This month’s Blogger of the Month feature is slightly different as I interview blogger turned PR and magazine director, Daniel Dunt, whose inspirational story is one that should definitely be told.
This month: Daniel Dunt
I met Daniel at the launch of ELA London‘s boutique store in Knightsbridge where he was in charge of PR for the brand. Daniel was very welcoming and easy to chat to as he showed us around the boutique. As we got talking, I found him more and more interesting. He spoke about his career so far, starting out as a fashion blogger and moving towards PR and magazines and I realised I could learn a lot from him.
At just 14 years old, Daniel began blogging which soon led him to cover shows at London Fashion Week every season. Through this he met designers, brand representatives and PR agents who he kept in contact with. His knack for building professional relationships meant that he had a vast network of contacts in the industry.
One brand that he featured on his blog several times was Estela Balan, a Mexican womenswear label. The designer, Diana Martinez, knew Daniel very well and decided to ask him whether he’d like to try his hand at some PR for the company. Ambitious and driven as he was, Daniel took the role at the young age of 16 and managed to secure various editorial features and blog collaborations for them. On the back of this success, he started to look into PR as a career path.
From there, everything moved pretty quickly and he established PR agency, Caption, for independent and emerging designers. He also turned back to his previous passion for blogging and created Art Blog Daily where he posts a piece of contemporary art from an emerging artist every day.
But Daniel’s talents do not stop there. Along with his journey down the PR route he also launched, Tallulah Magazine, a print-only contemporary art publication. The first volume was released in November 2015 and the second in May 2016. The magazine is stocked in around 40 stores worldwide and is expected to grow further with the addition of a supplement magazine scheduled to be released this November.
At just 20 years old, Daniel has achieved an incredible amount of success through his hard work and natural talent. He currently works full-time at Daniel Dunt PR and Tallulah Magazine as well as being the Brand Manager for unisex label, James Hock.
Meet Daniel Dunt
How would your friends describe you in three words?
Hardworking, supportive and helpful (according to Lauren O).
When did your love for contemporary art begin?
From around Year 9 (14-years-old) in school, I was loosely interested in contemporary art and, consequently, studied Art & Design at GCSE. My interest then grew as I was introduced to the likes of Robert Rauschenberg and Salvador Dali, and discovered Grayson Perry, who’s still one of my favourites.
What do you feel led to the rise and success of Art Blog Daily?
I think we all have much less time available when surfing the net for personal interest, so being able to glance at a website for a minute or so and take something away from that experience is admirable. With Art Blog Daily, you can discover a new, emerging contemporary artist in ten seconds if you like, so it’s an interesting tool and point of reference for those creative individuals with little time on their hands.
What is the concept behind your magazine?
Tallulah is an archetype – an idealism. I created a character and everything Tallulah embodies reflects the interests of Tallulah and her personality. When curating each volume, I think about the fictional character of Tallulah and select artwork and literature, amongst other things, based on that personality. The magazine covers contemporary art, with a focus on emerging artists, predominately, however it also touches on literature, art news, furniture, architecture and even fashion in places.
What one piece of advice do you wish you had known before starting a magazine?
A better understanding of the printing and distribution process would have been beneficial, as that’s been the most stressful aspect of publishing Tallulah. It’s all about trial and error, it seems.
Who are your favourite creatives?
This is a tough one! Art-wise, I really admire the work of contemporary figures such as Grayson Perry and Polly Morgan. From a more traditional viewpoint, I love Robert Rauschenberg for his pop art and Salvador Dali for surrealism.
Fashion-wise, it’s difficult to choose favourites as I’m quite disappointed by the state of the industry at the moment and what’s being purchased by the different stores and influencers, and consequently being labelled as “good”. Some emerging favourites include Ukrainian conceptual wear brand, DZHUS (founded by Irina Dzhus), and of course the work of James Hock, but then I’m biased on that one due to my involvement with the brand.
Most interesting exhibition you’ve seen so far?
I was in Toronto last year and caught the J.M.W. Turner exhibition at the Art Gallery of Toronto, which is still a favourite. Seeing the paintings and their detail up close is like nothing I’ve seen before.
Favourite London spot?
I’m not a massive fan of London as somewhere to chill out (I was born and raised in the countryside and I still prefer it to the city), however I do enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch. Alternatively, The World’s End in Camden is a great pub and Camden Market’s falafel wraps and salads are delicious!
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?
I’d love to visit Kotor in Montenegro. I’m considering a trip later in the year as it looks beautiful!
You’re clearly a very hardworking man. How do you keep yourself motivated?
I used to be a workaholic, and I still am in a way. However, I definitely have a better work-life balance than I used to. Art Blog Daily and Tallulah are more creative projects than work, so they keep me excited and motivated. I read or watch a lot of films, too. Escapism keeps you sane. Knowing when to take a break and run away for a weekend helps, too, as you always come back to reality with a different perspective.
How do you like to unwind?
I love to read, watch films and travel. Ian McEwan is my favourite author, and Lars von Trier my favourite film director and screenwriter. Although, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia (1999) is still my all-time favourite film. I love to travel, too. Last year, I ventured to the Netherlands, Norway, Italy and Canada, which were all beautiful, inspiring and relaxing. I love music, too – Kate Bush is everything.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Tie-dye. It’s so hipster and uncool, but I’ve become obsessed.
Defining moment of your career so far?
The three months I spent in Kiev, Ukraine, at the end of 2013 did a lot for me, for both my career and personal growth. I developed a lot during that time and it’s something I still think about a lot and have taken a lot away from. Seeing press features I’ve secured, such as Eight Hour Studio in ELLE Denmark, Ksenia Schnaider’s accessories on Lady Gaga and The Gents Pack in Gay Times Magazine, have all been great moments, too!
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single piece of advice that has stayed with me. However, my brother, Adam, is one of the biggest driving forces in my career in that he gives me advice and feedback on an almost daily basis, so any success is, without doubt, at least 50% him.
If you liked this post, check out: Blogger Of The Month: Sylvia Sparkles
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