The Artist: David Garn, Nevada City |

The Artist: David Garn, Nevada City

The Union photo/Louise CaulfieldDavid Garn
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

What is your career and your current job title? I’d like to make a career out of art. My current job title is graphic designer/digital artist.

Describe in a sentence or two your art. I mostly start with photographs to create this new style of art. I say new style because I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I guess you could say there’s a touch of realism mixed with a bit of surrealism, old traditions with a modern twist.

How long have you been working in this discipline? I’ve been studying and working in this discipline for six years.

Why do you do it? For the sheer love of what I do. The more I do it, the more it becomes a passion.

What do you hope to accomplish? To be successful at art as a profession and to have people enjoy what I create.

Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive and if yes, what is that message? Sometimes I create my art with a message, sometimes not. The message in this particular show speaks to age-old traditions that began to be lost as the settlers moved west.

Where do you want to be with your art, in terms of part time versus full-time status, art positions and where your works are seen? I usually spend six to 12 hours a day doing art, so I think I’ve migrated to full time. As far as where my works are seen, I want it seen everywhere. How about the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York? No, that’s too far, I think I’ll look closer to home.

What kind of special training did you take? I spent four and a half years in college taking various art and design classes. I have a degree in graphic design and a degree in graphic illustration.

What’s your favorite part of your endeavors? My favorite part of what I do is watching a work of art being created bit by bit on my computer screen.

What’s your least favorite part of your endeavors? The least favorite part of this whole endeavor is the printing. Printing is the final and most important step to a digital artist. There are almost always adjustments to be made.

How many hours a day, or more appropriate, a week, do you spend on your work? I probably spend 40 to 60 hours per week creating artwork of one kind or another.

Do you consider it hard work and could anyone do it? Personally, I don’t consider it hard work. It’s not really like work when you’re passionate about something. It is a somewhat lengthy process to finally be able to actually consider yourself an artist. I have somewhere around 400 hours in classrooms and labs, and I feel that my career is just getting started.

Any other comments you’d like to include? My art, showing at the Nevada City Winery through the month of September, is a tribute to Edward Curtis. Through his photos, foresight and perseverance, he was able to capture the faces and traditions of a vanishing race. For this, I and many other Native Americans will be forever grateful.


To suggest a western Nevada County artist to be spotlighted in this feature, contact Carol Feineman at or 477-4232.

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