HomeTop StoriesMiniature artist Daniel Cortes finds beauty and inspiration on the streets of...

Miniature artist Daniel Cortes finds beauty and inspiration on the streets of New York City

NEW YORK — A Brooklyn man struggling with depression and other struggles discovered a unique passion that helped lead him out of darkness, and he uses the city as artistic inspiration on his path to success.

Daniel Cortes is a miniature artist who creates miniatures and dioramas of everything from mailboxes and dumpsters to sticker-covered storefronts and basketball hoops.

“When you’re going through anxiety and depression and going through so many things that your back is against the wall, you feel like the world is against you,” Cortes said.

But when he sat down to work on a piece, he says he didn’t feel the darkness he was going through.

“So I feel like God has done a great job of resetting the world, I did this for you,” he said.

His art even helped him reconnect with loved ones.

“My mom sees beautiful things like, ‘Wow, you have some talent. You should put it on Facebook,'” Cortes said. “I connected with her, like, wow, this is me and I’m going through everything I’m going through right now, I’m working on an art and I’m connecting with my mom, which is something that never happened.”

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Cortes started selling his miniatures online. His first sale was a miniature ice chest that cost $30.

“I thought that was like, what!? I got $30 for it? To make a piece in a few hours that, wow, someone paid me?” said Cortes.

He began raising his prices on more complicated pieces, and today they sell for hundreds of dollars.

“I made this yesterday. Put it on the website. Sold in 10 minutes, $2,500,” Cortes said.

Cortes draws inspiration from the streets of New York City and finds the beauty in the ordinary.

“We don’t take the time to see the beauty around us. For example, if someone is depressed, anxious and has so many things, it’s ugly for him or her… But everything portrays beauty and all that, you just have to stop and Look, look around you,” he said.

While finding success in his art is “pretty cool,” Cortes says, what he wants most of all is to be a voice that encourages others who are struggling not to give up.

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“Because I’m the proof. I’ve been there in the darkest times and I’ve come out of it. And it starts with you. Because you can manifest anything you want. And you know, this isn’t going to happen unless you take action,” said he.

For more information about Cortes and his artwork, visit dannycortesnyc.com.

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