This kind of statement comes with no surprise from a Chilian mouth. Chili is where Daniela Garreton comes from, a long country alongside the Pacific Ocean. As a child, she stared every morning at the ocean waves intensity and never got off the boat since then. Daniela is at the sea. She sleeps close to the beach, surfs with her companion, collects the swirls.
She draws sailors, laughing seagulls and a leitmotived captain with his plentiful beard. Meanwhile, octopuses have their tentacles all tangled into immersed fishing nets. It is like being with the artist on the pitching deck, breathing salty ocean breezes. The captain sits with dignity, proudly wearing a cap, a striped jumper and a worn out pea coat. Like a siren on a solid ground, Daniela depicts traditional representations, reinterpreting them with style, sobriety and talent.
How did you get into drawing and painting?
Since I can remember I’ve been always fascinated by drawing and art…I think the idea of being able to create anything you like out of the blue, something that otherwise wouldn’t exist its just amazing. Drawing is the first thought, its materializing the idea in its purest form. when I was growing up my mom would constantly encourage me and my sister to be creative, to build things, to express ourselves through art..I would never get a “ready-to-use-toy” it was always something that I had to create myself like legos, crayons, plasticine.
When I finished High school it was a natural transition for me to study design…I think its a blessing when you are able to make a career out of what you love doing the most. After a few years working in design in Hamburg we moved in 2010 to San Sebastian and it was here where my two passions, illustration and the ocean, collided and I started dedicating myself entirely to illustration.
When did you realize it will be a large part of your life?
I think the first drawing I did that made me realize I could do it as a career was a bearded fisherman I draw on wood…that drawing just clicked something in my mind that felt so right…I realized I could mixed the two things I love the most and make something out of it.
Is art got an important place in Basque culture?
I think art is a really big part of Basque culture, there are many young artist doing amazing things and exploring new techniques..and I think people are open to new ideas and new artists. There are many great local magazines that support art and culture, like Arteuparte, The balde, Lokalirri, etc.
Ocean is the fundament for you?
The ocean its what drives me…its where I get all the inspiration I need..whenever I submerge myself in the sea I come out with this amazing energy that drives me to create. I’ve been in love with the ocean since I can remember…the idea that beneath that blue surface theres is so much life we don’t know has always intrigued me.
Growing up I had strong ties to the sea, my whole family is into diving and surfing and I was lucky to find a man who is an avid surfer, diver and ocean activist so the sea is a huge part of our lives and we share that passion.
I think the fisherman icon plays an important role in my art as well, I have great respect for those men who dedicate their lives to the sea…I think through those fisherman I try to emulate and celebrate all individuals who feel this utter love and respect for our oceans and are aware and awake of the immense value it has in our lives.
The fisherman is always on your drawings…
Je pense que le dessin du pécheur a un rôle très important dans mon art, j’ai beaucoup de respect pour ces hommes qui dédient leur vie à la mer. Je crois qu’à travers ce pécheur, j’essaie de célébrer et de rendre hommage à tous les individus qui ont de l’amour et du respect pour l’océan, et qui ont conscience de son immense valeur dans nos vies.
*What do you use to draw?
I use mainly Posca and pencils…and I really like using wood as a canvas, I think it adds a lot of warmth to the artwork.
It was the first time you paint a surfboard?
Yep, and I was freaking out to be honest! I was my first time painting a board and also my first time drawing “live” on front of people so I was super nervous.
I had no idea how the material was gonna react but after a few shaky strokes I managed to get confident and pull it through…the team from Ripcurl and Posca were really supportive and believed in me from the start so it was an amazing experience! besides I had my husband and all my friends there to support me as well which was great.
What is the main idea behind this character on the board?
I got the inspiration after a nice session in Zurriola, with my feet still full of sand and my hair full of salt…and of course from Poseidon, the mighty god of the seas…he lost an eye fighting for the oceans, but its a fight worth fighting for! and