Name: Dan Springer
City & State: Nyack, NY
Medium: Acrylic, colored pencil, pencil, watercolor
Known for: Caricatures
The New York Times
The Village Voice
The Asbury Park Press
The Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy
How did the opportunity for you to have your work in the Faces & Names Restaurant happen?
I used to work every day in Central Park in NYC and the owners of the Bar/Restaurant, Faces and Names came by and liked my work. They wanted ideas for their new bar, which hadn’t opened yet. I initially just had work up in the recessed squares in the ceiling above the actual bar, and made a small bar for them out of wood. Then, they wanted ideas for the walls, and I suggested putting up work I had already done, temporarily. After a couple Months, when I wanted to take the work back, they offered to buy them all and keep them. Through the years (20 years now), they have commissioned me to do new ones.
Do you only create caricatures or are there other types of artistic styles you create? In addition to caricatures, I do landscapes, figure drawing, and a concept-driven figurative type of painting, where there is usually an idea behind it- and usually created out of my head- without references.
Do you feel that artists have the control of their careers to pursue opportunities such as what you have done? Or do they need a management team to handle this kind of responsibility? It depends on the artist. I’ve done it all myself, but it’s no picnic. I wish I had a management team! I can’t even imagine...
What does starving artist mean to you? An artist who needs food.
Do you mentor other artists to guide them in the proper directions to help the careers? I do my best when asked, and right now, I have one student, who I teach caricature to over Skype once a week.
Who is/was your mentor coming up in the trenches of the art scene? Probably. Steve Brodner over everybody, but I had a couple good teachers from art school as well.
Do any of the celebrities own their caricatures that you created of them? Sarah Silverman has 3 caricatures in print form that I did for her, Brian Posehn has the original caricature I did of him, and Bill Clinton, Katie Couric, and Andre Agassi have quick ones that I did of them(unless they’ve thrown them out by now…)
Do you find it easy to live as a professional artist? Do you feel that artists should have an alternative plan or career rather than being a professional artist? It’s never been easy; it’s a constant struggle, so I would say if you want to live a “normal” life, it can be difficult. But the rewards can possibly be great as well, so it’s a trade-off. I guess it couldn’t hurt to have an alternative plan just in case. I used to work in the Fashion Industry to make a living, and I always thought I could fall back on it if I really needed to (even though I hated it). Now, I’ve been out of that industry for so long, I’m not sure I could ever go back.
Are there any artist that you idolize and/or respect? Both living and/or deceased. Soooo many. Just a few: Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, John Singer Sargent, John Zorn, Degas, Salvador Dali’, Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville, Neo Rauch.
What words of encouragement do you have other artists for them to pursue their professional path? Do it if you love it, and keep exploring creative ways of making a living, so you can make money and do your own work. I’m still working on it as well...