Today my post is K for Kanizo, which is the name my cover illustrator Danielle English works under (it’s her website name).
Dani is 22 and graduated last year from Winchester School of Art and Design, in the UK, with a degree in Illustration and Animation.
I asked her how the website name came about:
“I tend to make up random words for things, so most of the creatures and characters I make up either have a species name, or just a general character name. For the word Kanizo, I just took some letters I liked the sound of, I think my main letters were k, i and z at the time, just added a couple other letters and the name was born! However recently the name has been given a bit more meaning, for years I always drew a red dragon, and felt like it should be called Kanizo. It just seemed to fit.”
What does she draw most?
“Dragons are one of my favourite creatures, along with other creatures made up with inspiration from real wildlife. I love to take inspiration from what already exists, and create something new from it. I tend to do illustrations with reoccurring characters, even though the design can change quite drastically each time (I guess it’s sort of like a development of my own work, and how my style has changed over the years).”
How would she describe her style at the moment?
“It varies from time to time and I do enjoy drawing in different styles, but at the moment I am trying to refine a more detailed almost photorealistic style with the use of texture.”
We’ve got a couple of pictures here (click to enlarge them): tell me about them – what was the theme and who are the characters in them?
“The first one is of my dragon character, Kanizo, in ‘Edge of the World’. Each time I draw this character it changes, though there are a few things that tend to stay the same; like the overall colour of the hair and scales, the green pupiless eyes, and a blue tongue. The theme of this was to try sum up some of my work, putting together the things I enjoy drawing, and including my art alias and character ‘Kanizo’. Clouds, stars and skies in general are one of my favourite things to draw when it comes to landscape type drawings. Plus I love experimenting with colours.
The second piece is called ‘Monsters Have Nightmares Too’. Although it is one of my older pieces, it is probably one of my favourites, and is the one that usually gets talked about the most. The theme for this one was ‘nightmares’. Usually when people think of nightmares, it has something to do with monsters, however I wanted to illustrate what monsters might have nightmares about. If people have nightmares about monsters, then maybe monsters have nightmares about people. When drawing this I wanted to show something almost innocent and childish about it, since it is mainly children who have nightmares. The main character in this one is the little monster, who is only about 6, and her older brother has been telling her scary stories about ‘The Humans’. I wanted her design to be fairly simple and innocent looking, since most monsters are depicted as looking foul and evil in most nightmares, however in this case, this monster is the good character.”
Where is Dani’s work going now, and what is she hoping to do in the future?
“At the moment I’m a freelance illustrator, practicing different styles and drawing various things in my own time to build up my portfolio, but I am hoping to eventually get either a job or internship in the art department of either the Film or Games industry. I’d love to get a job in either character design or concept art in that area”
Thank you Dani. I wish you every success with that. Thank you for being part of my A to Z Challenge this year, and thank you even more for doing my book covers! You can see more of Danielle English’s work at http://kanizo.co.uk and you can win the covers (on my books) if you enter our Giveaway this month.
Watch out for Danielle English’s design for the cover of The Talent Seekers in a couple of weeks. It’ll be on Amazon Kindle first, then all ereaders in the summer.
Don’t forget to enter our Princelings A to Z Giveaway – 9 ebooks and a paperback to be won, including all the Princelings books, complete with Dani’s beautiful covers. See full details by clicking the button at the top right of the page, or just click the banner to go straight to the rafflecopter entry form.