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Danny Owens

#259 Danny Owens
(Art Student 2011-2013)

When I first walked onto campus at College of the Desert in 2011, I didn’t have a clue where I would be or what I would be doing six years later. I didn’t even know what I wanted to major in.

Nonetheless, it was those two years at COD that helped solidify my passion for the arts and the knowledge that I was going to pursue something creative and visual. It was the days in the art building with my two favorite professors, Judith Cook & Ida Forman that helped me grasp what my artistic voice was and how to put that into physical form. I dove head first into everything art related I could find at COD. From art history classes to gallery management classes, from drawing and composition to screen printing.

Towards the end of my time at COD I was awarded a scholarship through the Marks Art Center, and I can honestly say that changed my future. I used those funds to purchase my first camera and from then on photography became my passion. I immediately saw that I could tell stories and share emotion through the lens of a camera in a way that I never had before.

I used that camera to tell stories of hope in Liberia, to create work for some of my very first clients like Gap & Budweiser, and to capture portraits of the people closest to me.

I went on to transfer to the University of Washington (UW) where I majored in Communications & Arts. There I built on the knowledge I had gained at COD and continued to follow those passions I had discovered.

Throughout my time at UW, I worked as a freelance photographer. Traveling all over on my weekends, shooting for brands and clients that allowed me to express my creativity in a tangible way. Since graduation I’ve shot some of my favorite work and partnered with people that I could have only dreamed of. From shooting portraits of Rainn Wilson (the actor behind the iconic Dwight on The Office television series), to working with artists in Seattle, NYC, Portland, & Nashville, and sharing my adventures for Alaska Airlines. It’s been a wild ride since the desert.

Now, I’ve taken everything I gained through schooling and experience to a new role at Urban Outfitters HQ in Philadelphia as their Creative Content Coordinator.

You never know where life is going to lead you, but one thing I know for sure - I wouldn’t have gotten here without COD.