Nicholas Danger is a graphic designer, illustrator and muralist based in Southern California. He finds great joy in sharing his whimsical, warmly psychedelic characters and vibrant color stories with a large audience through street, interior and festival creations. Her biggest inspiration is the cheeky West Coast pop culture aesthetic and her slightly twisted utopian fantasies. His signature style of visionary nostalgia adorns walls everywhere, but most notably right now, outside a rental business and groovy boutique in Idyllwild, Wild Idy, which sells original artwork and designs. products made by independent local designers. Remarkable, for they are currently embroiled in a baffling controversy in which a tiny but noisy handful of locals have spoken out against the highly regarded works. An online petition to protect the murals has gained momentum as supporters of the art (and legions of people who took selfies in front of them) rally to celebrate and save them.
LA WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?
NICOLAS DANGER: I received a sketchbook for my seventh birthday and filled it with drawings of aliens, monsters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was always doodling in class, and in high school I had an amazing art teacher who opened my eyes to the art career.
What’s your short answer to people who ask you what your job is?
Cute with a scary edge.
What would you do if you weren’t an artist?
I would love to be a photographer or a chef. Guess those are two creative professions, so if you’re not doing art, then do something creative. Or some scientist, researching or exploring.
Did you go to art school? Why why not?
I went to art school and studied graphic design mainly because I thought it was the best way to find a job after school. The best thing about school is that it gave me time to explore new mediums, new techniques, and access to studios. I don’t think creativity can be taught, it takes talent and hours and hours of time and practice and doing a lot of really bad jobs to get to the right things. I don’t think it matters where you go to school, if you put the time and work into it and really find your voice as an artist good things will happen.
When was your first show?
I had my first show in 2005 and have done countless since.
When is / was your current / most recent / next show or project?
I worked with a small store located in Idyllwild, California. I did some murals for them and now we are fighting to maintain them. I learned a lot about working with public art and giving back to the community. The support we have had is incredible and it is humbling to see the support for my work. It has been great working with this small, women-owned business and contributing to a vibrant community.
Which artist, living or dead, would you most like to show or work with?
I think Keith Haring had a big influence on my work. Simple and daring ideas from a graffiti and working environment in public space.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what?
I do! Usually funk and soul classics, but it changes depending on the mood and what I’m working on.
Website and social media handles, please!