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LMM Magazine

Artist Spotlight: Creative and Spiritual Exploration With Dana Manly Art

by Little Miss Muffin Staff 12 Jul 2023

dana manly art artist spotlight

When spiritual inspiration can take shape in the physical through the creative process and the heart and hands of an artist, works of art are born that can more deeply move and connect us to otherwise seemingly untouchable concepts.

From reconnecting with passed on loved ones to exploring the divine presence in our day-to-day lives, Dana Manly Art brings the ethereal aspects of our human experience back into focus through mixed media creations.

"I have a very personal intimate experience with the creative process itself," said artist Dana Manly. "That process requires me to be quiet, to tend to my inner life and outer life, and to curate what comes into my life and what I make of my experiences." 

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Art has long been a passion and outlet of creative expression for Dana. What was once a cherished hobby has steadily become the primary driver of her daily life and work, in service to her own creative muses as well as those who would welcome her artwork into their own homes and lives.

"It's been a journey of the last three years of owning, managing, growing, and expanding, what I love to do into a successful business, and that's been transformational to the business," said Dana. "So I've had to learn how to take my artwork, appreciate the intrinsic value of each piece and also to consider how to present it to the world and still keep the authenticity of my pieces."

"I put as much attention into my pieces and the structure and integrity of the pieces as I do in creating the structure of the business," Dana continued. "And that's been the most enlightening experience these past three years."

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Inspiration for many of Dana's creative works stems from honoring the memories of passed on loved ones. In doing so, her work can also help others to artistically commemorate and remain connected to their own loved ones.

"My grandmother who passed before Katrina, she said to me, 'No matter where I am, I'll be watching over you.'" said Dana. "And so, there's a book called The Gift of the Red Bird, it's really about the visitation of loved ones coming in a different form or just the reminder of them."

"And so that symbol of the Red Bird has been a success, and the butterflies have been a success," said Dana. "Mostly because they give people hope and comfort in their connection to loved ones who have passed — that they feel near, they feel their closeness."

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dana manly art mary canvas
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The experience of the inspiration and creation of her art allows Dana to feel more open and connected to her spiritual nature as her visions take form as tangible, material works.

"I try to prepare to be open to that when I come to the canvas or whatever it is that I'm working on," said Dana. "And then I follow that for my colors, for my brushstrokes, for the various materials that I use."

"My overall idea about where we are as a world right now is it's important to just bring light, to just do the work and bring light, whatever that is — that goodness, to bring hope," said Dana. "For people to look at pieces and bring them into their home, it helps them connect with this world that sometimes we're just oblivious to, in that it's ever-present. This underlying thread to our world, the undercurrent."

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The partnership between Dana Manly Art and Little Miss Muffin, between Dana and Little Miss Muffin owner Monique Duclaux, has been rooted in this same spiritual and creative endeavor, celebrating both beauty and business through their work together.

"We're mutual artists and kindred spirits, as well as in relationship as business owners," said Dana. "We both share a love of the creative process and staying attuned to what appeals to the market and maintaining integrity in the product."

"What collectors are buying is just as important, it affects both of us in terms of what they buy or what I create," Dana continued. "And so we work together to assure that the collectors are getting the pieces that they want. What they're seeking, they're finding. Or what they're seeking, it's finding them."

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