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Danielle Arrington

Soft dreamy portraits, subtle textures, and women empowerment are embodied in the artwork of Danielle Arrington.

Danielle Arrington has been creating art for as long as she can remember. Danielle’s mother has always been an important figure in her life, encouraging her creativity through painting, sculpting, writing, and so on. But illustration was the one thing that stuck with her. Danielle would spend hours on end filling up her sketchbook with art. 

Aside from illustration, Danielle has worked as a graphic designer and an assistant director for communications at a university. “I think these were important experiences for me to have, but I never felt right in those roles. I feel most like myself when I can draw.” Danielle’s passion for art radiates in her work. She loves creating art that makes people feel happy. Aside from that, Danielle creates art that connects with Black girls and women. “Growing up, I did not see many characters that looked like me on TV or in picture books. I wanted to create work that a brown girl can look at and see herself and feel seen in return.”

Some of Danielle’s favorite artists include illustrators like Vashti Harrison and Geneva Bowers. They have both catalysts for Danielle and her decision to pursue a career in illustration. Danielle’s goal as an artist is to be able to make a living with her illustration work. “I want to put everything that I have into that life as a full-time artist.” 

Danielle has been using Procreate for just over a year. “Procreate has done more for my art in such a short time than I thought was possible. When making the switch to digital illustration, I struggled to feel connected to my work using a drawing tablet and my computer screen. I missed the feeling of drawing directly on paper, but I couldn’t necessarily afford a high-end display tablet. Procreate was the first thing I added to my iPad, and everything just clicked. I found Procreate extremely easy to use and began drawing every day again. More importantly, I was finishing art and felt confident I was moving towards my career goals.” Danielle loves using the time-lapse feature in Procreate. “It’s really fun and educational to be able to go back and watch how I work. Sometimes I consider what I could’ve done differently, or I notice that I erased too often and should spend more time on my sketch to avoid problems later.” Danielle has been having fun teaching herself some basic animation in Procreate as well. Although she prefers using Procreate and working digitally, Danielle cannot live without her sketchbook. “Sometimes it feels better to go back to the basics and sketch things out on paper.” 

Having artist’s block is a real thing. Danielle mentions, “Sometimes my mind just isn’t ready to create and trying to force it just makes things worse. When I feel myself struggling through a piece, I walk away.” Danielle leaves her workspace and takes a break to stretch or grab a snack. About 20 minutes later, she comes back to her work, and if she still can’t get through it, she knows that she’s done for the day. “Sometimes you just need a break. If that doesn’t work, I try to take the pressure off by drawing something else or even just coloring.” 

Let's Support Danielle!

Danielle says the best way to support her is to follow her on social media and like her work, leave a tip on Ko-Fi, or subscribe to her Patreon.

“It means a lot to me to see and interact with people who enjoy my work. I love hearing from everyone. I generally use funds [raised] to reinvest into my work. I buy new brushes, pay for an online workshop, or upgrade equipment. I would really like to focus on illustrating full-time and that kind of support would definitely help me get there.”

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