Meet Daniel T. Fleming
Northwest Artist and Photographer
"All your support goes to an artist so local,
I'm standing right here"...
On any given summer day in Seattle, with the Port full of cruise ships, the Market can see upwards of 100,000 visitors perusing all of the art, craft, fish, produce and other sundry offerings and I get to share my born-and-raised-in-the-Northwest story and my catalogue of PNW artworks with hundreds of people.
IN THE STUDIO
PIKE PLACE MARKET
I am an artist, through and through. Always have been. I wrote my first story at 4. I started learning accents from television shows and films and improvising bits and pieces of character study and scene in the second or third grade. I still love to write and perform theatrically and musically to this day.
Early in my teens I became fascinated with what, at the time, I called “stardom”. I have in the 30+ years since first saying “I wanna be a star” or “I wanna be famous” come to realize that what I wanted was to make art, any kind of art, for a living.
I spent my 20s and 30s performing in bars and at raves as a spoken word artist/poet/MC/rapper and, as I’m fond of telling folk “I was smart enough to realize music’s a lot like baseball, if you’re in your late 30s and you’re still in the minor leagues, it’s been over for a decade.”
Music-ing and dancing until the sun comes up and chasing the spotlight in a local music scene, although it didn’t pan out for me as a career, allowed me to share stages and build lifelong friendships with some phenomenally talented players, performers and producers.
It was late ’04 or early ‘05 when I got my first digital camera because I wanted to try to photograph some of the events I was performing at. Upon discovering the pano-knitting feature in my Nikon Coolpix 8700 I began shooting epic panoramas from the deck of my penthouse on Capitol Hill. Not long after that I got my first DSLR and a copy of Photoshop CS2. By late ’05 I had my first 17” archival inkjet printer and was learning how to produce and stretch my own canvases and was hanging them anywhere they’d let me. Coffeeshops, restaurants, frame-shops, record stores, the Gift Shop at the Space Needle, Seattle Public Library… I did every artwalk I could find, Folklife, the U-District Street Fair, Fremont Fair, Bumbershoot… Got a permit at Fremont Sunday Market and, every time someone asked me “Why aren’t you at Pike Place?” I’d say “You should ask them.”
My first several applications for a Daystall Permit at Pike Place Market were denied because the photography category was closed. A good friend suggested I think outside of the box and so I taught myself how to edit my digital photos into painterly “digital illustrations” which, when printed on canvas, coated and stretched by hand, qualified under the strict 100% artist-designed, handmade goods rules that keep the Craft Marketplace a vital mix of classic, venerable techniques and modern ways while also preventing Pike Place Market from becoming a tchotchkie mall tourist trap.
It’s a massive blessing to make art for a living and an honor to sell pictures I MAKE at the most visited place in my home City and State. I get to tell stories about my home and my travels to visitors from all over the world and I simply couldn’t imagine a sweeter life.