Danielle Krysa aka The Jealous Curator is a Jack of All Trades, or rather, a Jane of All Trades. She is a designer and curator, a writer and motivational speaker. Danielle has curated art shows in LA, San Francisco, Washington DC and Vancouver, to name a few. She has appeared on Oprah’s OWN Show and has featured in various magazines and podcasts. In addition, Danielle is the author of two books - ‘Creative Block’ and ‘Your Inner Critic is a Jerk’. Her journey from art and design graduate to creative director-cum-curator-cum-writer is a fascinating one, and Rise Art got in touch to find out more about what makes Danielle tick.
Can you explain how the Jealous Curator came about and describe how your 'jealousy' transformed into inspiration?
It’s a long story, but I’ll give you the short version: I was the art kid growing up - I went to art school and, well, let’s just say it did not go the way I'd hoped. I graduated but ended up going to design school, becoming a creative director, and left art behind me (although I never stopped loving it, I just believed that I wasn’t capable of doing it). Fifteen years after graduating I decided to stay home when I had my son, and suddenly started feeling the urge to make art again. I tried, but I was so overwhelmed by the thousands of amazing artists I kept finding online. I was jealous. In a really bad, toxic way. So, I started a blog to try and turn that negativity into something positive, and luckily, it worked! Within a month or so of writing each day, the jealousy started to transform into get-my-butt-back-in-the-studio admiration. Thank goodness. That was a little over eight years ago, and I don’t see stopping anytime soon.
What is it that now inspires you in your work and life?
Being part of a community of artists. I was very alone for a very long time, and thanks to my blog I’ve been given the chance to write books about blocks, self doubt and getting back to being creative. I’ve been able to speak at all sorts of events, and because of these opportunities I've met so many people. Turns out a lot of us hear our inner critics, don’t want to share our work, and feel totally alone - who knew? Realizing that what I do might make a difference, thrills me.
What do you surround yourself with at work?
I work from home so I’m able to surround myself with everything I love. We live in a 100 year old farmhouse overlooking apple orchards, vineyards and a big beautiful lake so the view is pretty good! I’ve been collecting art for about 10 years - I’m starting to run out of walls, but needless to say, everywhere I look when I’m at home, I get to see beautiful art by talented artists from all over the world.
Do you think of yourself as curator, artist or writer first?
Wow. That’s a hard question. I suppose it depends on what I’m doing that day! Not long ago I was at a dinner party and someone asked what I did… I took a moment and answered, for the first time ever, “I’m a writer.” I have to admit, it felt pretty good. I’ll have to try “artist” and “curator” at the next party!
How integral do you think art is to interior design?
For me, they go hand in hand. In my home, art is the star. I choose neutral colors (grey, white, charcoal, wood) for furniture and paint colors that allow the art to really pop. I bring in color and mood this way. Sometimes we’ve got a lot of humor and hot pink going on, but I also change things up from time to time, bringing in blues, greens and a softer mood.
What do you think of online galleries?
I think they’re great, and a really important part of contemporary art. Sure, they can't replace the experience of seeing work in person, but I love that online galleries make art accessible to people everywhere. I live in a really small town, so being able to see work in online galleries is my lifeline to the art world.
Do you have a favourite artist and museum?
Oh, a favorite artist is really hard - there are too many to list (but if I had to I might say Wayne White, Tina Berning, Ben Skinner, Martha Rich, Rebecca Louise Law, and the list goes on). My favorite gallery in the whole world is the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris. I could move in, set up camp, and be quite happy there forever.
What are your top 5 jealousy-inspiring picks on Rise Art and why?
I decided to narrow this collection down to my favorite medium - collage. These pieces all have elements that I love:
1 Partisanpaper killed the fake from the insane president by Micosch Holland
Micosch’s use of found materials is so inspiring - scraps and cutouts from all sorts of places brought together beautifully (and his color palettes are always gorgeous).
2 Readings by Naomi Vona
Modern and vintage living in harmony. Naomi’s work is colorful, whimsical, and makes me want to make something, anything, this very second.
3 Man & Woman and Piece of Life N°11 by Slavomir Zombek
"Less is more than a lot; less is the ocean in a dewdrop"… well said, Slavomir. His simple but precise collages are proof that art doesn’t need to be complicated to be beautiful.
4 Queen of Night by Helen Sykes
Yes, OK, I am a sucker for vintage images of women. Add a tulip on a dreamy, slightly yellowed, piece of paper and I’m completely in.
5 Modified Nature by Benjamin West
This collage has a little bit of everything from this collection of five - the color palette, a touch of nature, and oh so many fantastic found images - I can almost smell the old books these bits n pieces used to call home.