Here we are with a new interview for our Story Telling section. Today we introduce you a young creative and amazing illustrator: Danijela Dobrich.
She was born in Croatia, but spends most of her life in Stockholm to end up in London, particularly in the area of Shoreditch, has always been the fulcrum of creativity and innovation in London. She’s talented, funny, and above all creates her works by mixing different materials and techniques…You can’t not love her!
When did you start working at your projects? Could you tell me more about your education, your experiences and your background?
I’m a freelance illustrator based in London. I was born in Croatia and moved with my family to Stockholm, Sweden when I was five years old.
I’ve been drawing since I was a kid; my dad worked as an art director so we would usually sit and draw together. After finishing high school I traveled for a bit before moving to the UK to study at London College of Communication, graduating with a BA in Graphic & Media Design. Since then I’ve been freelancing from my small studio in Shoreditch, East London. I mostly do illustrations for magazines or design companies.
Your portraits are so emotional. What do you want comunicate with them?
Whenever I’m out somewhere I tend to notice those people with facial features that are a bit different and perhaps unique; a pointy nose, long chin, wide eyes or a gap in their teeth. All those specifics of a face interest me and when I draw portraits or characters I usually exaggerate those certain features to make them more noticeable to the viewer. I guess I want to bring out and show those faces that are original and a bit different. When I draw the body of a character I usually make the legs shorter, the feet smaller and heads bigger; to make it more interesting and less perfect.
I like your way of mix colour with the characteristic of faces, do you think London could be a sort of inspiration and influence on your work? How is working as illustrator in London? Could you tell me more about your personal experience?
Being a city so rich in culture and tradition makes London a great source of inspiration. The city has so many areas and they are all very different and fun to explore. East London varies a lot from west, or north from south, and no matter how long you’ve lived here there’s always new places to discover and more things to learn. I love the fact that I can go from one area to another and experience several cultures in one day! Every new corner I’ve explored has been a huge influence on my work. I live in a very creative part of London where I am surrounded by art galleries, independent design shops, flea markets and lots of great restaurants that serve food from all corners of the world. This brings a lot of different people to the area which makes it a fun and inspirational place to be in.
I find it that people in London tend to be very friendly and open which means it’s easy to meet other creatives and end up working on fun projects together. Being able to easily make new contacts and start new collaborations makes it an exciting place to work in as an illustrator.
Are you inspired by someone or something in particular?
I guess as with most artists and illustrators, everything in my surrounding inspires me. Even though England tends to be my home these days, I have lived most of my life in Sweden and still have family and relatives in Croatia. Even though I draw inspiration from all these countries, I would probably say that my work is mostly influenced by the Scandinavian culture and its visual aesthetics. I guess you could say that I’m a bit of a hoarder, collecting all kinds of things including a great deal of books, vintage photographs and magazines. Browsing through these gives me a lot of inspiration for new ideas and projects. I usually go through my box of photographs before drawing a new character. The work of other artsits such as Jockum Nordström, Miroslav Sasek, Tove Jansson, Marcel Dzama and film directors Wes Anderson and Jean-Luc Godard also inspires me a great deal. I am very interested in film and the way a story is built up and developed for the screen. That is something I would like to work on in the future, creating sets and imaginative worlds for film productions.
Which techniques do you prefer? And why?
I prefer drawing with pencil and using various papers and fabrics for the backgrounds or for the character’s outfits. I love working with collage as it gives the character or image more texture and depth. Sometimes I feel the image can feel a bit too flat when everything is created on the computer. Also, using old fabrics and patterns can give the whole image a bit of a vintage look which I like. I enjoy building small sets using various materials, something I would like to incorporate more into my work.
What are your plans for the future? Are you planning some new exhibitions?
I’m hoping to work on more projects where I get to create interiors, decorate sets and make props as well as illustrations. It would be really exciting to one day have the chance to include my characters and collage work in a film production. At the moment I’m planning another collaboration with Fika restaurant where we want to combine art and food as we did for the “Wes Kingdom” exhibition last year. It was a really fun project to work on and turned out to be quite a success so we’re hoping to once again create something that people will enjoy.