Daniel grew up in Birmingham. He became interested in art during high school, when a mentor introduced him to block printing. Afterwards he began the undergraduate architecture program at Auburn University, where he participated in the Rural Studio outreach in Greensboro, AL. Architecture sparked an interest in spatial studies and design concepts, but he became aware of an increasing urge to work more hands-on. 

Mid-program, Brickman withdrew and switched his focus to art. He began a sculpture program at Indiana University of PA. The program included a semester abroad at The University of Zagreb Academy of Art in Croatia. After returning and completing a BFA, he decided to spend a couple of years in Zagreb. There, he maintained a studio and exhibited around the area. After his return to the US, he moved to California and earned an MFA from UC Davis. 

Brickman lives and works in the Bay Area in California. His current body of work uses rope, polyester resin, jute, sawdust, paper, and various pigments. His practice is rooted in the world of sculpture, but also has two-dimensional concerns. Conceptual interests include the micro/macro, ideas of organization, relation of part to whole, and patterns of growth. His studio work is supplemented by an interest in gardening.