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5 Minutes with LA Artist Danny Minnick

Danny Minnick has successfully transformed his talents from skateboarder into an art career.  His unique style of abstract expressionism is a veritable breeding ground for a clever cast of characters and hidden images that suddenly appear during his acrylic and oil work. His process is unusual, perhaps backwards, as if the painting itself is alive, moving his hand to breathe life into the magical cast of characters he picked up along the way.


Art Zealous caught up with Minnick to discuss his background, biggest influences, and yes skateboarding.


Photo // Charlie Gressett
Photo // Charlie Gressett

Art Zealous: Where did you grow up?

Danny Minnick: I grew up in the Ballard, which is basically Seattle, WA. I lived there until I was 13 and then moved to San Diego to become a pro skater and travel the world.


AZ: Coffee or Tea?

DM: Coffee. I am religious about my iced latte with homemade almond milk at Trails Cafe. Mickey Petralia has created a piece of Big Sur right in the middle of LA.  Fuels the creativity.


Photo // Earl Gibson


AZ: Whats a typical day for you?

DM: A typical day starts by waking up and putting on some vinyl.  Then, I usually hit Trails with my pug Louie in Griffith Park for iced latte and dog treats. Once the creative juices are awake, I’m at the studio with the oil sticks or a brush and maybe Krink to start the process and free flow ideas.  I like live shows and go to as many as possible.  Cross pollination of music and paint and energy fuels my work.


AZ: Zodiac Sign?

DM: Aquarius


AZ: Who is one of the biggest influences in your life?

DM: The biggest influence in my life is Jimi Hendrix. I wake up to his inspiring music every day.  He is from Seattle and came from nothing.  He made all this beautiful music in a short period of time, struggled against real obstacles such as socioeconomic restrictions, race, etc. to be himself.  One of my favorite things Basquiat said was that music is how we decorate time, and when I listen to Jimi Hendrix I see his paintings. He left us with a beautiful gift, and I appreciate him for it every day. Rainy Day Dream Away.


Photo // Earl Gibson


AZ: Skateboarder to artist, what was that transition like?

DM: It all started with an Achilles injury. I had to stay off my board and was hanging out with my best friend, Chad Muska. He put a brush in my hand, and I haven’t stopped painting since. I owe him a lot.


AZ: What is your favorite medium to work with?

DM: Oil.


AZ: Advice for young artists?

DM: 1. Don’t be afraid of your first show.  Your work is good enough, so believe in your truth.  A first can be an art walk, an alley, under a bridge, on the Internet or in a gallery.  So many possibilities, just get it out there.  Let it be seen.


AZ: Favorite art moment of 2016?

DM: Every new moment is my favorite. Art is magic. For example, I recently met Sidney Felsen of Gemini GEL.  He is 91 now, looking stylish, chic, and smart as a whip. We talked about printmaking, and it’s importance for an artist.  He encouraged me to get prints of my work done. Going to learn from the best.


AZ: Dream collaboration?

DM: My dream collaboration is always my next one.  I couldn’t ask for anything better than to work with Sidney Felsen. It’s almost like painting the stars with Hendrix.


Photo // Charlie Gressett
Photo // Earl Gibson

AZ: What do you have coming up next?

DM: Art Basel, a solo show in LA opening February 2, 2017, at DeRe Gallery on 8373 Melrose Ave. LA, CA


AZ: How do we follow you?

DM: Instagram at @DannyMinnick, or snapchat Danny Minnick.

top image // nobodyphotography