How do you describe your self as an artist and the kind of work you do?
I wouldn’t describe myself as an artist. Most of my work isn’t self-initiated and I don’t have a statement to make. I’m more of a storyteller. I’ll do that with whatever I have – whether it be through film, pen and paper, even a set of crayons.
Please tell me where you work and explain what your job entails.
I surround myself by people that are more talented than I am and tell them what to do. That’s basically the job description of a director.
What other creative things are you working on?
Some stuff for Adult Swim, and I’m trying out some experimental shit. I’m actually in the process of putting together my first graphic novel based off of a script I wrote. I never intended to put together a graphic novel – but putting the story on film was too cost prohibitive so I decided fuck it I’ll just make it a comic book.
How did you get to where you are today? What has been your career path?
I started by watching music videos on MTV back when they played music videos and wanted to make some myself. I didn’t want to haul shit around on set as a PA so I taught myself Photoshop and After Effects and bullshit my way into a Madison Ave agency. There I met a future business partner who I worked with until 2004 when he started a family. So I just took the clients we made there and started freelancing on my own.
How did you figure out what you wanted to do? Did you have ‘aha’ moment?
My ‘aha’ moment came when I was introduced to experimental film by a very talented professor. That’s when everything clicked and I realized, “Well, shit I could make this.” That sort of ignited my career; and I continued for about twenty years until I became a dad. That moment was a second “aha.” I realized I wasn’t getting any younger and having a son kind of reawakened my drive to create. The worst thing about being a creative is that I feel guilty when I’m not making anything.
How did you learn to do what you do?
I just taught myself.
What is one of your favorite projects?
The Le Sexoflex music video called Twincest. It is as ridiculous as the title suggests.
How do you attract new clients and keep old clients coming back?
I’m friends with all my clients.
What do you love about the work you do?
I get to surf the web all day and call it work. It’s research and development – someone’s gotta do it.
Is there anything unexpected about the work you do? Something you didn’t know before you started on this path?
Talent only accounts for about 20% of your success. The rest is luck and who you know(in that order). Talent is great if you have it, but it will only get you so far.
Do you have any routines or rituals that help you get the creative juices flowing?
I train (muay thai) every day to clear my head. Then start with a clean slate. If I don’t get to punch something in the morning, I’ll have a shitty day.
What is your dream project?
To be left alone to do what I want with a modest budget.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by Damon Lee Garcia, my son. My attitude is inspired by Iggy Pop.
Any interesting stories about the work you’ve done or an experience you’ve had?
Yah, I have war stories…but you’ll have to buy me a drink to hear about them.
How do you define success? What has helped you to become successful?
Good question. I don’t know how I would define success, but I do know I’m not there (yet).
Any advice for someone interested in following in your chosen path and learning to do what you do?
Smile. No one wants to work with a dick.
Learn a Skill. You can’t always direct… sometimes you have to be a cog in the machine. Although I work as a “director” …my bread and butter comes from animation and graphic design.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Echoing the above, the best advice I ever received was to smile.
To learn more about Daniel Garcia and to check out his work, please go to: