Orillia, Canada

When the artistic side takes over, the results are the images I see in my inner visions: not always expected, but they are my own...

The Photographer's Heart, The Scientist's Mind - Dana DiPasquale

One of my choices for this series of interviews is Dana DiPasquale – not because I know her very well, but because I don’t. I’ve found her photography work to be unique and surprising. Her combination of simple vignette’s and unusual composition results in some seriously emotive pieces. In particular, I was taken with her architectural work

Some of my favourite pieces in her work are this old-time piece Our Name is Virtue

…followed closely by Waiting to Say Goodbye

and it’s companion piece Lost in this World

You won’t be sorry for having taken the time to read this interview. As it turns out, Dana is an artist whose life intrudes into her work in a most delightful way.

What drew you here to the Redbubble community?

I had my work and my father’s work (which I promote for him) on another art site. Unfortunately for me, that site was primary selling paintings, and photography took a distant back seat. Plus, there was little interaction among members and no avenues for learning. Someone on that site mentioned RB so I decide to check it out and was pleasantly surprised that within days of being here I won a competition. It was just the right pat on the back I needed to keep my spirits high enough to continue trying to get better.

How does your creativity affect other aspects of your life?

Well, this one may be hard to believe as it is does not present the stereotypical image. I am a scientist and I study exercise physiology (think of the Gatorade advertisements of athletes being tested). So, I work with both basic laboratory techniques (eg, test tubes, cells, etc) and with Olympic hopefuls, professional athletes, amateur athletes, the weekend warrior, and people with physical disabilities. My creativity allows me to wrap my head around complex physiological states which people may not always associate – for example, if I train my body to perform at high altitudes, will that also help my body adapt to high temperatures? The 2 conditions are usually thought of separately but I came up with a way in which one could help the other. A more practical example would be when I design exercises for people. Exercise physiologists are not often taught specific exercises to prescribe like a physical therapist might be. Often we have to use our knowledge of physics, biomechanics, anatomy, and physiology to create movements which will use particular muscles or motor skills. To do this well, you must be creative or your clients will quickly become bored of their exercises or adapt to them and not get any additional health benefits from performing them. There was an older woman who was a member health club I used to work when I was in college. She used to tell me “Dana, I can always tell who your clients are when you aren’t even in the gym because they are always the people who are hanging upside down or doing something I have never seen before.”

How many mediums do you work in? Which is your favourite, and why?

I started with drawing and painting, both of which produced good results only occasionally. It was actually the extreme expense of painting (along with the frustration of not being able to create what I wanted) that sent me to photography. I’m glad it did, though, because now I can enjoy creating things instead of fighting with it all the time.

Tell us about one person or moment that has made your time on redbubble particularly special or meaningful.

I have been fortunate enough to make 2 very special friends on RB, people I would consider my go-to people for when I have a problem. The funny thing is that even though they live half way around the world, I can always count on them being there more than the friends I have who live within a few blocks of me. To know that I can chat away, laugh, and cry on the phone for hours with people I have never even seen, makes you realize how similar we all are.

What inspires your work?

I am inspired by 3 general things: strong shapes and lines, looking at common objects from a different perspective and everyday scenes from my life which others can emotionally relate to. The latter is probably just my way of dealing with life’s struggles whereas the others come from an old movie I took to heart. It was “Dead Poet’s Society” when Robin Williams had his students stand on top of their desks and look at the same room they had been in for years from a new vantage point. You are instantly removed form your current circumstances and constraints. It suddenly creates a whole new world, making what were once common things less common, problematic things less weighty, ugly things more beautiful, old thing new again, idealized things more ordinary.

Journal Comments

  • Shelley Heath
  • Midori Furze
  • Mundy Hackett