We are thrilled to be featuring the winner of the Best in Show award for our spring exhibition, Daylynn Drever! Daylynn is a Registered Nurse working and painting in Alberta, Canada. We could go on and on about her color and texture use, but let's have her tell you more about it herself.
For those in our audience who don't know you, could you introduce yourself?
Hi! My name is Daylynn Drever and I’m a mixed media artist that lives in Calgary, AB, Canada with my husband. I love exploring different parts of he city, spending time outdoors and traveling. I’m also a Registered Nurse which is why I started painting. I needed something to balance the stress of my work life. I paint with a ton of color and love being able to capture a feeling or place in my art! I’m not afraid to try new techniques and mediums in my work. You can always catch me wandering the aisles of the art supply stores looking for some shiny new thing.
How long have you considered yourself an artist?
I’ve been painting since the Fall of 2019 and if you define an artist as someone who makes art, that’s when it all began! Although, I would say that during the summer of 2020, I really started embracing being known as an artist and making art more regularly.
Tell us a little about the process of creating "Despite Everything" - what were some of the thoughts you had running through your mind while you made it?
I apologize in advance for this long story but this piece was a JOURNEY.
I had a vision when I began “Despite Everything” and I wasn’t sure if it was going to work. To be honest, a lot of times along the way and during the many layers, I didn’t like it all! I started out with a messy, dark and scribbly layer to represent the tough times and isolation that I felt in 2020. Then I began building it up with color and texture to show that the growth and good moments overshadowed those hard times. I didn’t plan on collaging the months on at first! The idea came to me halfway through and I’m so glad it did! It’s one of my favorite elements in that piece.
During the process, I remember feeling frustrated often because it took me so long to complete. I kept second guessing if I was done with it or not. I was happy with it for awhile and then I wouldn’t be and would add something else. It would go back and forth like that a lot. I realized though, that those feelings were almost a mirror of what I felt in 2020 - frustration, having things not work out the way I wanted them to, ups and downs, the feeling that it was going on forever. When I realized this, I knew that this piece fit perfectly with the theme “2020 Reflection” and that’s when I really started to appreciate it more. I’m used to creating for fun and coming from a place of joy. By reflecting on the process of creating this painting, I came to understand that just because I created a piece of art that didn’t necessarily come from a place of joy and calm, didn’t make it any less mine. By the end of the process, I really loved it and felt it represented a redemption story for 2020 and reflected my feelings about that year completely.
"Despite Everything" by Daylynn Drever
What do you love most about your work?
I love how unstructured and free-flowing my art is! When I paint, I can let go and have fun. I always aim to have those feelings translate into my finished paintings. I love using a lot of water and high flow mediums in my work for this reason! The colors just do what they want and I just have to go with the flow.
What are some of your biggest inspirations and aspirations as a creative?
I feel like I’m never short on finding sources of inspiration. One of the big ones is nature. I love being able to paint landscapes with my own artistic take on it. Also, just being in nature rejuvenates me and it helps get my creative juices going. My other big source of inspiration is color. When I’m out in the world and I see vibrant colors on plants or buildings, I always take a ton of pictures trying to capture them so I can use them in a painting later.
I would love to be able to sell more of my work in person and connect/work with other artists on more projects in the future! One of my biggest aspirations is to be able to host fun and interactive in-person workshops that help people take the stress they have in their life and let it go on a canvas.
What one piece of advice would you give to another creative?
Remember why you started. Most creatives start selling their work because they love creating and want to share it with others for one reason or another. If it ever starts feeling like a burden or like you’re not making what you want to make, just take a step back and take time to create for YOU - even if it’s just a small amount of time during your week. It’s also okay to change your direction if you’re not feeling it!
Where can people learn more about you as an artist?
My Instagram is @artmadeinmycondo and that’s where I share most of my content! You can keep up with my latest projects and get a behind the scenes look at my process. My shop where all my current available artwork lives is on my website at www.daylynndrever.ca. Feel free to message me on Instagram or on my website anytime!
Thanks for sharing with us Daylynn!