Artist Spotlight: Danny DiCola

This year’s line up for the LeucadiART Walk is nothing short of impressive. On August 27, Hwy 101 will be lined with artists from all disciplines – but with one thing in common: a deep connection to our community. One such artist is Danny DiCola. Read on to learn how growing up in Leucadia has shaped him into the artist he is today.

photo by: Dana Shaw

How did you first get into art?

Being born and raised in Leucadia, I began surfing and skateboarding at a very young age. In my opinion those two activities are not a sport, but a form of art. The terrain is the canvas and your vessel is the paintbrush, etc. For my daily journal entries at Paul Ecke Central Elementary School I would draw pictures of waves, sea life and people surfing/skateboarding. After high school I pursued my skateboarding career, world traveling with my sponsors. For no particular reason, I collected many of my used and broken skateboards along the way. I hadn’t really started to focus on art until my late 20s after I was diagnosed with a chronic auto-immune disease called Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I dusted off my old skateboard decks and started to make surfboard fins. I realized the inner beauty of the colored maple veneers hidden within the skateboard decks that would otherwise end up in a landfill. From there I stated sculpting skateboards experimentally. Some of my work is secretly a representation of what MS does to the human body. A process called demyelination. 

How has your work evolved since you first started?

I worked alongside local fine artist, Alicia Dunn. We became good friends and would collaborate on projects for her clients. Her being an abstract expressionist and me being a woodworker, we learned a lot from each other’s different styles. That helped me evolve from an experimental craftsman into more of a fine artist.

photo by: Dana Shaw

What inspires your art?

The Ocean. The sea has shaped me into the person I am today. The Ocean is responsible for creating surfing, surfers created skateboarding and now I make surfboard fins out of skateboards to go back into the Ocean. I try to mimic waves and ocean landscapes into my artwork. I have designed furniture to resemble a pelican in flight. I owe a lot to the ocean. Please remember pick up your trash!

What are your favorite pieces to create?

I really enjoy sculpting. All of my skate wood sculptures are free-formed with no guarantee of how each piece will turnout. So when a piece comes to life before your eyes it’s a great thrill. 

photo by: Dana Shaw

In your eyes, what role does art play in building community?

I think that local artists create an identity for the community. Constantly being inspired by our surroundings, we express those inspirations through different styles and mediums. If you go to a community out east you will find a different identity with art to resemble beauty in the mountains, desert landscapes and Native American culture.

photo by: Rejay Solares

What does being part of LeucadiART Walk mean to you as a member of our community?

I am honored to be able to show my work and ideas with our community alongside such talented humans with so much passion for the Arts. It’s actually quite humbling… to the point where I feel that I don’t belong or that I am not worthy, haha. But this is where I’m from and where I belong. A part of the community, in this paradise called Leucadia.


Come check out Danny’s art at the Roadside Park on Sunday, August 27th during this year’s LeucadiART Walk.

About Eunique Deeann

Content Creator + Experience Maker. Creative Founder and voice of On a mission to dissolve the line between adventure and the daily grind through inspiring outdoor connections. I write content that inspires action centered around travel, the outdoors, people, branding, food + booze and conscious consumerism. Sometimes I write about love . Currently: Leucadia, CA