Artist Spotlight #25: Dane Louis

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Dane Louis

The vulnerability of humans is explored in Dane Louis’ portraits through never ending pen and ink lines, where imperfections such as scratches and scarring are visible on the faces of his subjects. In our latest spotlight, the mixed media artist talks about his desire to explore new artistic mediums and his favourite Adelaide artists.

Q: Hello Dane! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

A: I am an Adelaide based illustrator/ graphic designer and soon to be teacher. I would be what you call a mixed media artist, I haven’t really settled into one specialisation. Instead, I enjoy experimenting with different materials to create multi-layered works of art. Outside of art and study I play rugby for Port Adelaide Rugby Union Club and enjoy hitting the gym and playing social sports with friends.

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Warhol-ian type portraits featuring Dane Louis

Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?

A: I take inspiration from the world around me, often trying to reflect upon the beauty of nature, real-life experiences, and drawing upon my own feelings and cultural beliefs.

Q: Do you have a preferred medium?

A: Ink and pen is my favourite medium, but in saying that, I love to combine mediums, particularly ink, watercolours and acrylics. I have done some work with a pallet knife and would love to learn more about this medium.

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An ink portrait detailing the effects of pollution

Q: How would you describe your style?

A: A contemporary art style which at times is messy, yet feels alive and vibrant

Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?

A: When I’m painting for myself or for a show my process is much more sporadic and I will usually keep to a theme or mood. This usually involves me putting the headphones on, zoning out and getting work done.

As an illustrator and designer, my creative process usually starts off with a brief. So I begin by interpreting that brief and drawing some of my initial thoughts. From those early sketches I continue to develop my ideas by doing small thumbnail sketches. Once I’ve come up with a solid concept, I produce final rendered artwork.

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A Nelson Mandela spray painting

Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?

A: I see myself going down an education pathway as I am studying to be a teacher. I also hope to continue to produce art and be a part of more group and solo exhibitions.

Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?

A: I honestly couldn’t just name one. There are so many budding artists in Adelaide. I had the privilege of studying with a very talented bunch of illustrators whilst at university. From this group I recommend Angus Smith, Henry Stentiford and Sarah O’Donald, just to name a few. However my all time favourite artist is Shepard Fairey because of his bold art style and social advocacy.

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Ink drawing of The Weeknd

Q: What is your favourite gallery?

A: The last art show I went to was at Tooth and Nail Gallery. I really enjoyed the venue for its size, but mainly for the type of art work that was being produced. The young crowd it attracted and the atmosphere was really great.

Q: Where can we find more of your work?

A: My work can be found on my webpage, as well as Facebook and Instagram accounts of the same name.

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A page from Dane Louis’ graphic novel, ‘The Cherryville Lost Boy’

Q: If your house was on fire and you could only rescue three items, what would it be and why?

A: My laptop, because it has backups of all my work and music collection. My pencil case, which is more of a tackle box, because it has all my favourite art supplies. and finally my Playstation, because I will need to game to get over the burned down house.

– Masya Zabidi

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