MEET THE MAKER: Dana Overman

Dana legit just busted on to our scene here in Champaign Urbana and has found success everywhere she has gone. She was at THREE venues for Boneyard 2018 and this fall you will find her work on the MTD, in 40North’s program MTD ART. She will be teaching a class here On August 25th, titled ‘Painting with Words’.

Tell us about yourself!

Hi! Hmmm, a little about me… First of all I hate “labels” so I made a concerted effort to avoid them here.

I create as a living, making things that express inner angst, joy, wonder, love, curiosities and feelings that have no names.  Today it turns out that Prussian Blue is my favorite paint color and the palette knife favorite tool.  I find immense freedom in large scale work and I get paint everywhere and don’t care. I write poetry that takes me to places I have been and places I long to go. My camera is often an outlet of creative immediate gratification and music is my muse.  

I love living where prairie sunsets are magical and the harvest moon is real. I have a love hate relationship with seasons so it seems to work out pretty well that they go away for a short time only to return back to me when it seems as if they’ve been gone forever.  

I have raised 5 babies into full grown humans and as of today 3 of them are experiencing the joy that babes bring. My heart and head are made of hippie stuff, the enneagram 4 fits me like a glove and I’m married to a 7... I think that sums up a lot.

How has your artistic journey been in Champaign Urbana?

Very welcoming… C/U are beautiful diverse cities that provide wonderful opportunities for the artist/maker/creator no matter the skill level, type of craft, or where you come from.  There is an incredible amount of talented local creatives that I have found to be supportive, kind and inclusive. I jumped right in this year participating in the 40 North’s Untitled Event and 2018 Boneyard Arts Festival and so glad I did!  My journey continues as I create through painting, writing and photography.    

You have a class coming up, what will you be doing?

I am so excited about this creative workshop that I have developed for women age 13 and up.  

We will be playing and creating with words in a way that will paint a picture of emotion; it might include whimsy, love, grief, joy, hope, frustration… it might look like poetry, prose or journaling.  Painting with words is a way to tap into our creative self, stretching the creative muscle.  By working through a number of word exercises we are able to breakthrough some word norms, throw punctuation out the window along with those pesky rules that have been constructed in our minds that tend to restrict our word creativity.  Paint with Words 1.0 workshop exercises can be easily continued outside of the workshop to keep the word creativity growing. 

I have created a textile art journal for each participant. These journals are only for the class participants and will not be made available outside of this workshop.  Writing is a very personal and brave act, my hope is that these handmade journals provide a safe, intimate space to explore.

What is your favorite treat at The Hop?

This is the most difficult question…. I am an admitted sweet addict, so… to be completely honest, and that is how I roll, to date everything I have tried at the Hop has been thoroughly enjoyed and because I try something new each time I visit I can say I love it all.  So to answer the question… the consumption of the Hop’s images on Instagram is my favorite treat!  They are beautiful works of art and the most delightful eye candy!