Last year, Phoenix-based design Steam Crow had a temporary display at Downtown Disney's WonderGround Gallery in Anaheim. This year, the design duo, comprised of Daniel and Dawna Davis, was invited back to the gallery to display original art throughout the month of November, with in-person appearances during the first and last weekends of the month.
Located just outside the gates of Disneyland, Downtown Disney is a promenade of mostly Disney-themed shops, restaurants, galleries and entertainment venues. They give people a chance to experience a Disney environment without having to enter the park. Among the attractions is WonderGround Gallery, a quirky art space that features contemporary artists.
Steam Crow has about 30 prints currently on display. The WonderGround staff hand-picked the pieces from Steam Crow's portfolio, which features friendly illustrated monsters both legendary and imagined. The prints are available in-gallery and online for $25.
During the upcoming visit to the gallery on November 30 and December 1, Daniel will sketch free drawings for people who stop in. He says he must've sketched at least 200 monsters that during Steam Crow's last visit on November 1 and 2.
Between appearances, Daniel talked with Jackalope Ranch via e-mail about Steam Crow's start-up and the brand's deal with Disney.
You will both be returning to Downtown Disney at the end of the month to accompany your art which is there for the month of November. What is the most exciting thing about having your art in such a prominent venue? It's fun to be there and featured under the wondrous Disney shadow. We're really indie in how we work and what we do, so it's cool (and rare) to be featured by another brand - showing off the personal work that we created just because we love it. We still get to be 100 percent us!
How did you guys come to show your work at a gallery in Downtown Disney? The folks that manage WonderGround told us that they saw us at San Diego Comic-Con, and were watching us for a while before approaching us.
What were you doing at Comic-Con that you think caught their eye? We'd grown to the point where we had a very large 10x20 booth, which featured our work fairly boldly. By that point our work had matured and had a distinct look.
What do you think about such a huge brand supporting a small family business/brand like Steam Crow? It's really cool, but it's just a temporary hook-up. It gives us a boost, Disney gets some new/different art in their gallery, and we still get to remain independent and in control of what we do. (Our purpose in life.)
What do you think makes you special as an artist, and makes big brands want to show your work? Steam Crow is a quirky brand; our work reflects our interests as much as our imperfections... in the end, THAT'S probably what makes us special, since it's authentic. In terms of why a big brand might like our work, I don't know... it's not about destruction, and we often try to have a positive message with our monsters.
What are you working on now? We're working on our 2014 releases, so we're hoping to make people happy the odd things that we're drawing in my dark cave/studio. Also to appreciate the creative life that we've been lucky enough to build, and doing everything in our power to make it continue.
Daniel Davis will return to WonderGround Gallery at Downtown Disney from 1 to 4 p.m. on both November 30 and December 1. He'll sketch free monster drawings for gallery patrons. For more information about Steam Crow, visit their website.