Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Dinah Atarah Yisrael

by Bree Garcia


DY: Growing up, I was taught that in order to become a great artist I had to go to college, take out a million dollar student loan, and somehow with all those loan payments (plus interest) make a living and pursue an art career. I realize now that you don’t have to go to school to become a great artist, all you have to do is be dedicated to work.

Take Vincent Van Gough, though his paintings were not famous in his lifetime he painted EVER SINGLE DAY.. Within that time frame he created almost 900 paintings and learned lessons from every single one. Even, Jean Michel Basquiat who was homeless (living in Central Park), at one point did nothing but pursue artistic talents. I aspire to be a living example of dedication & will to not only artists but my family, and the world.


SAHC: Can you give us a brief description of your creative process? What is your preferred medium and style?

DY: When I begin a piece I look through the mass library of pictures I have collected from the internet, books, or magazines. From there I will put on some type of instrumental music and begin several rough drafts before I begin the final piece. I learned this last year after being mentored by Chris Daubert from Sacramento City Collge. It was gruesome at first, but once I understood the reasoning; behind it was a valuable lesson. I primarily prefer to draw black & white with micron or radiograph pens with a hint of color, but I use oil paints as well.


SAHC: As a Sacramento artist what responsibilities do you believe that you have to the local and the global community?

DY: I feel the need to visually communicate for those who don’t have a voice. Since the dawn of language which started out as pictures on a wall; we have used various forms of art to tell stories. After all, a picture is a thousand words.


SAHC: What advice do you have for emerging artists, or those pursuing a career in the arts?

DY: My advice is to:
1. Practice – This will help you build your skill no matter the medium. Work on specific topics such as line, shape, space, etc. Use online resources like Google,, or art books to aid in your research. I personally favor books they are easily adjustable to use when painting and that delightful book smell!

2. Ask for Feedback – Primarily from someone in the arts like a teacher, student, or an artist (who works with your medium). It’s good to see your art from another perspective or a fresh pair of eyes. This way you can get advice on how to improve your work.

3. Advertise Your Work – We are in the internet age where there are millions of websites that you can advertise your work for free. Use sites like Facebook, Deviant Art, Art Finder, or events like The Sketchbook Project to get your out there. You could even send out a mass email to galleries with pictures of your work attached.

SAHC: Who are some of your favorite Sacramento Artists, and why?

DY: I would have to say Milton 510 Bowens, because he channels a lot from another of my favorite artist Jean Michel Basquiat. The difference is that his work is more composed, fresh, and everything flows together. Not only that, I love the use of primary colors in his work! I don’t particularly enjoy primary colors, but somehow he pulls them off.   Then he throws black & white to the mix without throwing the rest of the color palette off, Amazing! His techniques are flawless and his messages are inspiring and thought provoking…a wonderful combination for an artist!


SAHC: Where are some of your favorite Art/ Art History resources found?

DY: My favorite sites for inspiration would have to be,, and of course in the drawing / art sections.


SAHC: Is there anything else about the arts here in Sacramento that you would like share with our reader?

DY: Despite the talk of Sacramento’s dwindling art scene, there are many art events and spaces that you can go to either broadcast your work or get inspired. For instance, Fox & Goose holds a monthly event called Drink & Draw, where artists get together mingle, and well drink and draw. I met a few of my closest art friends there when I was just starting out. I know that the Sacramento Art History Consortium has done their share by providing the public with news about art in their blog.  The growing art scene on Broadway with Evolve the Gallery, 40 Acres Gallery, and The Brickhouse Gallery have become some great things for artists and art lovers in the community.


SAHC: Where can your work be viewed, or found online?

DY: My work can be found on either, or