20 Questions w/ Daniel Stolberg

In anticipation of his group show at Madelife, we visited Daniel Stolberg‘s Studio to check out his recent work and ask him a few questions!

Don’t miss the opening reception of the Natural Feels Gallery Show, this Saturday at Madelife!

Photo via Daniel Stolberg


Describe yourself and your work: 

Painting is a source of positive energy in my life. I let my mood and attitude guide my color and pattern choices. In my latest series WINDOWS, I use iconic imagery to contrast abstract shape and pattern. These icons are reflective of my creative influences and the world around me.

Who or what has been your biggest influence?

Nature is with out a doubt the leading influence in my life, which translates into my artwork.

How did you get started in your career as an artist? 

I have always been keen on design, color, and pattern. It seemed like the natural progression of my curiosity.

What piece of work best represents you and why? 

In my WINDOWS series I pull anecdotes from my surroundings ( bike wheel, fly rod, waves, vegetables…), and illustrate them in a simple iconic way. These “windows” are recognizable and add narrative to the work.

Art by Daniel Stolberg

How do your materials influence your work?

I like to use acrylic, latex and spray paints out of necessity. They are fast drying and allow me to focus on the composition of the work rather than the process.

Where do you go daily / weekly to get inspired

I am most inspired and productive when I spend time outside. I try and get out and get active at least once a day. Living in boulder makes this passion for outdoor activity very accessible.

What have you learned through creating that has surprised you?

Through creating I have learned patience. Much of my work will take months to reach completion. But it’s all good. I love the journey.

Describe your work routine for your artistic practice.

My painting technique is all free flowing. I fall back on my years of practice and study of art history and color theory. All I really need is some stretched canvas and a whole mess of color. The detail comes out in the end. I like to paint for long periods of time – allotting entire weekends to getting after it.

Tell us about any recent collaborations, why they worked or didn’t.

My practice is personal, in that I am the one creating the work. However I regularly consult with friends and family to get an outside perspective on my work. I find it very helpful to step back from the art and see what’s working and what could use a fix.

How do you balance being an artist and making a living?

I absolutely love making art, but to be honest I’m quite glad it is not my full time gig. If I had the financial pressure of supporting myself off of my artwork I believe it would take the fun out of it. I use my art practice as a way to recharge and keep the creative juices flowing. I let my day job pay the rent.

Art by Daniel Stolberg

What is your process for coming up with new work?

Long periods of procrastination and outside activity.

Why do you believe art has value?

Art is a universal communicator. It can convey meaning or narrative people can connect with.

What is playing on your stereo these days?

Hollow Coves – Coastline, Shakey Graves – Late July, Red Hot Chili Peppers – Gong Li.

What are you reading right now? 

A guidebook on Peru.

Where is your favorite place to visit?

Climbing high up on a rock face, deep in a river fly fishing, floating on my surfboard in the line up, ripping through forests on my mountain bike. All undisclosed locations 😉

Art by Daniel Stolberg

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your creative career?

The less words the better. Artists can get wrapped up in context and meaning. I’m trying to make art that is accessible. I convey concept through imagery.

Which new artist is currently inspiring you the most? 

My girlfriend Hannah just started a ceramics class recently. She has really had no prior artistic training but is totally loving it! She went to school for economics and currently works as a data analyst. This weekend class is a way for her to get in touch with her creative side and break away from the ridged numbers she works with during the week. Her stoke really fuels my fire and keeps me after my own creative endeavors!

What’s the best thing about your studio/ workspace/ workshop?

I actually just paint in my living room, which has worked out very nicely. No easels. I paint on flat stretched canvases on the ground. I enjoy how Zen I feel sitting, rather than painting standing up.

What do you do when you hit a block? 

I just take a break. Life is too short to get all worked up about things. Most of my creativity stems from my interaction with nature, so I just make sure I fit a climb, fish, or bike ride in every week.

What’s the best part about being an artist?

To me it is all about bringing happiness and curiosity to the world. It’s a way to give back to the community, friends and loved ones.


Check out Daniel’s work on Instagram!

Photo via Daniel Stolberg

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