daph 1
Daphne wears Salomon XT-4 (Fire Red)

Our city series highlights great people and business’s in our community that inspire us.


For our second installment we connected with multidisciplinary artist Daphne Sweet. After living in Southern California and Montana, she has now settled in Denver creating powerful art capturing the essence of femininity in her oil painting and airbrush work. We spoke to Daphne about her artistic practice, identity and Denver as a home base.



First, for those who may not know you and your work…. Who are you?

Daphne Sweet, multimedia artist, but mostly focusing on painting and drawing and the intermingling between those two mediums. I grew up in southern California, and cut my teeth in Montana, currently here in Denver CO. I have a rabbit named Rodeo, and am soon to be married to my long time partner and artistic collaborator.



How would you describe your creative process?

 Ha, well, like most artists I think attempting to describe that is always a difficult one, but I guess I'd start with colored pencil, or oil pastel, I love a quick line, actually I just love line work in general. So yes I start drawing, usually nothing specific, I generally use the visual vocabulary I have developed so it's easy for me to just start and see what happens between picking up a brush and finishing a piece. Sometimes it's a song lyric or a color combination or a vague feeling that kinda pushes where the work goes. Recently I have been letting little narratives between the other works communicate beyond the individual canvases. I have been really excited by the use of pattern and how creating the all over pattern then reducing and finding the form within that pattern, almost like the pattern is mimicking spirit and then the physical form is the form I draw on top and create this boundary that the pattern lives within. 


Daphne wears NN07 Keanu 8232 Leather Pants in Black


Why continue your practice in Denver, CO?


Denver really is such a beautiful place, snow, sunlight, graffiti, and culture. I had my first solo art show, maybe 4 years ago at Alto Gallery. My partner and I trekked down huge canvas works from Montana, and it felt like a pilgrimage to Denver. I felt instantly welcomed into the art scene, I feel like Denver really is unique in the art scene, with its welcoming nature and no gatekeeping. To be an artist here feels like it's not a race to be the most famous or have the most, it's more about the community impact and the ability to keep making. I know it sounds cliche but it truly is such a special scene of artists here. 



Do you feel like living in Colorado has affected your practice?

Since moving here in August, I have honestly had a lot of growing pains. So I have felt a full spectrum of emotions, but if anything being here has helped me grow and really challenge my perspective of what being an artist is; and the sunny winter has been an absolute treat. The only specific example of what being here has done in regards to imagery in my work is that of shadows! The shadows here are incredible! This amount of sunlight creates such saturated shadows, and so much contrast in everything. 

Also all the graffiti has really let me see some new vivid color combinations, and I definitely think that has infiltrated my work in some aspect. 



Spray paint and airbrush plays a role in your art. Could you explain why you chose those mediums?


Spray paint is such a powerful tool, I love the immediacy of spray paint or airbrush. Lately I have been using way more airbrush than usual, it’s probably the fastest way to get a line down. It also removes my hand just enough to be a little looser then if I was drawing. 



In an age of digital art, do you feel that the traditional art medium (meaning paintings) is still essential, and why?

So I also work with digital mediums, digital drawing and animation are tools I often use. But I feel like to actually use paint is to love the medium for what it is, paint! In an age where everything can be printed, fabricated, AI created, I believe those are all still valid types of creating, but there really isn't any substitute for pushing paint around on a surface. The closest I feel to digital work when I am not specifically working in the digital realm is with the airbrush, it’s that speed and uniform quality of line and shading that feels digital. 



What are you currently working on, and what are you looking forward to in the near future?


Currently I have been dancing around the themes of heaven in my work, or maybe the ideals of what people perceive has heaven. I have been “god curious” for a few years now, venturing into the ideas of heaven without specifically having an opinion on it, vaguely playing with themes of angels, vessels, animal heaven, and the materiality of heaven. But also I have been scrapping the google search auto questions about heaven, and it's just fascinating to me to read some of these questions, like 

“ Are there jobs in heaven?

A; yes 

 Can animals go to heaven?

A; yes

 What will our bodies look like?

A; your body but the IDEAL heavenly version like a glorious angel filter’

I haven't quite developed an opinion on any of this, but I have explored theses themes with my piece “Good Girls Go to Heaven” and “Hinged to Forgetfulness”, in these I started with an all over pattern and began reducing it to a recognizable shape, IE an angel or vase, and using a very glossy opaque black around these forms. I’m hoping to come to a conversation about death and life with a touch of humor. 






Written by: Daphne Sweet and Nile Watts

Photography: Brendan MacLeod

Styling: Remi Sweeny
Models: Daphne Sweet
February 23, 2023