Less than 24 hours after landing in London, Dakarai stopped off at our new HQ (via Nando's and a traditional British pub) to chat to Jon and Stuart about his backstory to becoming a collage artist.
Describing himself as a 'natural born artist', Dakarai grew up in Cleveland Ohio. His first creative ventures earned him early success with his own clothing brand, aged just 18.
Studies in Fashion and Retail Management at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and a brief spell as a Creative Director at a record label followed, before Dakarai made the long drive from Cleveland to LA where he tasted his first big break as a commercial artist.
The New York Times came for an article documenting the January 6th riots, I couldn’t believe it, I felt like I was stepping into a new stage in my career. And it was.
From driving taxis, sleeping in a gallery, to working in a homeless centre on Skid Row, Dakarai’s journey to becoming a freelance artist is one of the most fascinating and eventful we’ve ever heard. Warning this podcast contains rattle snake references.
On the podcast Dakarai talks enthusiastically about his influences, collage artist contemporaries such as Aaron Marin, Blake Cale, Dewey Bryan Saunders, Mark Harris and Handsome Frank's own Michelle Thompson.
Feeling inspired to create some art after listening? You should also check out his 'collage creator' app which uses a library of parts sourced by Dakarai, giving you a small window into the collage world of black surrealism & afrofuturism that he is known for. Each piece tells it’s own story that is entirely up to the viewer to create based on their own observations.
If you missed it, we absolutely recomend you check out Dakarai's 'Happy Friday Playlist' on spotify too.