We had the good fortune of connecting with DAniel = Daniel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi DAniel, = Daniel what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Prior to founding the Oxide Studio in 2010, I had worked at a variety of corporate entities as a Graphic Designer, but the crash of 2008 caused me to be downsized, which, in turn, handed me an opportunity to redesign my future. Picking up a variety of skills in metalworking and welding with the sign company where I had been working, I decided it was now or never and took the plunge into my art studio.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I believe what sets me apart is my many skill sets combined together. If I can draw it, I can build it. I can then photograph it and add it on my website, which I also created. I specialize in metal, steel specifically, as it vigorously sustains itself within the environment. Steel requires little or no maintenance, as it can be left to oxidize and develop a unique patina over time. There are also multiple options to protect the steel to preserve its finish. In addition, adding lighting and other metals; stainless, copper, etc. and/or fused glass, are all materials I have utilized in my sculptural works. My insatiable desire to learn and my fascination with the natural world enables me to translate all of the above into my work. My completed projects include inspired sculptural pieces, memorable freestanding works, gateways, enclosures, furniture and more. I have always thought that simple, elegant designs are the most impactful. The last few years I have had the opportunity to engage in the Public Art arena, an area I am strongly drawn to and proud of my contributions. Nature, in its most comprehensive sense, provides the inspiration for my pieces. My goal is to enhance the built environment, invite personal interaction, and engage the viewer through my work by identifying themes meaningful to each specific site and community. I happily have several awards/pieces in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chino Valley, Tucson and Oklahoma City. When we first started, we did not have a business plan, however, we knew we wanted a stable and sustainable business model with multiple streams of revenue. Each day we learned, and as we worked and accepted commissions, designed new product, etc., we were able to see what was successful and what was not, and adjust accordingly. We now have a plan, our family has an annual meeting where we look at our retail and wholesale clients, custom commission clients and public art opportunities and tweak as needed while also brainstorming improvements. I feel it has paid off after 10 years and continue to look forward to more growth, especially with Public Art. Easy, no, worth it, yes. Yes, there have been struggles, but there has been no price too high for the privilege of being the creator of my own world. Income was the largest struggle, the ebbs and flows while you are building up your brand and what it offers to the client. As of 2016, we are both engaged full-time with the Oxide Studio, as my wife was able to quit her day job.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Really depends on the friend. Favorite things to me are backpacking in Arizona, the time of year would determine where. If not enough time for an overnight, local hiking at South Mountain, etc. Love, love the Desert Botanical Garden, everyone I have shared it with has been fascinated and a great end to the day at Gertrude’s Restaurant. My go to, for a beer and a great meal is Oven + Vine, a local eatery, very near my home, in the Willo Historic District. For a special treat, Durant’s. Jerome, AZ is a must as is the Spirt Room for a drink and the Haunted Hamburger for a bite. The museums are an option as is just walking down Roosevelt Row for First Fridays and fun food and drink.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family, especially my wife and three daughters, who have helped in all aspects of The Oxide Studio. This has been and will continue to be a family business. In addition, I have a strong base of friends who enthusiastically receive my work and support me in many ways.