Before the Christmas holiday I found myself sitting in a comfy booth across from Danny Devine who was surrounded by a couple piles of holiday cards in different stages of completion and a cold beer. We sat chatting and catching up while he diligently penned a message on each card, the finished stack growing larger while the unfinished pile shrank. I quickly gathered that Danny knew many of the folks in the room, as several people from other booths would approach ours to introduce themselves to me and say hi to Danny. One woman in particular came over from a table that was filled with a bit more "Christmas cheer" than ours and could barley contain her laugher as she asked Danny to illustrate a picture featuring a dude at their table performing an adult activity that was pretty gross but definitely super funny. Danny was able to quickly oblige, whipping out a Prismacolor pen and creating the image in less than a minute. To say I was impressed is an understatement.
Talented and prolific, Danny is an illustrator who's appreciation for art began at a very early age. He is from a family of teachers and during our chat he shows us a small watercolor painting he created that he was too young to sign. His mother's careful handwriting pens his name to the bottom of the page. He's born and bred in Pittsburgh and after falling for the graffiti found all over the City of Steel, he has created a visual language of his own for Pittsburgh featuring the hangouts, people, and highlights of the city's culture. He also deftly avoids clichés — giving the viewer a slice of Pittsburgh that locals and out of towners alike can delight in. When you look at a Danny Devine composition, each piece holds something you recognize but rendered in an original way. Illustrations are just the tip of the iceberg. In this chat we talk about his never ending work ethic, obsession with the serial, and his photo a day of the Pittsburgh skyline.
This interview was a blast and you can hear it in the chat! Enjoy