Originally published in Halcyon Magazine

How does your submission fit the theme of "dreams"?
This idea began with Danielle's aversion to the "classic headshot." As she sees it, “regular headshots are boring. It's hard to reveal too much character in a simple headshot. I wanted to wear all my weird clothes and be in an environment that's dedicated to preserving the possibility of human imagination (a library).” A James Baldwin quote was particularly inspiring to her: “It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”

Where do you draw upon for inspiration?
I tend to stray away from specific artists and instead find myself by inspired by images that stand out to me as extraordinary. The way that the images to which I am drawn vary between each other illustrates and emphasizes to me the huge range of visual opportunity in the world, and I am reminded to consistently push myself to experiment with my photography. I am inspired by the the people, places, and objects that are both intentional and unintentional forms of art and sources of meaning.

What kind of gear and post-processing tools did you use?
I use a Nikon D7000 and Lightroom for all my editing.

Who are your favorite photographers or artists?
I recently completed my Barnard thesis on the art of Carrie Mae Weems and Kara Walker. I've been greatly influenced not only by their images - the 'final' products, as it may be - but by their perspectives and the way their art engages with people’s preconceived ideas about reality, especially as it pertains to race, class, and gender. Right now, I’m also really enjoying the artwork of Cesar Santos, whose series, Syncretism (a larger philosophy to which I subscribe in many ways), plays with ‘classic art’ by pushing it into a provocative modern setting by merging other styles, characters, and images with recognizable elements of the original piece. But perhaps most importantly, I am inspired by the creative souls on this campus, who push me to think, experiment, and do. These individuals have been crucial to my growth as an artist and a human.