Gather round everyone! We have a new student of the month, and boy is she unique! Drawing inspiration from Frida Kahlo, and using imagery usually found in Renaissance murals or Monty Python opening credits, Daphne’s huge illustrations and animations depict whole new worlds of gods vs mortals tomfoolery. In time out of her rigorous RCA schedule, Daphne was kind enough to answer some questions for us about the inspiration and routine behind her fantastically unique illustration.
At the time of making these projects, who or what was your biggest influence?
I remember admiring Frida Kahlo’s work just before starting My Room and was particularly intrigued by the fact that most of her paintings are autobiographical. I wanted to create a piece about what was going on in my head at the time but felt a bit uncomfortable with the idea of exposing my crazy thoughts to people. Seeing Frida’s work gave me the confidence I needed.
I was also looking at old mystical images, Indian miniatures and medieval paintings because I am a big fan of naive perspective. I wasn’t looking at anything in particular when I did The Alphabet so it came straight out of my imagination!
What is the most valuable thing you have learnt at university to date?
To be brave, ambitious and have my own style. My tutors at Brighton, Jasper Goodall and Roderick Mills, really encouraged me to push my ideas further and at the same time warned me that having a different style might be a blessing and a curse in the world of freelancing. I learned so much from them and I am really grateful that I had them as teachers.
What would you be doing now if you weren’t at art school?
I would probably be an Ashtanga yoga teacher, since it’s my second favourite thing, but illustration and animation share first place. I am interested in the various Eastern techniques for stopping thought processes, and yoga is one of them. Ashtanga is a rather vigorous type of yoga, it’s a bit like a workout and a relaxation technique at the same time. So if I wasn’t in art school I would help people do headstands, splits and lotus poses.
Where are you creating most of your work?
I’ve been sharing a studio space with other creatives in Brighton, but now I’ve got a studio space at the RCA.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on an intensely fast-paced animation group project at the RCA. It involves acting out a scene, drawing it, recording the sounds for it and then creating an animatic. Part of the project is drawing storyboards in just one minute, which can be particularly challenging. I usually spend a long time on a single project so it’s been a good opportunity to practise working more quickly.