This Q&A series focuses on artists contributing to the #ArtisticVisionPgh project cosponsored byMost Wanted Fine Art and Penn Avenue Eyewear. Some of the artists wear prescription glasses (like me) and some do not, but wear sunglasses to protect their eyes as well. Danielle is the first sunglass artist and has some really powerful reminders that not everyone with visual health needs wears glasses.
Name: Danielle Robinson
Did you grow up with any siblings, friends or schoolmates who wore glasses? Was it a big deal with other kids?
Yes I did and back then it was a big deal! It was a bad thing to wear glasses! They would call them four eyes or nerd! Now, it’s awesome to wear glasses! I wish I did!
Describe your favorite pair of sunglasses (ever.)
My Grandma gave me a pair of sunglasses she wore in the 70’s…they are the only pair I wear constantly. They are so retro and super cute!
How often do you wear sunglasses and why?
I wear sunglasses anytime there is a pinch of sun out. Mostly because I have diabetes and my eyes are sensitive to light sometimes, but also they look amazing!
Sunglasses are iconic cool in pop culture. What character from television, movies, comics, etc wore sunglasses in a way that stayed with you?
I would have to say Morpheus from the Matrix. He had these cool sunglasses that were practically black and they just clipped onto the bridge of his nose…so cool.
Describe your relationship with your current pair of sunglasses.
I am connected to my sunglasses. they are always in my purse, on top of my head or on my face! I always have them.
There’s a pervasive stigma about wearing glasses for young and old, but an equally pervasive idea that glasses indicate intelligence (or hipness.) Explain that duality.
I think people believe when you’re old, you’re just automatically gonna need glasses. They associate it with being elderly. Also with being elderly, there is wisdom, which is another stigma of wearing glasses. Young kids wearing glasses I think go through more of the “nerd” and “cool” accusations. Glasses have made such a positive turn since I was a child, being smart includes a cool pair of glasses and no cruel comments. Wisdom and coolness all wrapped into one.
Has participating in this project changed the way you think about vision health?
Yes! I actually need to visit my eye doctor every year because of my diabetes. I haven’t made that appointment yet, this is a fantastic reminder! It also made think about how important eye health is to me as a visual artist. Eyes are key!
Tell me about your work for this exhibit.
I intended to show my usual flavor with my visual art. I like to use a lot of color and I love painting animals, which would be cool subject matter.
How can readers learn more about your work?
You can check out my art on my website…www.daniellerobinsonart.com or on facebook www.facebook.com/daniellerobinsonart or Twitter…@danrobart or Instagram, Tumblr, Flicker and Pinterest @daniellerobinsonart
Thank you Danielle!