Daniella Germain – INTERVIEW

Australian Illustrator and creative Daniella Germain holds a talent that will reach the world and make people smile, it holds such beauty and such sincerity. Because Daniella lives in Australia, I have not yet met her in person but I stumbled upon her delightful blog i bought a pair of Camper boots and now i am broke, which Daniella started when she wanted to illustrate all her purchases and keep track of her spending … love that concept!

Daniella started drawing when she was very young and her years of experience has most definitely made her the brilliant illustrator she is today. That and the fact that I belive she has a natural eye for drawing and creating. I am so happy to have met her and getting to know her is such a blessing. You might remember my post about the bird stamp I received from her a few weeks back? Well now is your chance to find out more behind the beautiful work that Daniella does.

Daniella’s work is featured in many places, including Frankie Issue 41,  The Design Files and you might have read about her in the South African Marie Claire magazine? There is no doubt that you have seen her work somewhere along the way or read about her new book.

My Abuela’s Table is a cookbook which Daniella wrote and illustrated. The content is magical with recipes inspired by her mexican grandmother and illustrations done by herself.  If you would like a copy (yes please!) you can buy it here.

Daniella has her shop, One Black Sheep  where you will find her hand-made stamps and illustration pieces. All items are simply gorgeous! I am honoured to interview Daniella  and find out how it all started and what inspires her. Read on …

How old are you? When did you start illustrating? I’m 34 years old, but a kid at heart! I started illustrating when I was old enough to hold a pencil in my hand. I used to write my own stories and illustrate them when I was 10 years old, but it took me another 20 years before I decided that I could do something serious with illustrating. 

Do you do this as a living? And if not, what do you do? Yes! But only just recently. I studied psychology straight out of school and spent a long time in behaviour research. I bit the bullet when I turned 30, heading back to uni to study communication design. And now I am doing what I love – drawing for a living! 

What is a normal day like for you? I work from home and for myself, so sometimes I have slow starts to the day! But I’m usually at my desk by 9am and spend time replying to emails and working out what’s on for the day. If the sun is shining, I will set up my lap top (or drawing stuff) out side to enjoy the day. It’s so wonderful being able to do that, after working in an office for over 8 years. So basically, I spend my days drawing or laying out and tweeking things on the computer. It’s great!

What inspires you? Every day, simple things inspire me. I like sitting in the back yard watching my dogs do crazy things, birds flitting in and out of trees and nature in general. Travelling inspires me too. Even if it’s just little day trips outside of Melbourne, I like to do at least one little drawing from my adventures.

Who inspires you? Do you have a favourite artist or person? Gosh, lots of different people inspire me. My sister, Carmen, inspires me as she is such a strong and loving person. Then I am obviously inspired by other illustrators and designers. I’ve just been to an illustration/design conference (Semi-Permanent) in Melbourne and every single one of the speakers inspired me. Even just hearing about how they became successful and how they got to where they are today.

Favourite artists…hmm…I love Australian illustrator Catherine Campbell’s work, Yelena Bryksenkova’s quirky illustrations and children’s book illustrator/authors Oliver Jeffers and Anna Walker. There are too many more to mention!

In the world of illustration, how hard is it to make your mark? I think it’s really difficult. I have had a lot of luck a long the way, but I am still trying to make my mark! There are so many talented people out there and it can be very over whelming to think about how your work needs to shout out over such talent. But I also think that talent is just a part of it. I’ve realized, looking at the success of others, that hard work and persistence is just as important and without it it’s impossible to make your mark.

Do you have a support network of fellow creative’s, illustrators or artists? Working from home it’s limiting in terms of having time to mix with other creatives. It’s one of the reasons I am looking to have my own studio space soon. But I keep in touch with friends from uni, and I’ve also built up a bit of a network via Twitter and through my blog.

What is your favourite piece…or is that an unfair question? Favourite piece of mine? Um, well I would have to say my cookbook My Abuela’s Table! Ok, so it’s a collection of illustrations and not necessarily a ‘piece’, but I also designed the whole thing so it would have to be my favourite. It’s also started this great journey I am now on and has created many new opportunities.

Can you mark a time where illustrating changed for you? Like when you realised this is what you love doing? Well I have been illustrating all my life and I’ve always loved it, but I never thought of it as a career option. I think it was while working on My Abuela’s Table that illustration changed for me. I started to develop a style and it was the first major illustration project I had undertaken and was completely immersed in it. I loved every moment of it. I think I had a ‘light bulb’ moment around that time and realized it could become my career.

What can you say to inspire fellow illustrator or artists? From my experience I would say to always throw everything you have into your work. This time last year I was still studying not knowing what the future would hold and now I have a published book and steady illustration work … you never know where one piece of work might take you!!

In the life of Daniella:

Today is Tuesday and unfortunately I have the flu.

My bag consists of my wallet, lip balm, my iPhone, tissues, a pencil, pen, Moleskine note book and eraser. Oh, and loose change right at the bottom!

If I were an animal, I would be a sparrow, but with the appetite of a vulture. 

Ruby, my Labradoodle, is my baby.

Melbourne is the best thing about Australia. (I love my city)

Sitting in the sun and drawing is what I love doing on weekends.

If I could have coffee withthe photographer, Platon. I just saw him speak at Semi-Permanent Melbourne. His stories were amazing!

Isn’t she just gorgeous! (Yes, Ruby too) You will be able to view her website  soon and please check out her shop and her blog, or see her on Twitter.  I’m wanting to get my hands on her cookbook because I love cooking and I love mexican food! If you would like to email her, you can to hello(at)daniellagermain.com.au.

If you would like to buy any of Daniella’s work, she does send internationally. Aren’t we lucky!

Thank you Daniella for sharing about your work, your passions and your venture thus far. You are extremely talented and I look forward to more of your work. We wish you the very best in all you do and in all you illustrate. With such natural talent and a beaming batch of passion, I have no doubt that it will take you to many places  and can see that it has already started.

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