Imagine if Banksy and Rembrandt had a baby: Meet London born illustrator, Day-z

Dear oh Deer

Following her recent London show I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to interview Day-Z. The first time I saw her work, her art caught my attention.

The beauty of Day-Z’s art combined with her clever approach to sharing social commentary through her work makes for a powerful experience and a wonderful read.

By Al Gord

Please start by telling us what led you to the world of art.

The world of art found its way into my life from a young age when I first picked up a pencil. My mother was also a huge influence, there were always Dali posters in the house which opened my eyes to the possibilities of creativity.

How would you describe your growth as an artist?

I’ve come a long way from my painting by numbers days. I’ve put in hundreds of hours of practice in developing my technique. I’m still learning of ways to be better and how to best navigate the art world. I visited countless exhibitions with my brother before knowing which galleries to work with. Making the most of social media has also massively helped to showcase my work to more people and escalate my growth.

You are known for your street art, your drawings and your collages. Do you have a preferred medium for sharing your work?

Although drawing is one of my favourite mediums, I love exploring different tools to experiment with. Sharing those ideas on the street, taking them from a piece of paper in my studio to the physical public space is always an exciting experience and another way to share what I create.

Hopper Graff

I find that many artists today are influenced by a variety of the great artists of the past. Are there any artists who have influenced your work or style?

I have been influenced by many of the great artists of the past and present. You can learn something different from studying all of them, some of my personal favourites would include Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Dali & Picasso. My most recent solo exhibition at Beautiful Crime Gallery presented a collection of classics, re-imagined with today’s culture in mind.

Your work has been described in various ways from Contemporary Pop Art to Modern Political. How would you describe your style?

I’d say if Banksy and Rembrandt had a baby I’d be that baby.

Parking Ticket

One of the things I love about your work is the use of iconic characters. Snow White and Charlie Chaplin are two that resonate for me. Is there any special significance as to why you chose those characters?

Snow White was painted on my bedroom wall when I was younger and I would stare at her for hours. She was bound to show up in one of my drawings. Charlie Chaplin is also a funny one, he used images to tell stories without making a sound. He symbolizes a cheeky anti-establishment streak and the universality of humour across the world which in many ways art still does as it transcends the limitations of languages.

Charlie Advert, street art

We know that art is very personal. Is there any one piece which has special meaning to you or which you feel is your most rewarding work to date?

It’s always changing, but right now my drawing of ‘Storm On The Sea of Great Britain’ is a personal favourite. It took 6 months to draw and when doing research into the original painting ‘The Storm on The Sea of Galilee’ by Rembrandt, I discovered that the piece had been stolen in 1990 and has never been seen since in the public eye. I also found out that Rembrandt was the same age as me when he painted it and that we were both born on the 15th July which makes it that bit more personal.

Storm on The Sea of Great Britain

You recently finished an exhibit. Can you tell us a little bit about the show and what you have planned next?

The show, called ‘99 Problems’ at Beautiful Crime Gallery in Shoreditch, touched upon issues going on in the world. I wanted it to be both fun and meaningful showing the culture of a new era by contrasting modern issues with famous classic paintings or famous cartoon characters to create a mixed feeling of nostalgia and at the same time seeing something new. I’ve been lucky to have two solo exhibitions this year and have more plans for 2018. Now, I want to focus on creating new work.

In closing are there any messages that you hope others take away from your art?

I appreciate all the support people have given me. Recently a woman I’d never met before asked to come and see the exhibition with her young son. Hearing them talk with such happiness and appreciation for my art made me feel very grateful, so I’d like people to come away with a sense of enjoyment and a new experience. In terms of the messages conveyed in my pieces, I think that’s up to each individual and I love hearing about their different interpretations, many of which I’d never thought of. I know I’ve just done an interview about my art, but ultimately, I prefer my art to speak for itself.

Like any of the pieces in this interview? More artwork can be seen and purchased here.

Connect with Day-z

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