We had the good fortune of connecting with Danielle Finnerman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danielle, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
Knowing which habits do not help me succeed and keeping them to a minimum is the best habit I stick to! Video games on my phone and mindless tv shows are the two habits I keep at bay the most and am aware are on the horizon ready to suck the life out of me. Being able to identify my weaknesses allows me the ability to handle my life choices. Everyday I wake up and focus on that day. I practice mindful thinking which may seem easy or basic but it is a continuous practice that is never mastered. Business is overwhelming and stressful so things like frustration and anger can easily affect my actions and reactions to the world around me. Being mindful to not have a negative perspective is important to achieving my goals. I try to surround myself with creative people that inspire me. Working around and with people on a similar journey keeps the door open to healthy collaboration and growth for everyone. I meditate and use hypnosis just about everyday to manage anxiety, sleep and focus. I don’t beat myself up for a plethora of faults I could dwell on, rather I’m proud of the things worth sharing about myself. However, I do not brush faults under the rug and never give up working on them to be a better me. Seeing success in all my achievements helps the continuation of my journey and believing great things are possible to achieve.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Nothing about my journey as an artist has been easy. It’s not easy to create, be vulnerable sharing work or face a world of scrutiny that consider art a neat hobby. It’s not easy to sell something you can’t put a price on that is a part of you, made from your mind and hands. I consider my art career a serious love affair and art is my soul mate. I wake up with it and go to sleep with it and have since I was little. From the books I read, to the movies I watch, to the places I go; everything stems from my connection to art in the world. I went to the Maryland Ins., College of Art and studied art for five years graduating with a BFA in photography in 2001. After college, I continued working in sales. I worked for my fathers jewelry store and restaurants for another twenty years. Ive driven for Uber and Lyft amongst many other odd jobs cleaning houses and whatever I could do to pay the bills. I replicated Sandro Botticelli’s “the Birth of Venus” and “La Primavera” at Sorrentos Restaurant in 2005 for about $1000. From there I picked up a few murals and commission paintings over the years. I was always trying to find a place and time to paint. I rented at Winter Street studios in 2005 in hopes of that but floundered trying to manage it all. I moved to Vegas for seven months then a ten year stint through California. I just kept following my gut where it took me and considered the experiences in my life the lessons I needed to eventually open my own art business. I wanted to open a non-profit that helped artists integrate into the art community when I graduated college. I knew all my experiences would get me there if I kept pursuing life with art as my focus. Then Jen and Brene kinda pushed me into the water metaphorically speaking. I did not believe my own work was great or important before but I realized every artists work is important. Its like our fingerprint to identify who we our. The creative process of every artist is important in order for the world around us to function. Architecture, inventions, design, problem solving…everything stems from that process. My personal work is abstract figurative work. I paint a lot of female figures and find myself drawn to the emotion and strength the female represents. I do not know that I am different from any other artist but I am my own individual amongst them. I am passionate and persistent and care about the future art has in the world. I believe in its ability to communicate with the past, present and future. Artbinsters is my first entrepreneurial adventure to pull everything together and build a sustainable art business that serves artists and the community with everything I believe in backing it. Im proud to share the work of a vast array of artists from eleven years old to eighty five. My greatest pleasure, is when my nineteen year old nephew comes to Artbinsters and draws or wants to be there. Being a role model to him is the greatest gift I have an opportunity to give anyone in the world.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would start at Artbinsters to share the culmination of all that I am personally in one place. Then I would take them on a tour of Sawyer Yards. Its a huge art community with a variety of artists of all kinds. I would probably take them to lunch at the Buffalo Brewery. The view of downtown is priceless, selection of food and beer is great and they have a great chef. Over the week I would show them the Museum district inclusive to the MFA, Contemporary Art Museum, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Herman Park, Museum of Science and the Zoo. We would go downtown to Discovery green and go by Minute Maid Stadium. Of course they would need to see our Astrodome because its one of the wonders of the world! I would take them to the Menil and Drawing Institute. I would do a day in Galveston peruse the strand and take the ferry to Bolivar Peninsula for a little shell searching. This is sounding exhausting so I would do a day at Gangnam Spa with lunch, saunas and massages.
For night life, Id take them to dance the night away at Bauhaus. Bar life would consist of craft cocktails at Woosters or a few dive bars around the city.
Food favorites in the city to take them would be El Tiempo, Barnabys, Ume Sushi, Sage 400, Uchi, Jinya Ramen, Fusion Taco and Mais. I know they’d need to do Texas steak and barbecue but Id have to figure that out! Different times of year there are different things as well.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There’s quite a few here. Barry Bowden was my high-school counselor who told me I was a good kid and truly believed in me. He’s not with us anymore but not a day goes by that his support does not carry me across an ocean. I named my cat after him. Brene Brown starting with “The Call to Courage” on Netflix, her podcast and books helped influenced me to actually get in the arena and take a chance fighting to share my voice with the world. Jen Sincero “You are a badass, How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life” also changed my life. My Mom, letting me live in her house during the pandemic so I could start my business and my Dad has been a life coach for me never short of advice and guidance. I have a handful of friends that have supported and loved me throughout my life as well.
portrait done by Aseity Creations