Instagram: @daniela_spoto_

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

I’m from Nuoro, (Italy) and I moved to Germany in 2010. I lived in Berlin for 6 years: once there I understood that I wanted to be an Illustrator. In those 6 crazy years, I’ve known a lot of artists, I’ve started to exhibit my illustrations and to collaborate with Spanish and German publishers. I live in Dusseldorf right now.

ikea room with a cat

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

Time after time my aesthetic has slowly changed, along with my work. I think that It’s influenced from some elements such: my art studies at the Academy of fine arts ( I love art history ); the contemporary visual background we are surrounded by everyday (there are trends in art and illustration and we tend to absorb them, consciously or not); nature, especially flowers and plants; patterns and textiles, that I constantly research among fashion magazines and medieval art.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I have two favourite media, actually. My illustrations are either mixed media on paper (watercolours, pen, pencils, acrylics) or digital (photoshop). I enjoy both of them! I choose the medium depending on what kind of project should I work on: I usually prefer traditional media for lyric illustrations, illustration inspired from literature. I prefer to draw with photoshop for illustration about everyday life. I don’t know why it’s like a natural division in my mind.

4. What is your artistic process like?

When I start to work on a new project, I draw a lot of sketches to find the right idea and the right composition. What’s happens? To whom? When? How? Where? I consider all these elements trying to not show all of them, to not be too obvious. Saying something without saying everything. After that, I research the right colors and then the right patterns for every single detail. It’s like doing a puzzle!

5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

My work is inspired by a lot of elements: I love art history, literature (most classic literature), something I saw or heard walking in the street, a weird dream, a forgotten note that I suddenly found on my desk, in a word: everything. I often hide references of my childhood memories in my illustrations. Little pieces of everything get mixed in my head.

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

I don’t know if it’s correct to say (only) that Art is an important part of my life: actually, art and life are the same thing. I think that for artists is impossible to divide them. We make art because we have to. Impulse, instinct, need, I don’t know how to call it. It’s part of my life, like eating or sleeping. The idea of “Art” is complicated to define and different for every artist. Art gives us the key to see the world from many point of views.

romantic dinner

7. Where did you study?

I have always drawn and when the time to choose a high school came, I wanted to attend an art high school but my parents said: “first fill your head, then you can draw as much as you want”. I ended up studying literature and foreign languages at high school (Latin, French, English, Spanish, Italian literature, history, history of art, philosophy etc.). At the time I hated it. Only many years later I understood that the more you know, the more possibilities you have. I can read texts in English, French, German, Spanish and of course Italian: the authors and publishers I work with are really happy about that and it’s amazing to read the original words of a writer.

After high school, I studied Painting at the Academy of fine art and then I moved to Germany. When I realize that I wanted to become an illustrator, I started to buy tons of children’s book/picture books, read illustration blogs, websites, forums from professional illustrators. I also attended some illustration workshops.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I moved to Dusseldorf not long time ago and I feel new in the city yet. I wish in five years to learn this city better and have the opportunity to get in touch with all the amazing artists that live here!

9. What about in ten?

Wow, ten years is a lot of time. I really can’t say. But maybe the place doesn’t really matter. What matters to me it’s more “how” I’ll be changing in ten years. I hope to become more confident about myself and my work. I agreed to what someone said once: “Once you accept yourself, you belong everywhere”.

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

I’d really like to illustrate and publish a lot of beautiful books in many languages and to improve my drawing skills.


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

I know that’s sound a cliché’ since I’m Italian, but my absolute favourite food is Pizza!

12. Favourite book?

I can’t choose only one book as my favourite one, there are a lot of amazing books out there! One of the books I love is “Oblomov”, by Gončarov.

13. Favourite genre of music?

Same here, it’s hard for me to choose only one favourite genre of music. When I was young(er) I used to listen to a lot of rock, hard rock, punk and new wave music. In Berlin, I got to know and love the best techno and electro music. Now in addition to these genres, I like jazz, swing, 80’s pop and music too.

14. What are your hobbies?

I wish I could say “I love to cook!” but no, unfortunately, I don’t. I enjoy reading manga and watching anime; collecting picture books, especially old books: I gladly spend hours in flea markets, looking around for second-hand books. My favourite are the books with still have annotations of the previous owners.

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

A long time ago I thought (for about 10 minutes) to study psychology. But most probably I would be a kindergarten teacher: I really have fun with children!

fishesnight song