Talking Art with Danielle Little

Among the beats and colorful lights of Tree Love Collective is sophomore Danielle Little, a local artist from Central Michigan University, who live paints during events.

Little is one of many local artists who live paint at Tree Love events giving people a chance to admire their work in progress. The work of these local artists and students tends to spark a certain interest in what they do, fulfilling the goal of the Tree Love Collective by promoting the local art scene.

In the excitement of Little’s first live paint session and second time showing art at a Tree Love event, she expressed her enjoyment and discussed how it’s nice to be able to attend Tree Love events and paint and not have to worry about anything else. Little says art is just something she has always loved and done as a hobby. Her interest began in her childhood and continued throughout middle school and, according to Little, it blossomed from there.

Little is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design at CMU. The process for the program is not easy though, and she must present a portfolio with the hopes of being one of the five people accepted each semester into the program.

“The process is you put together a portfolio of eight to ten pieces of your best work, including at least two typographic, two logos, and whatever other strong pieces you have that show your skills in graphic design,” Little said.

Consideration of acceptance is based on an improved portfolio, as some people must re-apply to the program multiple times. Little is planning on applying in the fall, her third time, after editing her portfolio and talking with some of the faculty for advice.

Although Little would like to have more time to paint, she finds it hard to devote time to her art. Being busy with school, Little is only able to work for a few minutes at a time. Also, like many artists at CMU, having money to spend on her art can be a struggle. Little says it’s hard to budget everything between her projects and school. Having to pay for classes definitely restricts putting money towards her work, but when she is able to, she often spends upwards of a hundred dollars at a time for materials.

For this reason, some students at the Tree Love events choose to sell their art. Prices on these local artist’s work have a wide range, some only go for a few dollars while the larger sculptures might go for one hundred dollars or more.

Little likes to be innovative with her materials, using mediums of watercolor, acrylic paint and even coffee in her pieces. A Marilyn Manson piece sits on display next to Little, and she says, “Music inspires me and my emotions.” When something makes her feel strongly, she explains, “I use that anger and sadness and put it to paper.”

As for future plans, Little says that painting will mostly remain a hobby, as she wishes to pursue a career in Graphic Design.