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Clinch Women In The Know: Danielle Cross

Introducing Danielle Cross, a Sydney-based visual artist and photographer, who is our first ever Clinch Woman in the Know. Read on to learn more about Danielle’s creative world, her thoughts on making art and life’s simple pleasures.

What does style mean to you?
It is the language and our way of communicating without saying a word.

How would you describe your own style?
I am a chaotic minimalist, with a slight masculine edge.

Whose style do you most admire?
Valentina Muntoni. Her style is best described as a simple slouch with the right amount of sexy appeal.

What will the next purchase for your wardrobe be?
Gold, gold and more gold. I have my eye on Robert Clerc’s Queen Scarab ring.

Which item from your wardrobe do you get the most wear out of?
Currently it is my Givenchy GV3 handbag. It’s an everyday bag that has the perfect edge!

A device I couldn't live without… Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. I am a recent convert and operate my whole life and business on this phone – plus it takes the most incredible photos, Can take a 108MP shot and 8k video. It is next level for creatives.

"There has to be more awareness around sustainability in the fashion industry. Wearing garments and accessories that have a storytelling element and have been sourced and created with sustainability in mind has to be the future."

What is currently at the top of your reading list?
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I’m interested in learning more about the idea of being both an extrovert and an introvert.

Where is your favourite travel destination?
It is so hard to narrow down.. but I always love the Italian way of life in Roma and Sicily, it’s in my blood being part Italian. But getting lost in Paris would have to be my city pick and Karma Kandara in Bali for my island escape.

What are your top three suitcase essentials when traveling?
My journal and my sketch book. Travel helps the mind and creative process – it is essential. My Canon EOS M5 and my Clinch Belt is the easiest way to pack light and still be able to change up my travel attire!

What are you currently reading?

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim S. Grover. There is such power and conviction in this book.

What song do you currently have on repeat?
Wrap Remix, Zwangere Guy, Peet. I have this on high rotation when creating, to take me somewhere else. Also CNT U SEE, by Jamie Isaac, you will know why when you hear it. It is the ultimate artist song.

What do you consider your most prized investment?
A yellow gold 1800’s coin and delicate flower ring that I brought from a flea market in a French town where I lived called Perpignan. I saw it every Saturday for six months before I brought it on our last day there. It’s the storytelling, the design, the allure of where it has been and whose energy it holds.

What is your usual coffee order?
It is a ¾ latte, which has provided hours or debate with friends. Put simply, "less milk!"

What are your favourite food items that are always on your grocery list?
Tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic and cinnamon. Being of Italian heritage and a mum who had owned restaurants and is beyond an amazing cook, she taught me we can make just about anything with these ingredients.

What is the one beauty product you are raving about in the past few months?
La Prairie’s Sleep Mask is a game changer. Actually all La Prairie White Caviar range speaks for itself, my skin has never been in better condition.

When you have an hour all to yourself without distraction, how do you spend your time?
At a beach. The water is my grounding. The salty water and air balances my Aries fiery side. It quiets my mind and gives me clarity.

What are you most proud of in your life?
This question is a hard one, when you actually stop and reflect. I am most proud of building my DANIELLEX art business with art that pushes a lot of life’s boundaries while raising my two daughters. (Marley who is 15, and Evy Jude, 11). So many challenges are faced but I really feel proud that I am educating my daughters through more action than words. It is so important while they navigate the teen years in the over stimulated and social media platform society.

The most impactful podcast I recently listened to....
Short story long by Drama, for the entrepreneur interviews. I was also recently interviewed by the team at Dismantle, and on listening back to the chat, the outside perspective was such an eye opener for my understanding on how my art comes through me. It was very impactful to say the least!

Who is your favourite artist?
Too many to choose from for a range of reasons, Yves Klein, Richard Prince, CJ Hendry, Picasso and more recently Stanislas Piechaczek.

What influences, people, places or otherwise, have shaped who you are today?
Experiences are my greatest influence. What I feel, think, see, do are the elements that are the starting points for my art and art photography. Travel shapes you; relationships challenge you, sliding doors moments create you. Influence is a dance between your dark and light sides. It’s a matter of embracing as opposed to resisting.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
To understand that my gifts are in my differences. My strength, fire and depth of nature. And that it is ok to love hard, because I truly believe not all of us in this lifetime get to experience raw, intuitive, intense, lost in the moment, intoxicating love. Too many of us are scared of this type of connection and instead conform to what society says is the normal process.

Where do you go for inspiration?

From the above moments! Inspiration comes from an emotive place. These feelings have shape, colour, and composition. It is an intangible language that transports to the canvas or camera.

What is one change you have recently made in your life to help our planet and environment?
I recently changed my takeaway coffee cup to a porcelain keep cup from LivedIn Coogee. My ritual coffee routine drinking from the same white cup now travels with me to work.

What is one change you would like to make to help contribute to a better, more sustainable way of living?
There has to be more awareness around sustainability in the fashion industry. Wearing garments and accessories that have a storytelling element and have been sourced and created with sustainability in mind has to be the future. We don’t need much in this lifetime. My key pieces stand the test of time and provide as talking points for years down the track. This is something that Clinch Belts does so well. We need more brands like this one.

"The support from new and existing clients as well as my fellow creative community has really shown that stay apart has really brought us all together in these strange times. I just hope we don’t lose that incredible lesson we have all just learned."

The change in 2020 I would like to see... 
Less smoke and mirrors and more authenticity on social platforms. And to look up and see we are all connected!

How are you staying creative during this period of isolation?
It was very interesting to read over my answers to this questionnaire pre COVID-19 and the last answer really stopped me. “Look up and see we are all connected.” I suppose this has literally taken on a whole new meaning. This unprecedented time has seen me really dive deep into my insecurities and vulnerabilities when all you know is suddenly shifted. I have taken the creative pivot and found a new depth of what I have been creating. The paints are out and the creative chaos is alive and well. I have read and walked and taken time to watch and feel the people around me which always leads to new perspectives in art.

What are you doing to look after yourself and your family during this time?
My husband and I have a beach walk and coffee ritual. These morning moments do really help with keeping some type of routine to days. We have been WFH and home schooling so fitness and mindset for all of us is paramount during this time.

How has your work been affected by COVID-19?
I believe we have all been affected in some way or another. The support from new and existing clients as well as my fellow creative community has really shown that stay apart has really brought us all together in these strange times. I just hope we don’t lose that incredible lesson we have all just learned.