Kirsty 165x135cm‘Progress not Perfection’ project is set to raise awareness of addiction, pass on the positive message that change is possible and help to challenge the stigma and judgements that come with addiction.

‘Progress not Perfection’ covers a group of people from diverse backgrounds who dealt with various addictions (alcohol, drugs, food, sex, love, work, shopping, gambling… ). The context of each final painting is based on the series of interviews help with each participant. The process starts with sketches dan live studies of participants as they share their experience of addiction and recovery. This change often leads to a profound experience that creates new values in their lives.

The expressive character of the painting juxtaposed with clean ‘peaceful’ linework, relates to the fluctuating emotions of the subjects that are often accompanied by anxiety and depression. Personal narratives of the participants appear within the painting. The honesty and transparency about their past is captured with bold bright colours that don’t shy away from the attention. The subtleties of each portrait allow the viewer to contribute to the final experience and connect and relate in their own individual way.

As the viewer begins the journey to get to know each participant, he or she begins to explore addiction as a coping and adaptation mechanism and see that one can change.

Among the subjects are celebrities Gok Wan, Jeff Leach, Kevin Dooley, Tony Kelly of Red Card Charity. The exhibition is also being held in support of Beat, a charity that helps people affected by eating disorders, for which Daniela has been chosen as their Selected Artist for 2015.



Addiction is an illness and should be treated as one. It is a state characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences.

Whether a shopping addiction or chemical addiction, addiction of any sort still takes a huge toll on the individual, their close ones, and society in general. In order to fuel their addictions, addicts go into debt, commit crimes and sometimes require emergency hospitalization. Their daily existence is afflicted by the isolation, loneliness and other psychological and physical side effects.

As we begin to see addiction as a coping and adaptation mechanism in the pressurized world we may begin to see addicts in a cleared and more empathetic light.

The project enables her to complete the full study of each participant starting with research, interviews, sketching and then creating a final large scale piece. The process has equal importance to the final portrait. Images below are examples of the studies as well as large scale paintings. The solo exhibition took place from 15th October – 1st November 2015 in Notting Hill, London.