Feature Friday: ArtDanilo

img_1956Happy Feature Friday! Today we’re so excited to feature the work of Danilo Dos Santos of ArtDanilo! We love the central theme behind his art, as it all displays the most beautiful biodiversity of Brazil! Between the colorful birds, turtles, and mammals he draws, you’re able to really see and feel the beauty of his country! Plus – it’s amazing how he uses his work to bring awareness to the importance of nature! His online store is filled with these works of art, so keep reading to see more and hear about how he got his start!

Castle Logo: Tell us a few things about yourself!
screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-28-10-pm: I was born in a city that has the name of a plant, Dracena. Here in Brazil we are surrounded by nature on all sides, even our money has drawings of animals. This is my first memory of drawing something, I loved to draw animals from the bills of money and books.
An interesting fact is that before I only drew in black and white, only after I met my beautiful wife Gizele did I start to draw colorful.

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Castle Logo: Your illustrations are beautiful! What made you decide to focus on biodiversity and portray it in a minimalistic way?
screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-28-10-pm: Thanks for the compliment! I decided to work on this topic in the first place because it interests me a lot, and also because it is very good for people to know more about the biodiversity where they live.
I decided to make them small because there are 100 drawings per collection and this way I can do more drawings in less time, and it is also a tribute to my wife who helps me a lot with this project, each drawing sheet has 16 cm, the size of her hand.

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Castle Logo: We love the concept of your Bio100 project. Tell us about what it involves, some of the illustrations you have done so far, and what countries you’re looking forward to doing in the future!
screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-28-10-pm: The Bio100 project is to make people aware of the beautiful nature that surrounds them.
Nature is more interconnected with the way we do things than anybody could ever imagine, It surrounds us and shapes our tastes, it also gives us the way to name objects.
Even living in cities we rely on nature and will always be dependent of the environment.
I think this project is going to draw people’s attention to what is right in front of them. So if they can appreciate the beauty of it all, perhaps they can be inspired to protect and preserve any natural environment that is around them.

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Castle Logo: We’d love to hear about the mediums you use! We noticed you frame all your illustrations with Brazilian wood and all your images are drawn with colored pencils. What made you choose these materials for your work?
screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-28-10-pm: Glad you liked it! I decided to use Brazilian wood because it’s exotic, and that’s a plus for my art, and the pencils are to give the little details and give a hyper-realistic look. They need to be very well pointed out.

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Castle Logo: You just opened your Etsy shop! Congrats! What has been your favorite part about starting your own shop and selling your work?
screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-28-10-pm: Thank you! We are very happy to have the store. My favorite part is being able to offer part of me to people. Our first customer was a Belgian woman, and as soon as she received the drawings, she sent me a very beautiful email saying how much she loved the animals of South America and how happy she was to have them with her. Really get that kind of recognition and make people feel good, priceless.

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Castle Logo: Do you have a favorite drawing you’ve done? Or a favorite species native to Brazil?

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-28-10-pm: Macaws! I loved drawing them and I love to see them flying around here, they make a lot of noise, but they are beautiful! My favorite is Canindé Macaw.

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Castle Logo: We love how you photograph your illustrations surrounded by natural elements! Tell us about some of the plant life you use to complement your drawings and how you set up to photograph your work.

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-28-10-pm: Glad you liked it! The idea was to show more of our nature. All we used were flowers and leaves from our neighborhood, here flowers are everywhere. And we took the pictures in our kitchen that have wonderful lighting in the morning.

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Castle Logo: What is your favorite thing about Brazil and how do your surroundings inspire you daily?
screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-28-10-pm: There are many things, but to speak some, I love the exotic way of the mountains of Rio de Janeiro, our food and how the Brazilian people welcome people from other countries. But what most influences my work are our colors. Even in winter we have a tree that is full of colorful flowers, called Ipê.

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Castle Logo: Where do you see your art career going in the future?

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-28-10-pm: I want more people to see my work. So for the next collections I am striving to make exhibitions outside Brazil, I want to work with more institutions that care for animals and through art, encourage children and families to spend more time outdoors and appreciate the nature of their city. And I am already preparing a book on the biodiversity of the Americas.

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Castle Logo: Do you have any advice for other illustrators?
screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-28-10-pm: My advice is always work on what you believe, so you can try harder and have a better result. And when you’re uninspired, take a trip! It always works with me.

See more from Danilo on:
Etsy & Instagram!

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