Interview: Dana Mooney

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.30.56 PMI first spotted Dana Mooney’s gorgeous paintings at The Cross Decor and Design. I immediately had to know who had created the beautiful abstract pieces, in gold, white blue, pink and purple all layered harmoniously together.

I caught up with Dana in her darling studio, located in the West End to learn about her artistic process, and find our more about her latest collaboration.

DM 1

Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?
I remember as a kid always saying that I wanted to be an artist (painter) when I grew up, but then as I got older I had no idea how to actually do that.  The career route that I’ve taken to arrive at what I am doing today was always creative though, first as a makeup artist and then interior decorating.  But painting has always been there as a side project for me my entire life.  

10612550_822839997740944_8843098090157554514_nTell us about your design process
There’s often a goal or client in mind when I’m creating my paintings.  If it’s a custom piece, I’ll meet with the client or chat through emails, and get to know a bit about them. I’m 100% a visual person and need to see their home and chat about the look and feel that they want me to achieve for them in the artwork.  From there I’ll create a color palette and sometimes smaller sample paintings before creating the finished piece. There’s a lot of conversation that needs to happen in the process in order for it to be successful.

On the flipside, I am also always playing with new ideas or collections that allow me to be free and creative with my own ideas.  These pieces will often be released as a new collection seasonally or as additional inventory to my existing collections.  I am constantly looking at color inspirations, different trends in fashion and decor and playing with these ideas in my artwork.DM 5What’s your favourite medium to work in?
I love acrylic paint, gouache and inks.  I grew up painting with watercolors, so I look at these paints as an extension of that.  They have texture and strong color but are still water based.  DSC_4452

What’s a typical morning like for you?
My day starts with feeding my instagram addiction.  I scroll through even before getting out of bed.  And then I usually check emails and set a to-do list for the day, while eating breakfast and getting caffeinated.  DM4You’ve collaborated with some really great companies over the last year. Which ones have been your favourite?
I’ve been so fortunate to have gotten to work with some really amazing companies and each one has taught me so much about various industries.  I have 2 collaborations that are both equally awesome to be a part of right now.  First, I collaborated with Saje Natural Wellness on their AromaArt Nebulizer.  That was the first time my work has been on a home decor product so it was exciting to see it fly off the shelves so quickly!  And secondly, my current collaboration with Endeavour Neon was just launched.  We are creating custom neon signage art pieces, so my art will be the background to the neon letters.  Every piece is super unique and original.

DM 3What has been the biggest challenge you have faced running your own business?
When I started painting full time 2 years ago, I had no idea how it was going to actually work.  I don’t have any formal business training or anyone really helping me figure it out, but what I do have is a huge drive and personal motivation.  The biggest challenge that I had to face (and still face on a smaller scale now) was just getting over the fear of the unknown.  I really had to chill myself out, and break it down one project at a time.  I dove in headfirst and am not much of a planner, so each project just gets my full attention and then I’m onto the next!DSC_4423What is the biggest reward about being an artist?
I have never felt more fullfilled, excited, and happy in my life. I work for myself, and just love getting to work on what I love!  It’s also an incredible feeling to have built such a huge support of art lovers and friends along the way, I never knew how much that matters in life until now.DM 2

Where is your favourite place to go for inspiration?
In Vancouver we are surrounded by such beautiful natural settings all the time, but honestly I get most inspired by seeing a new restaurant or store design, and balancing that with a frequent walks on the seawall.DSC_4330-Edit

What’s next for the Dana Mooney brand?
Next year I plan on a few more collaborations, one being with a local company “Bareknitwear” where I’ll get to throw some color into the fashion world.  I will continue to branch outside of Vancouver as well, so my art might be showing up in some new places across Canada and the US.  Other than that, some new collections are coming soon!

DM 6

Dana’s Favourites

Currently listening to
Leon Bridges

Favourite Artist
(local, current) – Andy Dixon

Vacation Destination
Europe

Beauty Must Have
Fresh Sugar – tinted lipbalm

Way to relax and unwind
Catching up with my girlfriends

Guilty Pleasure
Cheese.  Any cheese anytime.

Go to Drink
Wine

Holiday Tradition
I spend Christmas in Abbotsford with my family, eating and drinking too much every year.10403537_967934356564840_4873468713132600307_n

Images by Tracey Ayton 

For more information on Dana’s work, visit danamooney.com