(Study for "Hangover" by Daniel Peci, Copyright 2008)
Well, now that my addiction to Ebay has subsided (I didn't even need psychotherapy for it!), I can focus on making my own art. Lately, I have been creating some cool linocut prints and experimenting with making my designs smaller and smaller. The good news is that I haven't sliced a finger, so I think I'm off to a good start!
Now from my humble beginnings as an artist, to someone a little more accomplished. One of the best parts of my extended Ebay "vacation" was being able to check out and connect with some of the artists to whom I have been introduced there. One such young man is Daniel Peci, a native of Macedonia, who now resides in Los Angeles, where he runs a successful online fine art business selling his own pieces. I was very impressed his business savvy and marketing sense, but most importantly, by his sheer talent as a visual artist. Interestingly, he is one of the most followed artists on Ebay and his work generally sees buyers trying to outbid one another on a weekly basis for his pieces. This made me curious to get to know Daniel a little bit better, and he was kind enough to do a brief interview with me via E-mail:
Q: Through good instruction and encouragement, a person might learn to master art technique and style, however, an ability to see beyond the obvious—to delve below the surface of one’s subject--requires sheer talent. Your body of work clearly shows that you have that gift, as well as intuitiveness about the human experience that exceeds your thirty-two years of life. Would you consider yourself an old soul?
A: The Answer for this question might go in a spiritual or metaphysical direction since its really hard not to go there. My perception on this, on my soul and everyone else's souls is that there's no difference. It all depends how you use the time that you are given in the sequence called life and do you really use that time for the right reasons?On your question of the age of the soul, I do believe that we as spirits evolve through birth and death and previous incarnations might be crucial in our ability to see clearly and have a clean channel for intuition and similar 'gifts.’
Q: You attended the Academy Of Fine Arts in Macedonia. You mention on your Web site (www.danielpeci.com) that the competition to get in was stiff. What do you think set you apart from all the other candidates to be able to win one of seven
coveted spots in your class?
A: When you have seven open spots and one art academy in the whole country and a corrupt educational system you better pull some strings if you wanna get in. My artistic quality didn’t get me there.
Q: You look up to the masters, and that is highly reflected in your work. From which artists do you take your inspiration? Who has inspired you the most?
A: Rembrandt always inspired me, I started doing copies around the age of 18--also did a lot of drawings after Leonardo and Michelangelo, but the Dutch masters have
always been my favourites. I liked Rembrandt's dramatic lighting and compositions and Vermeer's quiet meditative interiors with figures doing seemingly random daily actions.
Q: When you paint or sketch a subject, what do you most hope to capture? What types of things in the creative process do you obsess about?
A: I usually have a concept before I begin sketching. I try to get the essence of things, make it truthful since that will be evident in the artwork--you can't hide it. I observe things outside and within and get ideas that are transformed, or better said, interpreted
into a painting. The most common underlying theme in my work would be a spiritual quest, I think even if you look at a simple still life of mine you'll get the same idea.
Q: Is there a style or medium in which you have not worked that you would like to?
A: There's lots of styles there. I've tried experimenting with a few, but I always came back to the realistic approach since I find it most suitable for expressing my ideas and I'm gonna stick with it. I want the audience to be able to read my message as clearly as possible.
Q: Since all artists are self-aware, I’d love to know what you think draws people to your work.
A: I think people see things that are familiar to them in my work or maybe things that they want to see or things that make them think. One of my collectors told me that he never noticed that the sky can be yellow until he saw it in one of my paintings.
Q: You live in Los Angeles. How long have you lived there and do you have a large following of collectors there?
A: I've been in L.A. 6 years now and I have a few regular collectors mostly from USA.
Q: I first discovered your work on www.dailypainters.com and instantly recognized that you are an artist to watch. Since I was an Ebay “virgin,” I was surprised that such an accomplished artist, with representation in the “brick and mortar” world, would opt to sell his work online. What motivated you to create a store on Ebay? Are more people finding your work there than in galleries? Also, are many artists of your caliber doing the same thing?
A: As probably you have noticed I sell only really small works online, most of them 5x7 or 6x6 works that Galleries don’t really sell. It’s a great daily practice for me and the paintings are affordable…I also think some self-promotion is never wrong. I'm also seeing some real good accomplished artist doing the same thing. It's good that the real artists started emerging from the shadows in new ways and redefined and reestablished the values of art just when the whole art world was going in a wrong direction.
Q: The Internet is constantly changing the way we live our lives. How has the Internet changed the way artists communicate with collectors? Do you think that the Net is the future of art buying?
A: I think the Internet has changed a lot of things and this is just one of them. It's constantly changing and breaking barriers. The future of art buying? I don’t know but I'm sure it will change it.
Q: Here’s a question just for fun...If you could go back in time (or not!) and host an artists’ feast at your home, who would you invite and why?
A: Leonardo Da Vinci--it's just a chance that I wouldn't miss--an "old soul" like him as you would say it, and as eclectic as that is, more than a great opportunity for a meaningful conversation.
Q: Are there any exciting projects in the works that you would like to talk about?
A: I'm working on some larger paintings and I have new ideas constantly about them. I'm aiming for some big galleries. Hopefully I can get in one of them soon.
...and I'm SURE we will. My thanks to Daniel for taking the time to answer my questions. You can see more of his work at www.danielpeci.com.