With danielle hutchens

Welcome to Living Well — our bi-weekly spotlight on different women that we admire and find fascinating. Our goal is to share an intimate peek into these women’s lives by asking them the questions that allow them to open up about their imperfect truth, whatever that may be. 

Danielle has been participating in WLW since we first opened. I’ve loved getting to know her as she participated in workshops and then as she started to lead them. She’s a true artist, creating in alllllll the different ways, prolific and talented and a warm, constant contributor to the Topanga community. I watched as she took over Open Studios of Topanga, a longstanding Topanga tradition and expanded it while making it fresh and modern. She designed the branding of the new Topanga Farmers Market and knocked if out of the park which I know will contribute to the success of the market here. She’s lead our block printing workshops and now is leading The Artists Way Group and I’m so happy for us to all benefit from her casually cool expertise and talent for teaching. I’m happy that we’ll all get to know Danielle a little more here in how she goes about living her good life.

Xx, Jaimi

If you've done the Values Deck exercise, what are your top five values? Tell us how one of them manifests in your life. What is a decision you’ve made using it to guide you?

Love, Freedom, Playfulness, Connection, Tranquility. I notice connection shows up whenever I slow down. I start to hear more sounds in nature, which lets me hear myself better and my needs better. Which then usually points me toward play or love.

What does a life well-lived look like?

Connection with nature, limited screen time, lots of sunshine and green. Harmonious relationships and spaces. Creative expression and curiosity. A balance of input and output. Listening. Learning something new. Laughing a lot.

My version of success is…

Going to bed early after a day spent enjoying myself, making myself better or someone else's day better. Choosing to follow joy or play and have it result in fulfilling creative work and inspiring experiences.

In what way are you seeking to grow right now?

I seek to grow into more childlike curiosity and exploration. To get more comfortable with failing and falling and trying again. This year especially I am trying to avoid the often celebrated hustle energy and slow down and play as much as possible. My silly grandma embodied this well.

What is one way that you are different today than you were ten years ago?

10 years ago I didn't honor my needs to be alone and recharge. I think I mistook my sensitivity as moodiness in the past. Now I prioritize taking space between group times and cherish that sensitivity. I reduce social commitments and have friendships and relationships that allow for mutual flexibility and space where needed.

Setting aside modesty for a moment, what are you excellent at?

I'm good at reflecting back to others their gifts and getting them stoked about their own passionate pursuit. I am excellent at sensing a mood in a room or an unspoken feeling that needs space to be held. I am also pretty good at taking the last few things in the fridge and making a meal out of it.

Whose life perspective and way of moving through the world teaches you something about who + how you want to be?

Cats and Dogs. Dogs are so loving and curious and forgiving. I admire that levity in living so much. I also admire how cats are not people pleasers. They are totally in their sureness of self-worth and don't care what you think of them.


"Be Here Now" via Ram Dass is always an anchoring mantra for me.

Can you share a book, podcast, or article that changed you in some way?

Essentialism by Greg McKeown, In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, and Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed influenced how I work, look at food, communicate, and make decisions.

What are you grateful for today?

My safe home, my loving relationships, the sun being present, blossoms on the fruit trees.

Danielle is a painter and ceramicist focusing on a sustainable practice using natural materials. She would be excited to work with more interior designers and boutique hotels or gathering spaces where art inspires connection and evokes conversation. Her local ceramic studio will be expanding for classes in the Canyon later in 2024. Connect with her on Instagram.



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