19 June 2020

Meet the Artists – Daniela Terrazzini

Posted in: Artists, Artworks news, Children's books, Design, Editorial, Illustration, Meet the artist, Packaging, Painting, Publishing

Daniela Terrazzini’s work features bold, contemporary takes on classical styles; working across a variety of mediums, from watercolour and inks to digital design and collage mixed media. Central to her illustrations though is a clear dedication to draughtsmanship and a quiet, haunting quality that emerges from Daniela’s delicate line and muted colours.

Often featuring ethereal characters and elements, Daniela’s technique emphasises a dreamlike quality, with botanical motifs ever-present in her wistful images. She is equally comfortable creating images for book covers and editorial clients as well as creating graphic surface patterns and icons for branding. Her extensive talents have been employed by clients like Waitrose, Bottlegreen and Penguin Random House.

We spoke to Daniela about her least favourite part of work, This American Life and her interest in the human psyche…

Where do you live?

In South East London.

Where is your studio located?

The Bussey Building in Peckham.

Can you describe your creative process?

The first thing I do at the beginning of every job is a lot of visual research. I then take a deep breath and put the pencil on paper. This is, interestingly, my least favourite part of my work… Probably something to do with the fear of the blank page! Once the initial rough is approved my very favourite part can take place: the painting stage. This is mostly done on paper with watercolour or ink. But depending on the style and job requirement it can then be completed digitally.

What does a typical working day look like?

It starts with a cup of coffee and something sweet to eat whilst reading some non job related thing. I think you call that procrastination. Then depending on the stage I’m at with a particular commission, it can involve a mix of visual research and drawing or highly concentrated, intensely long, stretches of painting. Lots of podcasts and audiobooks and endless cups of tea.

Do you listen to music or the radio whilst you work? If so, what’s on your playlist?

This totally depends on what the task at hand is. I need silence during the “thinking” stage, when I need to start a drawing, or a painting and need to visualise and consider my direction. Once that is established and I’m happy with where it’s going then I can listen to music and/or words. I listen to a lot of vintage music; folk, swing, rock & roll and bluegrass. And lots of podcasts. This American Life is my absolute favourite podcast. I would have any of their producers over for dinner if I could!

How long have you been with the Artworks for?

Since the beginning of my career as an illustrator… about 15 years now.

What drew you to Artworks?

They have a great eye, a focused and keen dedication to their artists, but most important of all a very human approach to the business. I’m very lucky to be represented by them.

What books or programmes did you love as a child? Have they influenced your work in any way?

We didn’t actually read much in my family and the only visual influence I am aware of that dates back to my childhood is the book Faeries by Lee and Froud.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be instead?

When I was growing up I had no idea one could draw for a living. And my interest then was to study psychology and become a therapist. I’m still keenly interested in understanding the human psyche but I’m glad I pursued drawing instead. I think it makes me happier than being a therapist would have.

What was the most important lesson you learned at Art School, if you went!

I studied fine art painting, and I would say the most valuable lesson I learnt was to think of painting as a personal journey of self discovery, expression and evolution. I think of my painting style as a visual equivalent of my handwriting… particular to me, when I manage to be true to myself, and ever evolving.

What inspires you the most to create?

Other creatives.

Name three artists that you admire.

A little hard to just choose three but I would say Lisbeth Zwerger, Gabrielle Vincent and Edmund Dulac.

What kind of commissions do you enjoy the most?

A variety of them… Some publishing ones I love because I find the story terribly evocative and resonant and because they will hopefully bring pleasure and inspiration to some children. Some design ones I love because I find them less emotionally demanding and I love losing myself in their aesthetic maze.

What would your dream commission be?

One that is either poignant or fun, that results in work I’m extremely proud of through a balance of great creative freedom and team work with a brilliant editor or creative director, and where I get paid well! Is that too much to ask?

Do you have any pets? If so, what and what are they called?

I have 2 lovely cats, Rosie and Ashi. But there is definitely a dog shaped empty space in my house!

What 5 things could you not live without?

My son; meaningful and positive relationships in all shapes and forms; a beautiful, bright and calm space to call my own; tea and cake; hot summers.

What is your very favourite meal?

A tasty one that’s been cooked for me by someone else.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

What is “spare time”? The rare times I get any… catching up with friends, sewing, watching movies, lying in the sun under some trees.

What is your current dream travel destination?

I’d love to explore Central America.

To see more of Daniela’s beautiful illustrations, click here.