Exhibition Daphna Kato Illustration Utrecht“Daphna Kato’s drawings are expeditions; they are journeys of discovery that will make you want to look again. She creates illustrations that have a sense of marvel, while also mixing in humor and edge. In her world you will find sharp lines, misfits and dreamers. There’s beauty in the curious.”


Background & inspiration

After years of working as a documentary photographer I wanted to go beyond the boundaries of reality. There is so much emotion and direction you can add to a drawn image that will exceed the possibilities of a lens. I like adding a surreal twist to things that I see in real life. Lakes become pink, bodies bend in unnatural ways and gravity is defied. Looking at the world around me I’m inspired by people with faces and bodies that tell a unique tale, especially when they may not fit the standard of beauty. I find the relationship between humans and animals endlessly fascinating. And let’s not forget about the ocean, with her mind boggling creatures and her amazing ability to be both calming and absolutely vigorous.

What I love about illustrating

I thrive on translating complex stories into images. It’s like a puzzle that needs to be solved. I love the creative process of finding a way to capture a feeling and adding something extra that will make you laugh or astonish you. I start by sketching out different ideas and writing down words that are important. I use symbolism, color and body language to make an impact. One of my favourite commissions so far has been for the band Jason Waterfalls. They sent me their latest track and asked me to create an artwork for it. I love these kinds of collaborations. No concept or idea, just the request to capture the song. A dreamy image of a monkey performing on a flower in space emerged. The illustration became a fan favourite, it was sold as a poster and showcased in music venue Ekko for the remainder of the year. I could not be happier.

Future collaborations

New dream clients that I would love to collaborate with are marine organisations, consumer goods and the (board) game industry. I imagine nautical illustrations on t-shirts of ocean lovers, stimulating artworks on chocolate wrappers and rum bottles, and original designs for a new edition of the game Dixit. Are you my next dream client? I am available for creative illustration projects of every kind. Get in touch to start the conversation. I would love to speak to you.

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