Daniel Smith, one of America's foremost wildlife artists, enjoys wide acclaim for his conservation stamp artwork. After winning the first Minnesota Pheasant Stamp Competition in 1983, Smith, who had been working as a commercial artist, was able to begin painting full time. The detail and scientific accuracy of Smith's work quickly brought him attention. His talent caught the eyes of organizations such as the National Geographic Society, who commissioned him to paint five color plates for The Field Guide to the Birds of North America, and the prestigious Birds in Art exhibition sponsored by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. His reputation for excellence has made him a favorite of collectors of original paintings as well.
Smith won the 1988-89 Federal Duck Stamp Competition and was named Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year in 1988. He was also the artist of the 1991 Texas Waterfowl Stamp. Smith, a native of Minnesota who now resides in Montana, considers his selection as the artist for the 1991 Minnesota Duck Stamp a feather in his "duck stamp bonnet."
Smith's concerns, however, extend beyond his artwork. Environmental issues have become increasingly significant to Smith, who has used his art to endorse and aid many conservation efforts. He believes in the need for a global policy regarding the world's natural resources. Smith says, "The ever increasing demands of mankind are taxing our natural ecosystems as never before. If action is not taken soon, we may well be faced with a global crisis that is irreversible."
Smith's global prominence in the world of wildlife art has afforded him the honor of creating the original artwork for several international programs. In 1989, he created the image for Australia's First of Nation Duck Stamp, which helped raise funds for the Australian Wetlands Conservation Project. Smith is also the creator of the United Kingdom's 1991 First of Nation Duck Stamp, a benefit for The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, which was founded by the late Sir Peter Scott. Smith was also selected as the artist for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's 1991 Conservation Stamp and Print program. In 1996, Smith was inducted into the U.S. Art Hall of Fame, and he was named "Artist of the Year" at the 1997 Florida Wildlife Art Expo.