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Art Works: Dani Leber's Detailed Illustrations

1 November 16 words: Art Works

This local artist lets us in on the creative process undertaken for her illustration, Om...

An A3 digital print, I drew my hand from still life then filled it with intricate patterns and line work using fineliners. Lastly, I digitised it using Photoshop for a cleaner, but still very handmade-looking image.

The finished design probably only took about five or six hours overall, stretched out over a couple of months. I started the original drawing in my sketchbook in my makeshift studio, aka a wooden desk in the corner of my dining room. The design grew into what it is now while I was on a train, then I finally got it printed. My ideas don’t all happen in one place, they grow over time which makes things more interesting and definitely worth waiting a little while for.

The best reaction I’ve had is from my boyfriend. He had a J Dilla poster above his desk – J Dilla being his favourite producer of all time – and when I showed him this print, he bought one straight away, framed it and replaced his idol with the illustration of my hand. I never thought I would be more inspirational than Dilla!

A lot of people might link my work and illustrations to the traditional art of mehndi (meaning henna in Hindi), and relate to the image and its symbolic meaning. I’m heavily influenced by Asian and Arabic designs and cultures, and I like art that involves symbolism, whether it’s hand gestures or physical symbols.

Many of my ideas stem from small illustrations while sat at my desk at home before work. My creative work is a huge hobby of mine right now, and hopefully in the future I can focus as much of my energy into turning it into a part-time way of self-employment.

I come from quite an arty family and background – I loved art at secondary school, went on to study art and design at college, then studied fashion knitwear and photography at Nottingham Trent University. Although my background isn’t strictly illustration, my interests are very much grounded by fine art and the artist culture. Nottingham itself has had a huge impact on my work. I have met many people who have inspired me creatively, and it has definitely pushed me to create for other people as well as myself.

I love House of Hackney and designer William Morris. I like repeating patterns and if I had the money and technical ability I’d cover every wall, pillow and curtain in some crazy detailed patterns, whether that’s Buddha head wallpaper or this hand design on a cushion cover.

Dani Leber's website
Dani Leber on Instagram

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