VANCOUVERITES: Six Minutes With “The Jealous Curator” Founder Danielle Krysa

by Michelle Sproule | So what if she never learned to ride a skateboard. Danielle Krysa has a BFA in Visual Arts, a post-grad diploma in design, has worked as a designer and Creative Director, has created a seriously popular blog called The Jealous Curator, writes for other seriously popular blogs, curates shows, runs art workshops all over North America, and is a mother, a wife and a dog owner.

In February of 2009, after years of looking at beautiful contemporary art and thinking “Damn, I wish I thought of that”, she finally decided to say it out loud, and The Jealous Curator was born. She writes a daily post about emerging and established contemporary artists that make her jealous (in a good way, of course!).

Three things about Steveston that make you want to live there: I love a) being on the water, b) that there are a ridiculous amount of ice cream shops and fish n’chips places to choose from, and c) my favourite coffee shop (Rocanini) where I sit and write every single day. Seriously…every day. I think they might give me my own desk in the back.

Name the thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating? CHIPS! Old Dutch Au Gratin chips. Always and forever.

Default drink/cocktail of choice? A one shot soy latte, and if you want to add a bit of Bailey’s, that would be ok with me.

Best Vancouver place or event to be inspired by emerging artistic talent: Easy. The Cheaper Show. So much fun, and so much amazing art!

Last art show that really blew you away: In Vancouver: Monument(al) at East Van Studios featuring Sarah Gee/Jessica Bell/Aaron Moran. Elsewhere: Matthew Craven at Gallery Hijinks in San Francisco.

What trend have you followed that you now regret?  When I was 14 I so badly wanted to be a skater chick. I wore ‘OP’ shorts (remember ‘Ocean Pacific’?!) that were way too big for me, shaved my hair on one side and left the other side long, and carried a skateboard with me wherever I went. Yes, I said carry. I had no idea how to ride it.

The dumbest thing that you’ve ever done to your hair? See the previous answer. Oh, and Sun-In, circa 1986.

What are the three things you’d like to change about Vancouver? Well, I’d like it to be warm in May, June and July. Is that too much to ask?

If you could board a plane this afternoon, where would it be taking you? Paris. No, New York…oh, or Bali. Hmm, maybe I’ll need an around the world ticket.

Your go to, no-frills place for dinner? Gudrun in Steveston. Simple, very cool setting, and amazing food! Nothin’ like cheese fondue and a cold beer on a Friday night.

The three books that you read that made an impact on you in your formative years? Well, “Are you there God, it’s me Margaret” was pretty impactful when I was 10. The book that literally changed my life was ‘The Artist’s Way’. I only read it a few years ago. I was at a major crossroads with my own art work and with life in general, I guess. I cried so many times during the 12 weeks that I read the book/did the weekly tasks, but I came out on the other side a different person. So many people have that book on their shelf but haven’t read it. They should just pick it up and do it…tears and all.

What is the best way to get to know a neighborhood? I love sitting at cafes and people-watching. I do that when I travel too. I like to blend in and not look like a tourist. My husband and I have a long standing tradition of playing a game we invented called “director-not-a-director” – basically we stare at passers by and decide if they look like they have what it takes to be a movie director, or not.

Where was the last place you traveled to for work or pleasure? I just got back from Portland (which I absolutely loved!), and I am literally on a plane right now on my way to Minneapolis to do one of my Girl Crush art workshops. Up next, Philly in October. I guess you could put these trips under work and pleasure, but more pleasure!

What is your biggest phobia? Snakes. Oh my word…snakes.

Where did you go to school? University of Victoria for my BFA, and then Sheridan College to do my design degree.

Who are you jealous of this week? Ha! Yes, it does change weekly. Let’s see…a few of my faves would be Wayne WhiteMartha RichAlyson Fox. Oh, and a new one added to that list, Maria Aparicio…I love her embroidery work!

Shoe of choice? Lowrise converse, or a nice little ballet flat.

The different career path that you could have gone on? I always wanted to audition for SNL. If I had a do over, I wouldn’t be such a chicken!

Your ancestry? Scottish and French.

Your three favourite films? Don’t judge me, but I could literally watch Sixteen Candles and Dirty Dancing every day. And for my third choice, any Wes Anderson film. You could take any still from any one of his movies, frame it, and hang it on your wall. Gorgeous.

Favourite pizza? Cheese…with extra cheese.

What’s the one thing you can’t leave an art supply store without? Neon red acrylic paint.

Your most regrettable purchase ever? A used, white, ragtop Miata. I had it when I lived in Toronto. Let’s just say that a ragtop, no covered parking, and the blizzard of ’99 just don’t mix.

If you could curate your dream show – no restrictions of ANY kind – what would it look like? So many possibilities! Well, I’ve actually been lucky enough to hang two of my dream shows, with a third going up in February 2013. I think the ultimate dream show would be an installation ode to Margaret Kilgallen. Her work is amazing – I can’t even imagine what she’d be doing now if she hadn’t died so young.

Where would your dream show beGeorges Pompideau Center in Paris.

What three art related Vancouver events should everyone mark on their calendars right now? The Cheaper Show, Hot One Inch Action, a painting class with Zoe Pawlak. I hear she supplies beer!

A local artist to watch? Ben Skinner. Love him and his work. He’s already successful, but I predict that he’s going to be HUGE!

Favourite way to get your hands dirty? Painting and gardening. Different kinds of dirt, but both of them make me unbelievably happy.

The relatively normal piece of clothing that you believe you’d look the most ridiculous in? A straw fidora. That is a look that I cannot pull off.

The talent that you wish you possessed? I wish I could sew really, really well. I can’t.

What are you listening to as you answer these questions? The hum of an airplane, and two kids in front of me complaining that they didn’t get enough peanuts.

What sport did you give up and why? I stopped figure skating when I was 12 (I started at 4). It was clear that I wasn’t an Olympic hopeful, so my parents pulled the plug.

What is the game that you’re best at? Cranium – the board game. I ROCK at that game! Yes, that was a challenge.

If you had a motto, what would it be? “Efficiency inspired by laziness.” I hate doing things more than once. People think I’m super organized, but the truth is, I’m just too lazy to do something twice.

Scariest situation you’ve ever been in? Coming face to face with an angry mama bear on a hiking trail in Quebec. She was really mad, and I was really scared.

Your favourite word? Plethora. I like how it kinda just rolls off the tongue.

Your least favourite word? Worm. When said over and over and over again. Worm worm worm worm worm.

Your favourite curse word? Am I allowed to say that? Well, I’ve always enjoyed a well placed “fuck” in the middle of a sentence. It really drives your point home.

Three things of no monetary value that you own and will keep dearly until you die? 1. A locket that my grandfather gave to my grandmother when they were dating. It was issued by the Canadian Airforce during WWII for pilots to give to their “girls” – it’s a heart shaped locket with wings on either side. It’s so cheaply made, but there’s a photo of both of them inside, and an engraving on the back. It’s the most romantic little thing ever. 2. A drawing I did, of a bird in a tiny tree, when I was 4. My dad framed it and I was so proud of myself. It’s hanging in my house right now actually. 3. My son’s first pair of baby socks…so small! I’m not sure why I need to keep tiny socks forever, but I know that I will.

The one place that you have the least interest in ever visiting? Jail.

The first three things that you do every morning? Put up my post for the day, let the dogs out to pee, find the shortest/most direct route to coffee.

Describe your favourite photograph: I have a photo of my grandmother sitting at the beach with her best friend. It was the weekend she met my grandfather. I just love how young, beautiful, and rebellious she looks.


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