Last week, our series of profiles on local artists introduced woodturner Shaen Adey. This week we’ve got a few questions for the equally talented and highly unassuming Danny Attfield, who is building a formidable international reputation among fans and (very) serious crypto art collectors.
When did it all start?
In 2014, when I got my first drawing tablet. Back then, however, I preferred drawing by hand because I felt disconnected using the tablet. That changed when I got an iPad Pro in 2018. I started drawing digitally almost full time because it’s a much more intuitive process. I officially started with crypto art at the end of 2018, but only became active last year when I saw a notification for a bid on one of my artworks.
Can you recall your first sale?
I think I made my first sale at the end of 2018. It wasn’t for a huge amount of money, but I remember being excited anyway!
At what point did you realise your career was really taking off?
Last year, when I released 10 editions of my artwork and they all sold out within an hour. Not long after that, they sold out within minutes.
Who was the first serious collector to buy your work?
I’ve had a few, but one of them is a very famous collector called WhaleShark. He founded a cryptocurrency called $WHALE, which is backed by the artworks he collects, including some of mine. He’s never sold any of them.
You enjoy seeing your name associated with various events and shows in different parts of the world. Can you name any countries where you have made a particularly strong impression?
I have collectors from all over, so I suppose I’ve made an impression to a certain – very small – extent in many countries. But mostly in Sydney, Australia, where my artwork was used to promote an exhibition. There were posters with my work all over the city, which I found incredibly exciting.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Mostly from plants and animals. Living in Marina Da Gama is incredibly inspiring. There is so much natural life and beauty all around us. I usually draw as an idea comes to mind and try not to plan too far in advance, otherwise I give myself a block because I overthink.
Could you talk to us about some of the artists you particularly admire?
I admire many digital artists, as well as other crypto artists. I see incredible art all over the internet, which always motivates me to be better and try harder. Some of my favourite crypto artists include Kristy Glas, Adam Fryda, Shelly Soneja, Caroline Dy and Charles Grant. You can find all of them on Twitter.
What about old school artists? Do you have any favourites?
Again,I have many favourites, but especially Chris Riddell and Kerby Rosanes, both of whom are illustrators focusing on line art.
One of the most uplifting aspects of your very uplifting story is the way you are using your success as an artist to help make life a little better for less privileged people, animals and the environment. Perhaps you could tell us about some of the causes you support.
I have donated to a programme run that feeds dogs in Vrygrond. I have also given money to the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Seabirds, or SANCCOB. I’ve donated artworks that have been or will be auctioned off to raise money for various causes. They include an artwork to raise funds for a little girl who is fighting cancer and an artwork for an organisation which supports underprivileged children. I plan to plant trees in the Marina. Recently, I released a collaboration between myself and a company called Hitch, which will offset a lifetime’s worth of CO2 by protecting forests and planting mangrove trees in Madagascar.
What criteria do you use when deciding whether to support an initiative or cause?
Previously, I just said yes to almost everything, but now I’m realising that I can’t commit to all the projects people offer me. I’ll usually accept if they are for a good cause.
Digital artist. Crypto artist. What’s the difference?
A digital artists uses computers, iPads and other technology to create their artworks. A crypto artist uploads their artworks onto the Blockchain. Their artwork is normally digital, but there’s no limit and it could be anything.
Finally, what’s your main ambition as a crypto artist?
To be able to survive as an artist and do as much as I can for the community and the environment. I believe we all have an obligation to help where we can.
See more, read more, hear more
A Google search for Danny will throw up almost 75,000 results. We’ve narrowed the choice down to her Twitter account, where you can view her images; a highly engaging podcast she recorded through the Whale Community; and a fascinating article that argues, with some conviction, that Danny is rewriting history.