At this point in my life, visualizing and creating photography that represents my interpretation of this crazy and beautiful world comes as second nature. What is challenging for me now, is how to convey to you who I am, why I choose expressing myself through photography and how my journey has shaped so much of my artistic expression.
I am from Pag, a beautiful island in Croatia. I was born on November 5th 1988.
At the age of 6 years I took my father’s suitcase, packed it with my favorite outfits and snacks and wrote a letter to my parents that I was unhappy, and I was leaving to go on a mission to find my happiness.
Obviously being 6, I didn’t make it very far before my father found me. He didn’t scold me for leaving, he wasn’t mad, in fact he didn’t say anything at all. He just put me on the back of his motorcycle pointed to a place on his map and we were off! It was this moment when I fell In love with traveling.
I was not an easy child. I was raised on a small Island where I felt like I was suffocating. There was no room to explore or be creative. My country was at war, I was confused, angry and aggressive towards everyone. I spent my time on the streets fighting and bullying others. I was unhappy.
If you follow my work, you see that I mention street fight consistently. This is because it taught me my first life lesson. That no matter what, I was not going to give up, I was going to keep going no matter what, without fear. I would fight to find my happiness.
When I was 15 I went in to high school in Rijeka, a city 2 hours by boat from my island.
Some teenagers might be afraid to leave their home, their comfort, what they know. However, for me it felt like I had spent the last 15 years crawling through a dark tunnel and now I finally found the light! I had found the freedom I had been fighting for.
I was what they refer to as a “problem child” and I was even more difficult as a teenager. I got kicked out of school after two years because I bullied everyone and anyone.
I was still lost.
But I had found something in Rijeka. Street art. The port city was full of artists. I fell completely in love with all of it and it remains one of my favorite places.
I somehow managed to complete my secondary schooling back in Pag. After, I was desperate to get back out into the world, out of the dark tunnel I found myself in again. I decided I would move to Zagreb. It was there where I discovered my creativity.
I attended an Italian school of fashion and design and got my certification as an Independent Interior Design Specialist as well as a degree in photography from the National Academy of Education and Culture.
When I had an outlet to express myself, I was able to quiet my demons. I began to appreciate the importance of remaining calm. I was hungry now. Hungry to explore. I wanted more.
I lived in Parma (Italy), London (England) and Bilbao (Spain), trying to find my place in this world.
Each place taught me something, each place I learned more about myself. I spent about 10 years going back and forth to Pag. I’ve always felt connected to my island, it’s my home and I will always love it but whenever I returned the feeling of suffocation also returned.
I packed my bag and bought a one-way ticket to New York City and never looked back.
I fell completely in love with this city as soon as I stepped foot in it. This city feeds the hungry and the creative. I found my home. It is here where I learned another life lesson. Patience.
New York teaches you its lessons on the street. You must be a fighter if you want to make it here because you are in a sea of people trying just as hard as you to get where they feel like they need to be. Everyone’s hungry. There’s a song lyric that goes “when your live in a city of Diamonds it’s hard to shine but if you live under a rock it’s hard to climb.” Like a diamond, I will take all the pressure this city can throw at me and I will be coming out shining.
The last ten years I have worked on a variety of projects ranging from fashion shows, interior design, architecture, photography for night club events, wedding, yoga studio teachers and practitioners.
The project I am most proud of is my collaboration with UNICEF in the summer of 2018. I was filming the protest of children getting separated from their parents at the Mexico border. It was that day that I realized that I enjoyed telling stories of our culture through photographs. The streets are teaching us… are your eyes open?
Dani and her team wanted to build a platform where her work could easily be accessible for purchase.
Items for purchase include furniture, posters and pictures of NYC. Dani can customize and design your office, café, apartment or restaurant.
We aim to give back! A percentage of profits will be dedicated to assisting single mothers or children with disabilities. The products will be 100% ecofriendly due to the impact the fashion industry has had on the environment.
We are looking for investors to help build this brand and platform and have a strong desire to give back to the community and are environmentally conscious.
My heart is full that you have interest in my vision, and we are thrilled to have you with us on this journey!