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Meet Danielle Blanding

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Blanding.

Danielle, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In 2015, I started art school as an Illustration major and Painting minor at Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Georgia. As I started taking illustration classes, I started to realize that it wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to be creating art for other people, I wanted to be creating for myself. I took my first painting class as a painting minor and it changed everything. I started to see painting as something I needed to do. That is when I began considering changing my focus to painting.

At the time, I wasn’t in the best place mentally and I really needed a change. I decided to transfer to SCAD’s Atlanta location my junior year and things started to look up significantly. One day, I sat down with my professor, Michael, and we discussed painting as a career and about supporting yourself as a fine artist. The conversation we had was such an eye-opener for me that after that conversation I had my major changed to painting the very next day.

Ever since then, my passion for art grows every day as well as my aspirations. I have been exploring who I am as an artist and the journey has been amazing so far. I am happy to say that I will be graduating in March 2020 with a B.F.A. in Painting and a minor in Business Management & Entrepreneurship. Art is a journey of discovery and it doesn’t stop here. I see myself accomplishing my goals and I know that they are possible.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Has it been a smooth road, of course not? I, like everyone else, have my ups and downs, it’s called life. I fought my mind a lot, especially during my first years of college. Mentally, I struggled hard and some days it was very difficult. I was going through some things that no one should have to go through. Though I went through those things, it has truly shown me how strong I am.

I couldn’t have gotten through the things I did without my support system. My parents and brothers are the most amazing and encouraging people, I wouldn’t ask for anyone else as a family. I’ve also gotten so much support from my friends. I have learned so much from them and I’m so thankful that they’re in my life. These people never fail to encourage me down any bumpy road or even a smooth one.

Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I specialize in art and design as well as creative business leadership. I am more known for my paintings and sculptures, but what I am most proud of is converging my creative skills and business skills to market myself as a creative business leader.

What sets me apart from others is my passion, my initiative, and my positivity. If I never stop learning, I never stop growing. I want to know everything there is to learn about the art and business industry. By continuing to learn, I make better decisions and stay on top of what it is I need to know. My top three important matters as a creative business leader are adaptive thinking, effective communication, and creative problem-solving. There will always be a time where rejection appears. After realizing rejection is unavoidable in a creative life, I’ve learned to stand by my work, be confident, and to test new things. If I don’t stand by my work, who will?

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
As I said, my family and friends are my main support system as well as a few of my professors. They definitely play a huge role in who I’ve become as an artist and as a woman.

My mom and dad, Brenda and Russell, are my number one fans for life. My mother actually introduced me to SCAD. As soon as I set foot in that school, I fell in love. I never thought I would be going to an art school and here I am four years later. If it wasn’t for the encouragement and love from my parents I don’t know where I would be.

My brothers, Russell and Jeremy, we always tease and irritate each other, but they’ve always had my back and continue to build me up in ways they may not know.

My “old Kanye” and best friend, Jordan, has always encouraged me no matter what. He has helped me out of some of the toughest times in my life without him even knowing it. I’ve learned so much from this kind and talented man.

My beautiful friend, Jazmyn, has been one of the best friends I could ever have. She has cheered me on from day one, continues to support whatever I do, and always has me laughing.

My friend, Zari, we aren’t as close as we used to be, but she always encouraged me and was there for me through some of the toughest times.

My favorite professors, Michael and Tom, have impacted me so much as an artist and continue to challenge and support me.

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