Instagram: @daministro_

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

My name is Damayanti, but people call me Dami. I’m a 27-year-old Dutch illustrator and UX designer. When I was very young my family moved to southern Spain, where I grew up and lived until I was 19. I currently reside in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

Right now my style is colorful and bold, I use a lot of textures and patterns, I love playing around with shading and grain. When I draw my portraits I always try to convey a little bit of emotion, whether it be nostalgia or a feeling of power and attitude. 

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

As a child, I used to love drawing anytime I could. So I grew up with a pretty traditional medium, pencil and paper. I remember my hand used to get absolutely smeared with charcoal from the pencil! Although pencil and paper have their own kind of magic, I still prefer digital illustration. Although using my iPad does change the way I create, there’s a world full of endless possibilities at the tip of my Apple pencil. Being able to work in layers, try out endless color combinations and experiment with different textures with no consequences suits the way I create.

4. What is your artistic process like?

I get a sort of flash image in my head of something I want to create. I just start sketching out the idea I have as fast as I can before it disappears. Then when I have my sketch or outline I get to work on the layers and colors. Sometimes I draw a portrait in one sitting of around 4 hours, sometimes I take a break for multiple days and come back to it. I always need to have background noise when I work, a podcast or a TV show is fine. I rarely listen to music lately, which is weird. 

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

Photography plays a big role in my creations. Seeing different colors, light and shadow, gradients in the sky tends to really inspire me. I love when really well-done portrait photography shows all the highlights and shadows of the subject’s face. Other aspects of design, like interior or fashion design can inspire me a lot too. Walks in nature do wonders, too!

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

I’m a very visual person. In my mind I’m always breaking things I see down into colors, light and shade, different shapes, textures… It happens involuntarily. I can be waiting for a train and see the shadows of leaves on the wall and become super inspired to draw. 

7. Where did you study?

I originally studied Graphic Design when I was living in Spain. Here we had a short look at illustration. Then I did a bachelor’s degree in Amsterdam called Communication, Multimedia and Design, which is much more focused on User Experience design. During this period I began digitally illustrating for my projects. This soon turned into illustrating in my free time. 

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I will still be doing commercial illustration work as I am now, but hopefully at a larger scale! I’m working towards hopefully licensing my greeting card designs to a few companies. I really want to have my own studio and work together with companies on projects like stationary designs, packaging and other marketing materials. 

9. What about in ten?

At some point, I would love to take on a teaching role, in the form of workshops, for example. I want to continue creating work and collaborating with big brands. 

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

The meaning behind my artist name, Daministro, comes from the latin word ‘ministro’, which means ‘to serve’. I always intend to be of service and add value to others with my work, in whatever way that may be. Selfishly though, I just want to be able to illustrate forever and to have fun with it. I made sure early on my livelihood needs to come from a place of passion. As long as that remains the case I’m happy. 

11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

Sushi all day every day. 

12. Favourite book?

It’s been a while since I’ve read this, but the entire R.L Stine Goosebumps series used to be my jam growing up. 

13. Favourite genre of music? 

I can’t really pick a favourite, but jazz has always had my heart. However, drum and bass, hip hop, chill hop/lo-fi are all welcome now and again. 

14. What are your hobbies? 

Photography and filming! I also really enjoy going out for long bike rides and exploring random little towns with my boyfriend. I also really enjoy cleaning (yes, as in housekeeping). 

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

There are so many professions I would love to be in. A perfume creator, or create my own wine (I have a pretty acute sense of smell!) Maybe I would have my own cleaning company. I have always wondered what working as a detective would be like since I’m interested in true crime, but I jump to conclusions pretty quickly so I don’t think I’d solve any cases.