In our second interview of the year, we got in contact with painter Danny O'Connor who is better known to most as ART By DOC. We discuss cartoons, a guy named Cuthbert and being part of the human centipede...
PSD: What made you realise that you wanted to become an artist?
Danny O'Connor: I've always loved to draw as long as I can remember. I also had an unhealthy obsession with drawing scenes of violence containing monsters and all sorts of weird sci-fi shit as a kid. I probably should have been taken to child psychiatrist but thankfully that never happened and I just put it down to an active imagination and a keen interest in cartoons like He-man and Thundercats. Although it sounds like a bit of a joke I'd definitely consider the artwork from kids Cartoons and Video games to have had a major influence on inspiring me to take up art.
PSD: How would you describe your style?
Danny O'Connor: A total mash up. Inspirations as wide ranging as Comics to abstract expressionism sneak there way into my work. I'm not too proud to take from anywhere whether it's a high or lowbrow source.
PSD: Describe to us what your workspace looks like?
Danny O'Connor: My workspace is the spare bedroom of my house. God knows where I'm gonna work once I have kids!!! It's a total pigsty, I'm a very messy individual. Strangely enough I much prefer working in a tidy environment but I'm too lazy to clean up at the end of the day.
PSD: You wake up in the morning feeling creative as hell, but suddenly get a creative block. How would you overcome that?
Danny O'Connor: I tend to sulk and procrastinate.
PSD: How do you relax when your not creating work?
Danny O'Connor: Drink heavily :)
PSD: Who are your biggest influences?
Danny O'Connor: Difficult to pin point a few. My mum and Dad have always been a big support and are both quite talented artists, although they never took it up seriously. I suppose the first artist that I took an interest in was Illustrator Ralph Steadman, he has a way of attacking the image with energy whilst retaining great control and draftsmanship. That's something I try to do myself but I'm still way of his level. The list of other artists that I take influence from is growing all the time but I'll try and name a few Picasso, Pollock, Bacon, Freud, De Lempicka, Warhol and some contemporaries I admire include Matt Small, Adam Neate, Dave Kinsey, Chuck Close, Connor Harrington, Maggie Hambling I could go on but it'll just get boring.
PSD: Do you listen to music whilst working? Whats on your music list?
Danny O'Connor: Yes music definitely helps get you going. I have quite an eclectic taste. I found a Bob Dylan CD whilst having my annual clean up so I've been listening to him a fair bit recently but as a whole it's anything from indie to Dance.
PSD: If you could have brunch with four artists, living or dead, who would you choose?
Danny O'Connor: Toulouse Lautrec, Jackson Pollock ( drunken lothario's) they're bound to be a laugh. Banksy to see what he looks like and Damien Hirst so he can pick up the bill.
PSD: In alternative world your name is Cuthbert Fonseca. You have a moustache that would give Salvador Dali a run for his money and the best alligator shoes in town. Art also happens to be a crime that could get you locked up for life. What would Cuthbert do instead?
Danny O'Connor: Well.... If my name was Cuthbert Fonseca and I was rokin' a major tache and alligator shoes the only conceivable profession would have to be a porn star.
PSD: Tell us 3 things about you that people may not know?
Danny O'Connor: I can make my eyeballs shake (rapid eye movement stlyee) I'm a black belt in karate and I have an intolerance to white bread.... But I eat it anyway.
PSD: You have the misfortune of being part of a Human Centipede. But your given the option of being at the front, middle or back. Where would you choose?
Danny O'Connor: Got to be the front, I like my food so I'd have to be able to eat. The middle is a bit nowhere and lets face it the back end won't be a pretty sight.
PSD: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in art?
Danny O'Connor: Things won't come easy but if you enjoy it and are passionate about it then it's worth sticking with. Take criticism with a pinch of salt and bask in the glory of compliments.
PSD: Is there anything your working on at the moment?
Danny O'Connor: I'm now on the books of De La Main arts and if I can get a body of work together hopefully we can put on a solo show in the near future.
A big thanks to Art By DOC for the interview. For more on Danny O Conner and where to purchase paintings by him to feed your wall, then check out the links below:
Art By Doc flickr page
Art By Doc online store