Danny Stephens Artist Bio


I was raised in the greater Memphis, Tennessee area, spending most of my formative years in Mississippi. Although I was studying art, my focus was on playing football. I left Mississippi State in 2009, leaving my football days behind me to go out on a soul guided quest for who I was outside of the southern bred expectations of sports and other family pressures.


I found myself in Utah working seasonal jobs in the ski industry, and it’s there that I felt the urge to finish my art teaching degree, this time with a burning passion and curiosity to take it more seriously. Art has been a part of my life as long as I can remember, but I didn’t consider a life of being a full-time artist until my senior year of getting my degree to teach. Even then, my plan was to move to Portland, Oregon to get some experience in community art education and then get my masters degree. But in Portland I was introduced to visionary art, live painting, and the music festival art world. It’s there where I learned that the preconceived idea about the lonely starving artist was flawed. I found an army of world changing visionaries co-creating in extremely fun environments while selling art. I was hooked.


This new life livened me with a fire for community, a vision of a better world, and plenty of ideas of how to play a role in anchoring that new world here. I became a full-time artist at the beginning of 2018 after the birth of my daughter forced me to prove to myself that I really had the faith and determination to walk the path I felt I needed to. Through the waters of these unknowns, I was able to come up with a pretty broad approach to living a creative life. I kept my studio and live painting practice, teach private lessons as needed, and found a love for curation and building creative community.


That love for creative community led to the inception of The Haven, an Art and Healing center in central eastside Portland with studios, a gallery, an event space, and an assortment of other elements of the psychedelic renaissance like assisted therapies, healing arts, massage, Kambo, and Reiki. Along with a cohort of other warriors, our aim is to provide the same transformative experiences of festival culture to the residents of the urban environment who may not be privileged enough to experience a festival. We are building a supportive co-creative experiment where the community and healing is prioritized over the art.. which leads to more creation as a byproduct.


As for why I make art, I truly don’t know. These are just the things I feel guided to do at the moment. I hope to always remain open to how spirit needs to move through me. Until that changes I will be here, with my friends making paintings, each a particular dive into a curiosity, hoping that they will point the viewer into their own inner guidance so they can be the catalyst for change they are destined to be.