Instagram: @danieliev
Website: www.lifeisanillusion.com

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

I was born and raised in Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia. If you ask me, I believe the culture of your country, whether you are aware of it or not, influences the way you see the world. And like almost all Latin American nations, Colombia is a developing country. In this transition where there is a bizarre mix of chaos and yearning for progress, I see an opportunity to develop a very good sensitivity, you learn to build messages that anyone in the world can understand because your point of view comes from the middle of all circumstances.

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2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

The beauty of any art, in my opinion, resides in not showing everything, if life itself is so explicit and grotesque at times and yet so enigmatic, you can simplify it by being subtle if you can represent death without a dead person you realize that there is a splendid range of nuances in meanings. Especially in visual arts where color, position, context, size, and many more variables build different meanings. It’s overwhelming and beautiful.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I’m basically pure digital nowadays. I did major in Graphic Design and Advertisement some years ago, and by that time I learned analogous illustration techniques, but over time I realized I was better in digital, faster and smoother. I guess it’s just a matter of taste and adaption.

4. What is your artistic process like?

As many others have stated, there are two major parts of the artistic process, specifically in the case of making an editorial illustration. One it’s the conceptual part, which is the brainstorming phase, the other one is the physical part, where you create the image by giving it a body. In my case I usually use way more energy in the first part, maybe it takes less time but it sure requires more concentration. This process of giving birth to an idea it’s so weird though, sometimes it can appear smoothly when I’m having a beer with a friend, sometimes I have to take a two-hour idle walk and sometimes I just have to stop thinking about it to let it come. The making part, it’s easier, I just follow the techniques I’ve developed over time. Off course there is surprise and accidents, and these more meaning sometimes.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

I might have a large list of artists and illustrators that have influenced my work directly. However, I would like to answer this question with something I’ve been thinking lately. It’s music. I think that music is the greatest art, all other arts have to have music in them, whatever notion of rhythm, storytelling, silence, and order. I would like to say how much the work of Sufjan Stevens has molded my way of seeing the world lately. The same with Yann Tiersen, Sigur Rós and Bon Iver. Not to mention Philip Glass, Mogwai and Caspian.

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

I think that for every artist, life itself it’s the raw material for inspiration. No need to go to other place because there is no other place. There is no real division between your work life and your other life, say personal, civil, political and so over. And that is the way it should be because sometimes we forget the wonder of it all by just following a set of instructions we aren’t fully aware we’ve been following since the beginning of our life. Intrinsically, we don’t leave on a program, we leave in enigma and uncertainty, we make our way throughout the awe of discovery and knowledge, which is always changing. I always try to look some time to sit on whatever bench outside and contemplate my place in the world.

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7. Where did you study?

Jorge Tadeo University in Bogotá. Major in Graphic Design and Advertising.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope to do the same. Having more clients, and more published work. I am also starting a path of comic writing, and it’s been really awesome. I will be publishing my really first graphic novel this year!

9. What about in ten?

Hahaha, the same as well! Maybe having more books published, who knows, a wonderful wife, no kids. I love kids, well, some of them, but I guess this is the life I got to nourish the kid I have in me.

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

I just want to make people think and rediscover their emotions. Just like I do. If more people, the better. But this might be confusing. As I work to open my eyes, I prefer captivating the eyes of a small but valuable group of people than reaching a much more bigger number without having a message that really makes a difference. I try not to confuse myself with numbers.

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

Difficult question. There is some food here called Ajiaco, it’s a barbaric soup that mixes chicken, sweet potato, corn, and rice. It sounds awful, it tastes great.

12. Favourite book?

Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Life is just a set of beautiful archetypes, it all repeats itself differently each time.

13. Favourite genre of music?

Post-Rock. It’s like the extasis of rock music blended with the contemplation of classical symphonies.

14. What are your hobbies?

I love having strange conversations, making strange questions to normal people. God, that might sound annoying, I hope I’m not. I like to do some weird videos just like that character in American Beauty film. I have one similar to the plastic bag one, but mine is of a curtain on an apartment. Oh, it’s so beautiful. Having family time is essential for my health. Friends make the weight of the world better to carry. At the beginning of this year, I saw on Instagram some kind of weird cool self-balancing board called onewheel. I thought that having one might change my lifestyle and allow me to experience my city from another pint of view. Well, it has. I’m now a onewheel rider with a city explorer soul. It’s just amazing to ride this thing. Great invention.

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

Philosopher. But in the true meaning of the word’ I think I try to be one already.

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