Dave Danchuk – Scrollsaw artist
What do you create?
I’m mainly a scrollsaw artist, creating large pieces of artwork out of hundreds of cut up pieces of wood which are brightly colored and reassembled. I also paint with acrylics, and design various designs and phrases that I think would sell as shirts. Scrollsawing is definitely my passion.
From wood cut pieces to painting…
How did you get started?
My mother’s a poet and was doing a group art show with various artists, and I saw the work of one guy whom I thought was a great painter, but upon looking closer, I saw that he was a great woodworker. He showed me a few things, and then I did my research, and ended up as a scroller.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Young
Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives:
Some of my favorite artists I’ve found through the Myspace Art groups. Gabe Leonard, Bort and Frankie B. I’d highly recommend checking out all 3.
What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that has helped you get to where you are now?
I learn by doing. I was a self taught musician who played across Canada, played the Warped Tour with Sublime, the Deftones, No Doubt, Quicksand and many others. After that I became a self taught artist. It helps to keep the creativity flowing…
Do you feel you’re successful?
Yes, I’m pleased with what I’ve accomplished. I’m not where I’d like to be, as I’d like to be doing it full time, but with a wife and two young children to feed, a regular paycheck is extremely helpful, but, one day…
What do you like most about what you do?
The creativity is the best, I like going to bed thinking that I accomplished something that day.
What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?
Find what keeps you happy, and enjoy the process.
What are you most proud of?
My daughter Maya, and my son Zack, my very cool wife Annabel, and a couple of my big art projects which have been very well received.
Dave has taken his art and applied it to print on demand via Cafepress in addition to selling his paintings and scrollsaw work through various outlets. I asked him to share some of his thoughts and insights regarding this aspect of his business…
Cafepress started for me through the Art Groups of Myspace. Some of the artists there had their artwork as shirts, and I thought I’d give it a shot. I sold a few in the beginning to other artists, but it didn’t really take off. My daughter was young and was a big Bob Marley fan (every kid should be), so I quickly designed an M is for Marley (now no longer available) shirt and an R is For Reggae shirt. It took me about 5 minutes to design them, and they started selling like crazy. It actually ticked me off that all this art that I had made that takes about a month each to produce was being far outsold by a simple 3 colored word design that took fractions of the time to make. So, I thought, screw this, I’ll keep my artwork on there, but in the cold winter months when it’s pretty cold to be out playing with wood in my carport, I’ll design simple, often cheesy designs. I think I now have over 44,000 items in my Cafepress store. Some sell pretty well, others surprise me, but in the end, I now make a good chunk of change every month off of the designs.
I could make prints myself, but I’d rather spend time making more art or hanging with my family rather than trying to collect money, getting packaging, getting shipping info, going to the post office etc…it’s nice just letting them do the work (art.com, printpop.com, imagekind.com, allposters.com & artistrising.com also offer my work) and then just cashing a cheque they send me monthly.
I thought I’d need a website to sell my artwork, which I created and I’m happy with, but Myspace and Facebook have probably gotten me more orders, which is pretty dang cool. I joined Facebook late, but 3 days after I joined I got a $1500 commission from an old friend. Facebook is now okay by me.
Other comments and ideas you’d like to share about anything relating to your work, art, or life in general:
I think I’m good, but if anyone wants any more information, tips or advice, feel free to contact me either through my website, Facebook or my MySpace page.