This week Dan’s Papers is proud to feature “Let’s Build a Sandcastle!” by first-time cover artist Dan Fiore of Remsenburg. Fiore has extensive experience in a number of artistic fields including photograph restoration and retouching, illustration and graphic design. You might recognize Fiore’s work if you’ve seen the new logo for the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton, which he designed.
What inspired this piece?
We were heading into the summer season, which my two kids were always excited about, so right there I wanted to do something with a beach theme and kids. And what do kids want to do? Build the biggest sandcastle ever, naturally! So I ran with that and had them building this impossibly tall structure out of sand, higher and higher. I like the idea that it’s not clear how they managed to build it and that there are no grown-ups around to tell them to stop. I initially had it ending before the edge of the image, but then I said hang on, this thing should go clear off the top of the page—who knows how tall they made it!
When did you decide that you wanted to be an artist?
As far back as I can remember I’ve wanted to be an artist. I never thought of doing anything else. I had great teachers and a great family who supported me thought my academic years. Art was never just an “extra” thing I did—it carried as much weight and opened me up to as many opportunities as any of the other subjects. I remember in high school setting up art shows and taking college-level studio courses. I appreciate that the art department and the school valued the program enough to make those opportunities available.
How important is art programming in schools today?
It’s tremendously important and not just for those who are artistically inclined. Exposing our kids to as much about the world as we can only makes them better, more well-rounded individuals. I imagine it could improve their mindset at school also. For example, a child might struggle with math or reading but have the opportunity to spend part of their day focusing on art or music at a school that truly values and invests in those programs. For them, school might still be a place they’re excited to go to every day. Not to mention that there are so many careers related to the art world, we should have programs that prepare kids for those jobs.
What’s it like to work primarily as a freelance artist?
Working for yourself is great in that it affords you flexibility to enjoy other parts of your life. I have opportunities with my family that I never had when I was working in New York full-time. What I miss sometimes is the camaraderie of working in a team environment. I’d love to work with some of the vineyards out here creating labels, menus, etc. That would definitely be a great creative challenge and very rewarding.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
Draw a lot. Get into the habit of using a sketchbook every day. Also, if you want to go to art school, don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Art school provides you the opportunity to learn about such a wide range of skills and subjects that you’ll be more than prepared for the wide variety of careers related to art.
For more information on Dan Fiore and his work visit danielfiore.com