Interview with an Artist: Dan Ford

By Jaina Kelly, Staff Writer

Dan Ford is a third-year Interdisciplinary student at Lakehead University’s Orillia campus. He is studying with a double major in Media Studies and Political Science. He was born and raised in Barrie, Ontario.

Do you consider yourself an artist? 

    “Yes, I would consider myself an artist. In fact, the definition of artist to me is anyone who is able to make something with the intention of creating something pleasing to them, pleasing to others, or is attempting to create meaning. The definition of artist need not be limited to the avant-garde revolutionaries constantly going against the norm, everyone is capable of making something that others enjoy and they enjoy.”

What are your favourite mediums to create with?

“I’ve experimented with multiple mediums and styles. Cosplay is my main focus right now, but I love doing pencil and paper sketch art as that was my first medium. The next favourite from there would have to be airbrush, and then finally Bob Ross style oil painting. For a little bit, I experimented with digital media but found it to be not as compelling as physical materials.”

What art piece of yours are you the proudest of?

    “The piece of art I am most proud of would have to be a digital art piece called “Colossal Genesis.” While this piece is not my favourite, it is important to me as it is the first piece to ever be displayed in a major art gallery, the MacLaren Art Centre. That was the last major digital work I ever created, since then I have been sticking to physical mediums.”

If you could meet any artist or artistic influence of yours, who would it be and why?

    “I actually had the opportunity at FanExpo 2017 to meet poster artist Drew Struzan, whose work has inspired me and driven me to become a better artist. I am almost constantly on his gallery website looking at posters and trying to figure out his process and inspire myself to incorporate his style into my work as I love the mixed media technique he uses. So, as you can imagine I was pretty star struck when I met him and talked briefly about his career. I told him that I was an artist and he told me to learn from other artists as he did and from there you can develop a style that is truly yours.”

Is there anything else you feel compelled to share about being a creative person? 

“I’ve often struggled with inspiration, and the truth of the matter is that it just comes to you when it comes. I do not know when it will come but it just does, and then I create. Another thing I have struggled with is whether or not I create to satisfy others, or whether I create to satisfy myself. Once I realized that I had mostly been creating so that others can look at my work, and tell me how amazing it is, I recognized that it was a weird form of narcissism and a personality trait I was not pleased with. It was then that I made the decision to create things that first truly satisfied me and to not care about what others think. The gratification needs to come from within, and not from others.”

PC: Dan Ford