Blog - About the Artist

  • Danielle Bennignus

Getting to Know You

Updated: Dec 29, 2017

As Acacius Page quoted the ancient Greeks in the dinner party scene of "Auntie Mame", Gnothi Seauton. This translates to "Know Thyself", and I've tried to live my life in dedication to this philosophy.

I'm a traditional illustrator - in other words, I utilize old-world tools of the trade, and eschew digital design. My closest pals are my quill pens, inkwell, bristol paper and soft-leaded pencils, as well as the occasional compass and straight-edge. If these items were good enough for the likes of my influences such as Aubrey Beardsley, George Barbier and John Held, Jr., they're certainly adequate for my needs! Granted, I'm more than happy to use the wonders and convenience of technology to transmit rough and final illustrations, but the process itself is decidedly vintage.

In my work you'll find elements of costume, jazz, ballet, circus arts, dandyism, nature, mythology and my beloved old stomping grounds, Coney Island. I love to represent these themes in my personal illustrations, and share them in private commissions when invited to do so.

On the personal front, I currently reside in Dallas, Texas, in the joyous clutches of my husband, Matt Tolentino. As a traditional jazz preservationist and bandleader, Matt heads the Singapore Slingers, a 19-piece pre-swing dance orchestra specializing in popular music dating from 1895-1935. He's the perfect complement to my role as a visual artist, and his artistic dedication keeps me on my creative toes! We share a life surrounded by jazz archives, vintage clothing, two dogs, three turtles, plenty of humor and a hearse named "Bonnie". Yes, you read that correctly.

I have dozens of things to say about what I do as an artist, how I ended up in this profession, and what goes into my creative process - and these are just a few of the subjects I'll be exploring and sharing in my blog. Stay tuned, and feel free to contact us with any questions or commission inquiries!


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