Danielle Sperandeo is an award-winning illustrator in Savannah, Georgia. Her work sets itself apart as it blends stark visuals with intense stories and powerful messages. She’s the sort of dedicated artist that sparks your curiosity, and it’s with great excitement that I share this interview.
Hi Danielle! Tell me a bit about yourself.
While growing up, my family traveled around a lot. We have an RV and we all loved to spend time outdoors, so I spent a good deal of my childhood outside amongst nature. Much of my work is inspired by the beauty of the environment and animals, and to this day I aim to travel and see as much of the world as I can.
Your first digital painting was incredible. Can you tell me more about it? What influenced your color choices and the title? What does it represent?
My color choices were influenced by a particular painting by one of my favorite artists, Jon Foster. He’s an incredible illustrator with an impressive ability to mix surrealism with a classical edge. I call my painting Forest Creatures, it’s part of a series I’m working of humanoid creatures derived from elements or landscapes, interacting with an animal. It represents the interconnection between humanity and the natural world.
How did you learn to draw?
I taught myself how to draw at a young age, spending countless hours drawing only dogs and wolves. I was a little obsessed with canines as a child. I went to art classes in high school, then I attended Savannah College of Art for my BFA in illustration.
You have a diverse style but I also see that it has consistency. What helps you to define your style?
I’m not entirely sure! I just create what I feel most of the time.
“Oh, The places You’ll Go!”.. Was that piece inspired by the Starry Night by Van Gogh? If so, you definitely did it justice and put a very lovely spin on it! What was it about his image and Van Gogh as an artist that inspired you?
It was, yes! I’ve always been a fan of Van Gogh’s paintings, but what really inspired me about his work were his pen and ink sketches. I enjoy the idea of creating different forms and textures for things using line, and his sketches captured that.
You’ve won some impressive awards. Did you ever think your art would become so acknowledged?
I never have really expected to receive acknowledgment for my work, I do what I do because I love it. Creating art is part of who I am, I would do it even if I lived in a dark cave and never met another soul. It feels wonderful knowing that the thing I love is appreciated by others.
What is your ultimate goal as an artist?
My goal as an artist is to learn as much as I can, from anything I can, and apply it to my work.
What core message do you wish to convey through your art?
As you may have noticed, I love animals and the outdoors as well as surrealistic type imagery. I’d like to convey the importance of creatures and the environment while using eye-catching combinations of color and movement.
I was entranced by “The Beauty of Drowning”. At first glance, I thought of a mermaid with beautiful, full hair. But then it became much more than that. It makes me think of a woman in some sort of beautiful turmoil. With her hair covering her eyes, it hints at a lack of identity. Maybe she is also finding herself?…
You’re actually pretty spot on! She’s meant to be a woman in beautiful turmoil, she’s struggling to swim but is weighed down and suffocated by her voluptuous hair. I wanted to use this imagery to address the idea of vanity and what some people put themselves through for the idea of beauty.