Danielle Babineaux | Le Jardin Familial
By Brian Pitre
When starting a new business, like any piece of art, you often have an idea in mind, but allow each pass of the brush to help guide you towards the finished product. With every stroke, you take with you the advice of others and inspiration from the world around you while blending in your own thoughts and ideas to create something unique and beautiful. Local artist Danielle Babineaux has not only embodied this process of art and business, but has in a sense coined it as her own. We sat down with Danielle to learn all about her process.
JAM: So how long have you been a professional artist?
DB: Since January 2015. I opened my business and have been going strong since.
JAM: The name of your business is quite unique. How did you stumble upon it?
DB: My entire move to Lake Charles from New Orleans was prompted by my desire to raise Cynthia in the country on our family property, place her into a safer public school system and into French immersion. I wanted to name it Jardin du Cynthia (Cynthia’s Garden) but she insisted it was the family garden (Le Jardin Familial).
JAM: What did you first see that made you want to aspire to be an artist?
DB: I have always loved to draw and paint. I started taking art classes on Saturdays in grade school. I took four years of art electives in high school and one semester in college. Then, I spent 20 years as a registered veterinary technician. After we moved here, I became the “ranch hand” on our farm and that winter, started making jewelry for Christmas presents. The whole thing snowballed from there. I ended up applying for my business license that January.
JAM: Do you have a particular style or technique that you are “drawn” to regularly?
DB: I love oil painting; landscapes and sunsets are my favorites. Rings are my favorite pieces of jewelry to make.
JAM: After studying visual art for so long, how did you get into jewelry making?
DB: After making jewelry as Christmas presents, I began to get requests for pieces. Making jewelry is fun and something I can do while hanging out with Cynthia on the couch. She even loves to help me twist wires together so I have wire for more elaborate pieces. I have to save my painting for when she is not at home because cleaning up oil paint is no easy task.
JAM: What was one of the most difficult or trying pieces of art you have worked on and why?
DB: I have been working on a 3×4 foot oil painting of the beach for my mom for a while now. I just keep fiddling with it – it just never seems finished.
JAM: What was one of your all-time favorite pieces you’ve done?
DB: I did a 16 x 20 inch oil painting of snow-covered mountains at sunset that came completely from within my head. I used no pictures or other forms of reference and I painted it live at an event – which I had never done before. I like the way it came out
JAM: Do you have a favorite artist or person in the art world you follow for inspiration or as a fan?
DB: My high school art teacher, Mrs. Shepherd, was my greatest inspiration and taught me everything I know about art technique. I admire realistic works of art and am always inspired and amazed when one has to do a “double take” to tell if it is a painting or a photograph
JAM: What have you noticed is the toughest thing about being a professional artist? where does the struggle hit hardest?
DB: For me, it is finding the time to juggle a job/daughter/farm and still produce art and go to events. That is why I can usually be found working on something whenever I am at an event.
JAM: If you could give a bit of advice to any new artist aspiring to become a professional, what would it be?
DB: Put yourself out there. Do all the festivals and markets that you can. And get to know other artists in your area. They are a great resource for finding out about opportunities and getting advice.
Wall art and custom jewelry by artist and crafter Danielle Babineaux. See photo descriptions for pricing options and print details at firstname.lastname@example.org
(504) 452-1634 www.facebook.com/LeJardinFamilial