Daiana Oneto

Daiana Oneto (oh-net-oh) is a printmaker and multimedia designer in Kansas City, MO. Originally from Argentina, her work explores humanity's relationship to the earth from which we came and her scenes unpack the fascinating duality of this arrangement.

It all started when she won an award for drawing a giraffe in third grade. But then, doesn't every great story start that way? She tells more of her tale below. In bold are her interview questions, and beneath each is her response.

1. What do you make?

I use a range of media including drawing, painting, collage, and printmaking to make work about the human body as both a figure and a landscape. Through fragmented collage and layered mark-making, I explore themes of absence and presence, psychological strain, and the body’s relationship to the earth.

Hidden in Plain View (1 of 3), Collage on Stonehenge, 44" x 30", 2015 - Daiana Oneto

Absent Minded (left)  Trying to Refrain (right) - Daiana Oneto

2. Was there a precise moment when you realized you wanted to be an artist? If so, when?

I’ve wanted to be an artist for as long as I can remember. In my third grade art class, I made a drawing of a giraffe in front of an ice cream cone patterned background. My teacher entered it into an art exhibit at the Youth Fair, and it won an award! From there, I enrolled in art-focused magnet schools for the rest of my schooling, from Elementary - High School, and continued pursuing art in college. That giraffe drawing is what I always think of as my earliest realization that I loved making art.

3. How did you come into contact with what you do?

I first discovered printmaking in an elective in high school, and I went on to major in it at the Kansas City Art Institute. Printmaking is very process-oriented, and requires a lot of discipline and problem-solving. At the same time, it is incredibly experimental and can yield surprising results. I really enjoy this intuitive way of working. Ideas of layering and repetition continue to influence my current studio practice, even if I’m not making actual prints.

Mind of Waves, CitraSolve transfer on Rives BFK, 2012 - Daiana Oneto

4. Does Kansas City have what it takes to encourage creativity?

Definitely. There are so many artistic people here and the art scene is very accessible. There are communal studio spaces for all kinds of makers, print shops, galleries, museums, collectives, artist grants, new murals popping up every day… art and creativity is everywhere in Kansas City.

5. How do the local people and surroundings play a role in your art?

I am fortunate to spend a lot of time in the Crossroads Arts District. My job involves meeting many artists on a daily basis and speaking with them about their projects, often helping them come up with creative solutions. I am constantly inspired by what people are doing and by their passion for making. When I see great work being made locally, it motivates me to work in my studio.

6. What kind of morning routines do you have?

Honestly, mornings are always a blur. I hit snooze too often, and then rush to my day job. The evenings are much more productive for me. I love unwinding after a long day of work by swirling watercolor onto paper, experimenting with different types of mark-making techniques. I later revisit these patterns and turn them into collages.

7. Name one thing to change and one thing to keep in Kansas City.

I would love to get rid of the extreme weather changes. It seems like it’s only either freezing cold or extremely hot here. I’d keep the small-town feel. I grew up in Miami, so I really appreciate how much space there is in Kansas City, and how the city is small enough to not be intimidating.

8. How do you stay creative?

I stay creative by playing with new mediums/materials and reminding myself that not everything has to be a masterpiece. I have entered a new, looser stage of my practice that has been a lot of fun.

9. What makes you proud?

I feel proud by doing good, hard work and knowing that I gave my all.

10. What's next?

Next is continuing to make work and to move into a more professional realm with my art practice. I am excited to push the boundaries within my work and get more involved in the arts community in Kansas City.

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