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Meet the Finalists: Daniela Silva Riera

Daniela’s entry in Beer Is Culture sort of blew our minds. This is exactly how we feel on Sunday mornings, too. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Daniela came to New York for college and now works in graphic design and resides in Brooklyn. Here are some of her thoughts on her work and the universality of beer.

As the artist, tell us a little bit about your entry. What is the inspiration and story behind it?

DSR: Living in Belgium for a year probably changed the impression I had on beer as an essential part of our culture. Beer has an immense potential to bring people together, whether it is in its production or its consumption. I witnessed locals, foreigners, people from different social statuses, folks with different ideologies, young and old bonding over a good glass of their beer of choice. It was then that I realized that beer has probably served for years as the fuel that has allowed great ideas to arise. Think about how many meetings, brainstorming sessions, decision making, creative pursuits and many other things were accompanied by some hops, malts, yeast and water in perfect harmony! Therefore I designed a brain happily taking in its favorite Sixpoint right off the tap handle, probably coming up with some fantastic ideas. Also, I believe I was having a Crisp while sketching, so that influenced the design as well. I’m not encouraging alcohol consumption to enhance creativity, but a good beer, with good people, there’s now way your creative self will not be inspired!

Do you have any academic or formal artistic training, or are you self-taught?

DSR: I’ve always been interested in design, but my formal training begun quite recently. I’m currently in my third semester in Graphic Design at the New York Institute of Technology. I began exploring computer based illustration this semester and I thought the Sixpoint exhibit would be a great chance to practice the skills acquired.

Even before civilization, there is evidence of cave paintings by early humans. Flash forward to today, perhaps the most significant innovation and development for the artist in the past 30 years was the invention and proliferation of the personal computer, which has a remarkable efficiency in generating art. How does art generated by the artist on a computer relate to some of the more conventional art forms?

DSR: We all go through the same creative process. Most computer based artists begin their ideas on paper: sketching, laying out, experimenting and trying different approaches. Also, having the computer doesn’t mean the work will be done for you. Most succesfull computer artsits have an background in more convential art forms that helps their work shine. So having knowledge in drawing, sculpting, painting, color theory, different mediums and materials is always extra useful to avoid your work looking machine made and to leave your mark as an artists in the computer as much as in the canvas.

Who are some of the artists who have influenced you the most?

DSR: Oh there are so many…. From the classics probably Toulouse Lautrec, Milton Glaser, Ezra Keats, Paul Rand… I also love wandering through the galleries in Brooklyn to get inspiration from local artists. There is really so many wonderful pieces from very talented people. Also the street art in the area has been visually very inspiring (sadly I do not know their names!)

We believe “Beer is Culture” given the synchronized parallel between the explosion of civilization, art, and culture and the cultivation of cereal grains by the earliest human societies. When you hear the phrase “Beer is Culture” what does it mean to you?

DSR: Union, I think that would be the first word that comes to my mind. As I explained before, it’s the ability to bring people from diverse backgrounds together that never ceases to impress me.

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