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Studio Visit - Dana Veraldi

Studio Visit - Dana Veraldi

Studio Visit with Dana Veraldi

An accidental art phenomenon, Dana Veraldi’s distinct style and active participation in creative collaborations has garnered a cult following and solidified her well known creative identity. Learn more about her work and practice below.

Q.

When did you start DEERDANA?

A.

I started DEERDANA as a website when I was in high school. I bought the domain and I just put my photography on it. It was just my portfolio site. It actually originally was a Beck fan site, which not many people know. In high school, I was obsessed with Beck. I probably saw him live 18 times, but he’s only been in Philadelphia maybe four times. I would make my mother drive me to see him in surrounding states. I drew him once, but he has so many different styles and phases he’s gone through. So my website was a photography website, and then I made shirts in a screen-printing class when I was a senior in college. I drew line drawings based on photos I’d taken of friends.

My photography was primarily portraits of my friends. A lot of them were in New York, because I’d go to New York almost every weekend. And I had done a shirt of my friend Jackson who was a DJ, and he was DJ-ing with model Agyness Deyn. So she ended up wearing her own shirt to a photoshoot, and that was the first press I got on the cover of Time Magazine. I was doing the shirts very DIY, not thinking about it as a business at all. I made them at school. I moved to New York the day I graduated from college. I packed both my parents’ cars and we drove to New York City and then I was putting them in my apartment in Bushwick. So I would print to order and I had a shirt of my grandmother, I had a shirt of bunny rabbits, just really random things. There was a similar style to all of them, but there was no business plan at all.

 

 

 

Q.

So were you shocked when you got the press for that first shirt?

A.

Oh of course. I remember she called me and said they wanted to credit me so she said she’d just give them my website. I think I was selling them for $30. And I would mess so many up because I was not good at printing.

 

Q.

So at what point, were you about to start doing it seriously?

A.

I never wanted to sit down and talk about goals and get an investment, which I still have not done to this day, which maybe is not so smart. But I just let it grow organically and then always had other jobs to supplement myself financially and also just to have a schedule of some sort. I don’t do the design seasonally, I just sort of do whatever I want. Like I worked for a stylist for three years and then worked for Adidas for a while doing freelance event projects, and then I worked with Theory, Tory Burch, and Trademark, just helping with different aspects of companies. I always learn things that I can apply to my own company.

 

    

Dana Veraldi says

"“I create to share with others.”

Q.

So what are some of you favorite collaborations that you’ve done?

A.

I loved working with La Mer because it was very corporate and I had to go to all these board meetings with all these people and sell myself to them. They thought that I was cooler than I was, too. I don’t know if I’m seen as streetwear or what, but they appreciated that I was like a “crazy artist” that does everything on her own, and they’re the opposite of that. I did a collaboration with Uber, which was awesome because I love Uber, and I got paid in credit. I made t-shirts and tote bags for them. I don’t even know where they went.

 

Q.

Why do you create?

A.

To share with others.

Q.

What is your favorite quote?

A.

“I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh.” Maya Angelou

 

Q.

What is your favorite instrument?

A.

Piano.

 

Q.

What would you draw a lover?

A.

What would you draw a lover? Drawing someone I love is one of my favorite things.

 

Q.

What would you draw a lover?

A.

What would you draw a lover? Drawing someone I love is one of my favorite things.

 

Q.

Who are some of favorite artists?

A.

John Baldessari, Lucian Freud, Baron Von Fancy, Pablo Picasso, Isamu Noguchi, Richard Avedon.

  

Q.

What is something people would be surprised to discover about you?

A.

I love R&B music.

 

Q.

When do you make your best work?

A.

Alone with lots of sunlight and loud music.

 

Q.

What is your favorite color?

A.

Green.

 

Q.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

A.

Oreo.

 

Q.

What is your happy place?

A.

Martha's Vineyard.

 

Q.

What do you love most about being on the road?

A.

Music in the car with windows down.

 

Q.

What puts you to sleep at night?

A.

HBO Documentaries.

 

Q.

Describe your creative process in a few words.

A.

Image research, collage, mixed mediums, Photoshop.

Q.

Who is your hero?

A.

My mother.

About Dana Veraldi

Veraldi’s practice employs a distinctive style of two-dimensional, monochromatic line drawing.

 

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About Dana Veraldi

Dana Veraldi is a visual artist based in New York City, NY. Veraldi is best known for her hand-drawn portraits of cultural icons and her label DEERDANA, which she founded with partner Kevin Tekinel. Her practice employs a distinctive style of two-dimensional, monochromatic line drawing. Focusing on the outlines of her subjects, she typically uses solid pigment rather than shading or color to draw contrast. Although rooted in the realistic portrayal of visual objects, her broad, somewhat minimalist strokes eliminate nuanced features, resulting in a cartoonish but contoured representation. Veraldi graduated with a BFA in Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

EDUCATION 

2007 BFA in Photography from Maryland Institute College of Art

 

PRESS

"Get to Know Dana Veraldi from Deerdana," Your Cherie Cherry
"Deerdana//Dana Veraldi," How You Glow
"15 Best American Streetwear Brands Right Now," Complex
"Follow Friday @Deerdana," Into the Gloss
"Fantastic Four' star Kate Mara on what she wears when she's visible," LA Times