"Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what they are."
- Jackson Pollock
Hi, my name is Danica!
I am a self-taught abstract artist exploring layers of myself through layers of paint. I am an educated psychologist, working in Tech, and painting out of passion. I´m originally from Zagreb, Croatia and spent a large part of my life living abroad. I currently live in Berlin, Germany with my partner & dog.
My art journey is closely connected to my mental wellbeing journey and the process of learning more about myself. I use canvas as a base for self-exploration and the painting process as a way of connecting to my emotions and grounding myself in the present. As the paintings reveal themselves to me, I am revealing and getting to know parts of my own self.
How can you find your place in the world when you spend your energy trying to be (like) someone else?
I have always been a creative person and always enjoyed art class. Growing up I never quite felt that I fit in and I was continuously looking for my place in the world. I often contemplated how much better my life would be and how I would finally manage to find my place if only I was more like my peers, if I was "smarter", "more accomplished", "prettier", "cooler".
For a long time I equated blending in with being accepted. I internalized perfectionism and allowed the expectations and values of others to direct my decisions, because I mistook them for my own. I truly believed that in order to find my place in the world I needed to change who I am. In the process, I lost sight of my true self.
Layers of self & layers of paint
I am currently on a journey to reclaim myself and reacquaint myself with all of the parts of me that I disowned in order to "blend in", be "liked", be "accomplished". I started by redefining what success means to me, and realized that, to me, being successful in life means building genuine connections, and sharing who I am with the world.
The most important lesson I have learned so far is to always show my true colors, and not to hide any of my layers. As a recovering people-pleaser and perfectionist, this is not always easy for me to do. Through painting, I am teaching myself to be more open, take risks, frame mistakes as learning opportunities & most importantly, trust and enjoy the imperfect process. The resulting art that you see on this page shows my journey of discovering and revealing my layers with the aim of finding a place in the world for my authentic self.
Thank you for joining me on my self-discovery journey. You can read more about my painting process below.
My art journey
Since travel was not an option, I was thrilled to discover that I could continue exploring the world without leaving my apartment: through urban sketching. The mix of structure (sketching) and flow (watercolor wash) helped me manage my stress and anxiety.
Through weekly sketching challenges I connected with a wider community of artists with whom I could share my experiences and ideas.
Early in 2022 I took part in the 100 Day Challenge: painting every day for a hundred days.
I focused on exploring new abstract techniques and only using a few colors (purples, blues, turquoises).
With a limited color palette, it was easier to discover new ways of using tools and create different effects, textures, and of course — layers.
My creative process
I usually start my paintings by exploring different color combinations, placements and compositions on a smaller format.
Once I am happy with them composition, I replicate it on canvas or paper.
Building up the layers of the painting is the most exciting part for me. I often play with different textures, effects and color gradients.