough people have today.

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