my story

how I know that I’m an artist

My first inclination that I might want to be an artist came at the age of 5, when my abilities earned me praise. It quickly became my favorite subject in school. At the age of 15 I got my first sketchbook, where I played out my fantasies and frustrations.

I had no choice but to pursue a career in the arts, starting with acquiring a BFA. During my studies (1991-1995), sketches, drawings, paintings and linoleum cuts were done with a fast and furious hunger to create.

After graduation, my work started to feel meaningless and without purpose. My practice dwindled but I couldn’t help but doodle and do a painting now and again. I was often stopped when I asked myself, “is this idea worthwhile?”. This question of worth tainted my free expression and playful approach. The less I created the scarier it seemed. Practicality, fear and disconnection from myself were all obstacles of varying scale.

I have been lucky to sustain a living as a self-employed graphic designer since 1996. I’ve fully-remodeled a house. I’ve given myself over to multiple Burning Man related build creations. My creative energy has leaked its way into most every endeavor. However, there has always been a vast space in my heart that can only be filled by making my personal artwork.

Since mid 2017, I’ve become recommitted to being a student of art, picking up where I left off, with the wisdom of my full-blown adult self. Through self-guided study, practice and willingness to venture into areas of discomfort, Art has given me a sense of life’s meaning.

As I practice patience and gain momentum in manifesting my dreams, I thought that I would give life to works that never made it past a turned page, a critique day, a drying rack or a print proof. I hope that you enjoy this site. It’s real, it’s raw, it’s me.

Denise Dambrackas

Nothing tells the story like

a Lifetime of Sketchbooks