In 2016 Dana was at a pivotal point in his life trying to decide what career he would spend the rest of his life pursuing. During that time he was enrolled in residential building courses and found great joy in that artform. With his natural ability of native artwork his brother believed he had a God given gift and set a plan in motion to show him the big picture of where it could take him.
The two brothers attended Santa Fe Indian Market that year. Dana realized another level of artistry he never know existed and the dream of Young Blood Artwork was born. The name "Young Blood" was to honor his maternal grandmother, the late Dothory Young, and the love of artwork she instilled in him.
Being raised on the Menominee Indian reservation in Northern Wisconsin, Dana and his siblings were immersed in woodland culture and traditions. The beliefs, values and principles that have carried him through life come from being raised on the homeland of his ancestors.
The artistic abilities he developed over the years started in the pow-wow arena with his own dance regalia. The pride of wearing something he created himself drove him to master his artistry and always pushed the limits of what was possible.
In 2011 he started to dream of wearing quillwork so he started to learn the artform. Being self-taught it was a long grueling process. Through prayer and perseverance in the fall of 2012 he finally started producing quillwork he was proud of. As his skills continued to advance one of his passions became teaching this artform. "No one should have to go through what I did to learn this art."
As Dana started his career as an Indian Market artist he's been exposed to many artforms he never thought of prior to this adventure. His eagerness to learn and expand his skills in so many areas that interested him took his focus off the gift that got him here, porcupine quillwork.
At 2018 Winter Indian Market in Santa Fe, NM he connected with a well established artist and mentor that influenced him to bring his focus back on his gift of quillwork. She said , "Young artists need to pick one art form and get really, really good at it. Master that art form." This is exactly what Dana needed to hear so his focus is back on expanding his knowledge with porcupine quills.
Dana now realizes he can learn other art forms that interest him but always find a way to incorporate porcupine quills into those pieces of art. Dana has been studying silversmithing along with the art of cutting, shaping and polishing shells and stones. Other mediums that interest him include contemporary art and installation art. He is currently enrolled in courses at Penland School of Crafts in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where he's working with instructors to bring some of his visions and dreams to life.
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