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September 11, 2017
Authentic: Dan McShane
Even if you haven’t met Dan McShane, if you’ve spent any time in Kennett Square you’ll know his work. His hand-drawn type, graphics, and clean lines have drawn you into businesses including Talula’s and worKS and guided you at places like The Creamery and State & Union. And if you have a recent Brewfest t-shirt, you wear one of his distinctive designs, too.
When you know what to look for, McShane says, art is everywhere—and his art, found throughout Kennett, reflects the town’s organic feel. He appreciates the artistic community here as well as those who support local artists and makers.
“My surroundings are directly responsible for developing my perception and inspiration,” McShane says, “and I feel most fulfilled in nature.” His hobbies, which include fly fishing, gardening, walking his Siberian Husky ZZ, and riding his 1978 Honda CB400, bring him into his natural habitat.
A graduate of Delaware College of Art & Design, his diverse influences include N.C. Wyeth, Dutch painter Rien Poortvliet, and printmaker Barry Moser. McShane dabbles in printmaking too, and loves its clean lines and slightly disordered process. He often looks to past decades for inspiration.
“Everything is cyclical,” he says. The first t-shirt design in his recently-launched branded merchandise company features a Norton Motorcycle-style “Keystoner” logo.
Like many freelance artists, McShane has a day job. As a corporate designer, he’s learning digital skills he can use in his own work. Nearly all his designs still start by hand, however, and line, color, texture, light, and shadow are tools he employs to evoke emotions and create connections.