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Daniel Schrempf's Portfolio



Let me make you something.

If you're asking the question: "How much do you charge?" my answer will be, "probably more than you're willing to spend." I hope that comes across the right way. 

I didn't go down the road of fine arts to make a ton of money; I did it so we could build something no one else has quite seen yet. So let's start out on the right foot. Ask me the right question which is, "I have an idea, can you help me get there?"


  • Masters of Fine Arts - Documentary Media - Photography (in progress)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts - New Media
  • Graphic Designers of Canada Member
  • U of L - Gold Medal Award in Fine Arts Nominee
  • 2016 Roloff Beny Foundation Photography Prize Recipient
  • 2015 AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize Finalist
  • High School Valedictorian + Student Council President

Long Form

(There is only one book I've started that I haven't finished. Despite being the worst piece of writing I've ever come across, the remaining fourteen unfinished chapters still nag me, six years later. I grew up being told to put things away when I was done with them, and I never found a convincing reason why I should do otherwise. I haven’t gotten into coding, but I think it would be a great fit. If there's anything that I know how to do, it's to make sure my brackets are closed.

So naturally, my work follows the same rule book. My need to complete may be compulsive, but I don’t feel that it’s an affliction. As much as I feel the need to finish what I start, I've learned to leverage it for my own benefit. I found out that I thrive on risk and stress, and that I usually surprise myself.

I developed an understanding of delayed gratification early, and hung on to the point where it very nearly turned into asceticism. Once I figured out the principle, I unconsciously turned it into a game. I realized that my best work has been fueled on only the most essential amount of time, sleep, or – annoyingly – financial margin. I came across a poem by Bukowski that refuses to leave me: "if you’re going to create you’re going to create… air and light and time and space have nothingto do with it and don’t create anything except maybe a longer life to find newexcuses for."[1]But instead of focussing on creating regardless of the situation, I ended up manufacturing restrictive circumstances. Finding the strength of a limited supply became the focus of my practice, and it was this thinking that drew me to photography.

There is a wonderful, intrinsic efficiency to photography. Take a photo of someone and from that point on it onlyincreases in value. Look back at it in an hour and it brings back the feelings of the day; look back at it in a month and it brings on early stages of nostalgia; look back at it in a year and it might bring you to tears. You aren’t mining anything either. It’s often said that you take a picture, but the moment doesn’t result in a net loss. It’s the closest thing to cheating the second law of thermodynamics; the subject of the photo remains the same, and yet something new emerges. You can’t create anything more valuable with anything less than you can with a photograph.

But the personal stunting wasn't the end in itself, injecting a healthy amount of stress was merely the scaffolding. This framework is still present in my work as a way to produce the maximum amount I'm capable of. Not only for the reasons I explained above, but because through this process I’ve discovered that I can surprise myself. I enjoy empty hands knowing that in a week's, or month's, or year's time, I will be holding something I've never seen before. This addiction has gotten to the point where I feel an intense responsibility for my ideas; an obligation to make real everything I have the misfortune to imagine. And while it does feel unfortunate– like biking around a corner to find a hill you weren't aware of – I've trained myself to focus on the exhilarating feeling of the downhill slope instead.

I hope this isn't just for my own sake. If I am remembered for only one thing, I hope it would be for being a deft communicator. I make the work I do not just for the sake of tying up loose ends, closing all my brackets, or compartmentalizing life in my head: it is ultimately so I can put it on public display, to communicate an idea as clearly as possible, to better understand someone else. In that statement right there, that’s when I feel the term “artist” adheres most strongly to my life and work.)

[1] CharlesBukowski, The Last Night of the EarthPoems (New York, NY: Ecco, 2002). 58.

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