A Conversation with Dan Schneider: Artist and PR Extraordinaire
The latest art piece in PMG’s collection was added by one of our very own alumnus, Dan Schneider. Dan has been an integral part of the PMG team, contributing to several of our projects and operations for over eight years. When he’s not working his PR magic or teaching the ins and outs of the industry to his college PR class (he’s a busy guy!), Dan can be found in his home studio crafting unique pieces of art. He holds a master’s degree in fine art from the University of Guelph and has an impressive exhibition record. Dan’s work has been featured on episodes of Designer Guys and Cityline, issues of Canadian House and Home and Style at Home magazines, as well as Danny Fernandes’ music video, Fantasy. The Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, the Soho Metropolitan and the penthouse at the Cosmopolitan in New York also currently hang some of Dan’s works on paper. We sat down with Dan to ask him more about his background in art and relationship with PMGL, the impressive sculpture he gifted our office with and the inspiration behind it.
Tell us a little bit about your history at PMGL.
I came to PMGL when the company was still in its infancy, maybe one or two years after it was founded. I started off as a contract person, I was brought in to help on special projects but that turned into full-time work pretty quickly because the company got really busy. In 2010, I started balancing my time between teaching and working at PMGL. I really love teaching and have always had a yearning to do it so when I got an opportunity to teach I moved more towards that. Now I come on as extra hands when there’s a special project going on at PMGL, like the Toronto Film Festival, for example.
Where would you say art falls for you? Would you consider it a hobby?
Art is another thing I balance in my life. Sometimes it takes a heavy priority, sometimes it takes less. I wouldn’t call it a hobby; I would call it enjoyable work because there are deadlines that I need to meet for the art galleries I work with. For me, I think I would call sailing a hobby.
What kind of art do you specialize in?
I do wood sculptures but my chandelier drawings are probably what people know me most for.
Take us through the creation process of a wood sculpture.
It’s really labour intensive. I’ll have an idea and draw it out first to work out the details. Then I go get my wood, which is an awesome part in the process, and bring it home. I make markings on the wood and do more prep work. I usually don’t talk about how the rest happens because once people know how it happens it looses its mystique. When people don’t know exactly how the sculpture came to be then they can come up with their own ideas and visualize the artist putting it together.
What’s the inspiration behind your wood sculptures?
I’m really interested in the hourglass form that the sculptures have; it reminds me of a tree. The piece of wood I’m working on was a tree at one time and in my own kind of way I’m putting it back into a tree.
How much time does it take you to complete a wood sculpture?
They’re done rather quickly. I would say about ten hours of physical labour and then I do touch ups which also take time. When you look at the sculpture from a distance it has a really simple form and there are not a lot of crazy edges. It looks really clean from far but when you look at the surface you start to see that there’s a lot of work that’s put into it.
Where can people go to find out more about your work? Is your art available for purchase?
People can visit my website, www.danielschneider.ca. My work can also be found at the two galleries I work with, Parts Gallery and Art Interiors.
If you have a passion for art like Dan and love giving back to the community Toronto’s Casey House hosts the 22nd annual Art With Heart charity auction at The Carlu on October 6, 2015.
To purchase tickets for the event please go to: http://artwithheart.ca/buy-tickets/