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Neo-Urban Color, Gumption, and Power
Danish Fernandes, an Australian illustrator, creates striking, colorful and punchy scenes with emotive and motion-rich characters, steeped in a neo-urban art vibe. He uses splashes of color, tastefully selected sample imagery and experimental style combinations to fuse captivating and gutsy portraits and gorgeously modern scenes.
Growing up in Pakistan and Cambodia meant that art “wasn’t really a career worth pursuing if you grew up in a lower class family”, so a creative path was hardly at the forefront of Fernandes’ intention. After moving to Australia and studying Marketing and Business with the intention to earn “fat stacks of cash” to provide his parents with the “nice middle-class possessions everyone strives for”, his father passed away, destroying the perfect idea of what he thought would make him happy. After reevaluating his life, perspective, and career path, Danish decided to follow his father’s happiness-oriented attitude to life and pursue his creativity, leaving his money-centered goals and “just about everything else in the adult world” behind. Beginning to draw, paint and play with the flexibility of art, inspiration and style brought Fernandes a host of newfound happiness, expression, and release.
“The pursuit of happiness is still one of my only goals in life.”
Drawing inspiration from other artists helped Fernandes achieve his self-manifested style. Over time, the skills he attained went on to combine into his own hybrid style, inspired by many creators and themes. Initially, Fernandes felt some resistance to replicating work but has since realized that “art does not exist in a vacuum. Everything is borrowed, adapted from or inspired by someone.” Rather than treating art as an ownership centered topic, he accepts it to be a creative catalyst, that exists to inspire, align, and enlighten. Agnes Cecile’s work propelled Danish towards experimenting and working with watercolors; understanding her technique made him feel “able to presciently execute his own ideas”, “the same goes for Tito Morello with digital illustrations.”
“If it’s pleasing to the eyes and looks good on a wall I’m happy. I’ve never considered myself one of those artists that deliver a powerful thought provoking message with every brush stroke. I just draw what I’m interested in.”
Fernandes draws inspiration from photography, nature, street art, and abstract or modern art. Working mostly on iPad Pro, the artist finds it “a versatile piece of equipment that allows me to do a lot more than I could do with traditional tools. It’s the best purchase I’ve ever made.” Fernandes’ goal within art is not deeply intentional; he is largely concerned with aesthetic beauty, photography, music, nature, and humor, with the occasional dip into the profound. He makes the witty statement regarding how “#blessed” he feels to be a modern artist, with the ability to share his art on social media. However, Danish recognizes that technology brings its difficulties to young insecure artists like himself that often feel overwhelmed in the pool of the best of the very best on the art scene. Regardless of his humble self-doubt, Danish Fernandes captures a brave, original and exquisitely fresh aura in all of his works, which certainly helps him to stand out in the vastness of modern artists today.