Skip to main content

Style Magazine

Spotlight On Dawn Blanchfield

Multifaceted artist Dawn Blanchfield has lived in Lincoln the past 15 years, loving the trees and green open spaces that remind her of childhood in Michigan–where she first began painting, drawing, and taking classes. The quintessential creative, Blanchfield works in a variety of mediums: pen and ink, printmaking, acrylics, collage, encaustic, watercolor, ceramics, fiber, and digital art—most recently adding sewing and jewelry to her arsenal. “I may look like a mild-mannered mom from the suburbs, but at heart I’m an old punk rocker from Detroit,” shares Blanchfield. “I love The Clash, David Bowie, all things gritty and dark, bold black and white graphics of woodcuts, religious iconography, symbolism, folklore, graphic novels, etc.” Narrative in nature, the honest, authentic artist expresses her emotions and experiences into her diverse works—whose themes range from skeletons and skulls, to ravens, wolves, life, death, mythology, and more.

HLN: What inspires you? 
DB: I tend to live in the moment, so what I’m creating is often influenced by what’s happening in my life. After some oral surgery last year, I made a graphic ink drawing of a skull with long teeth. A character from a video game has shown up in another drawing and a watercolor. The music I’m listening to also influences what I’m doing. Lyrics show up in paintings or titles all the time. I also love going to museums and galleries to see the work of other artists. When I’m stuck, I always go back to pencil on paper and draw faces or hands.
HLN: You’re a self-professed "techniques addict." How so?
DB: My friends started teasing and calling me the “Techniques Queen,” because I’m always taking workshops and classes. I have a bit of a monkey mind and really do jump from medium to medium. I love learning new things and have often said I could easily be a lifelong university student. New skills are just more tools. Of course, that also means I have many actual toolboxes full of various art supplies. I’d say I could stop anytime, but that would be a lie.
HLN: What would you tell your younger self?
DB: Don’t be so quick to say no to things you think you can’t do. I dismissed the idea of going into commercial/graphic art in college, because I didn’t think I could work with deadlines or someone else’s idea—yet I’ve found that I work really well with a challenge or when forced out of my comfort zone. I might complain a lot while I’m doing it but am usually happy with the end result. 
HLN: What are your future goals?
DB: I’ve spent the last year working on getting my Etsy shop up and running. I’d like to grow that while continuing to show work in galleries throughout the area. In the “dream big or go home” department, I hope to get my own printing press someday. Maybe I’ll also learn how to weld.