Sophomore Daci Funaro channels her inherent artistry in unconventional art forms

“Art is a sense of peace for me because it’s a type of beauty,” said sophomore Daci Funaro. “The art that I create I can take pride in; it’s just a safe thing for me.”

As an intrinsically creative person, Daci has always turned to art. In middle school, when faced with emotional turmoil, Daci attempted to pick up traditional art forms to cope.

“In middle school, I was new, and it was hard because I switched schools,” Daci said. “I was in a really bad place, so I was just trying to find an outlet. I tried drawing; I tried writing. It didn’t always do much.”

What finally clicked for Daci, however, was an art form that was anything but traditional.

“While a lot of people do it on paper, I do it on my face,” Daci said.

Indeed, after stumbling upon an Instagram page, Daci discovered the art of essentially painting one’s face and body. But it wasn’t just the medium that intrigued Daci, but the Instagram artist’s approach as well.

“I saw this girl,” Daci said, “and I was really confused, like why is she [painting her face and body]? Then I noticed how she was doing it to a song, and I had never thought of it that way. I thought that it’d be cool to try to channel all that sadness I was going through into something kind of beautiful.”

The allure of such a unique methodology drew Daci in, and she has been developing her prowess for it ever since. Daci mirrored what she saw on Instagram and produced pieces inspired by specific songs. However, the tether between her art and music runs deeper than conventional inspiration. 

“Basically, when I listen to music, I feel things,” Daci said. “For me, there’s always undertones to music. Like there’s the lyrics, but then there’s also a type of vibe to it. This sounds weird, but I feel like a color can go with a song. Sometimes I associate my feelings and colors with music when I hear it, so then I’ll get color scheme ideas or something like that. I just associate those colors with the actual emotions of a song that I’m feeling, which are like the undertones of it.”

All of Daci’s pieces originate from a single song, ranging from radio hits to niche indie tracks. Whatever the genre, all that matters is that Daci is able to extract emotion and meaning from the song.

“I have to do things that are meaningful– meaningful to me, at least,” Daci said. “I don’t want to do something like Lil Pump. His music isn’t really meaningful. Like I did one to Logic because he raps about equality and stuff like that, which I really like.”

No doubt, Daci has certainly found a talent in body art. Nevertheless, Daci’s artistic streak doesn’t end here. More specifically, her affinity for music extends past visual art.

“I’ve always been into music,” Daci said. “I play the ukulele. I played the bass [guitar], but it was kind of boring. So I stopped doing that. I taught myself the ukulele, so I’m going to teach myself how to play the acoustic guitar and then hopefully piano. And those are all things I actually plan to fulfill and follow through with.”

Moreover, Daci has always enjoyed listening to a wide variety of music, from classic rock to country to pop. Undoubtedly, Daci has a deep love for music, one that began long ago. 

“I was raised to appreciate music,” Daci said. “When I was growing up, there would constantly be music playing in the house like classical music. I feel like that helped [to develop my music taste] because that opened my eyes to a bunch of different genres that I like now because once I listened to classical, I started to move along the music timeline. I got into jazz, then obviously I always heard pop on the radio because that’s what everyone hears. I feel like that just opened me up to the idea of liking different genres of music.”

Beyond musical interest, Daci’s upbringing has also influenced her athletic endeavors.

“My mom did crew in all of her high school years, and it sounded fun to me,” Daci said. “I ended up being a coxswain freshman year.”

As such, crew helped create a much more positive school experience than middle school.

“Freshman year was when I started coming out of that dark place that I was in in eighth grade,” Daci said. “Then I got to make tons of more friends in crew. The atmosphere of it- besides dying and sweating on ergs- like the teammates and stuff [is really positive]. It’s really comforting to be able to have a team that cares about one another.”

Because of the light crew brings to her life, Daci is eager to continue crew throughout the rest of her high school career. Although crew has certainly been positive in connecting Daci with friends and teaching her the rewards of hard work, art is still her greatest outlet and passion. While she is unsure of career prospects, body art has and will assuredly continue to play a gratifying and fulfilling role in Daci’s life. 

“I don’t know if it’s possible to make a career out of [body art],” Daci said. “But I’m definitely going to continue it because it’s something that helps me and is therapeutic. I like to see [improvement]. Even now- I mean eighth grade wasn’t that far away- but the growth I’ve seen– I like to see that in myself.”