Art and beauty are appreciated by almost everyone and there are many talented, yet non-famous, artists in the world. Hence, I have started an “Artist Spotlight” series where I will interview various artists in order to gain a deeper insight into what inspires their creativity and what they plan to do with their careers.
Fine artist and comics creator Dan Allon is one of the talented people who agreed to be interviewed for this series. Dan resides in Israel and has a degree from the Shenkar College of Design and Hamidrasha Faculty of the Arts. Below are Dan’s responses about his life as an artist:
Q: What influenced you to become an illustrator?
I always loved to write and tell stories. Recently I even found an old notebook with a ninja story I wrote when I was 11, and some old cartoon characters I drew when I was even younger. My first encounter with comics was at that age as well, in a comics course when I first learned to do draw in panels. I had a friend whom also drew stories and we would mail them as letters to one another. So I guess it’s connected to positive personal experiences. When I realized this could be taught as an undergraduate degree I immediately jumped at the opportunity and attended Shenkar College, which is famous for its comics teachers, and my final project was my first graphic novel. I have been creating those ever since.
Q: In terms of subject matter, what are your cartoons about and what inspired the ideas for them?
I am not an illustrator per se, meaning that I am both a graphic novel artist and a fine artist, and my work varies in mediums and size – depending on the concept. I also studied a post graduate fine art degree and besides drawing I also create sound work, installations and performance. I think the common denominator throughout all my work is the aesthetics, meaning it’s expressive, condense, full of patters and very colorful. Even my black and white work, which most of my graphic novels are, is very “colorful.” My work is personal in a way in which I tell stories or create sceneries that uses memories, personal experiences and emotions – to make a universal statement. For example in my latest comics, “Plumbing Issues” I have a conflict with my young niece that is based – tough exaggerated – on a true story. Also I have a major problem in the sink which is also a true story. In my recent installation, “The Shawish of Section 4” I portray an imaginary dictator who lives as a prisoner in a military jail he’s created for himself, based on memories of my service in the army. The themes are mostly masculinity and social conventions in the context of political and moral situations.
Q: As far as working in illustration, what has been your most rewarding experience so far?
I published some of my translated stories in Swizcn magazine in Warsaw and had the opportunity to visit the magazine editor there for a few days. I also had a great commissioned work a couple of years ago for the Basel comics museum – with a great friend and colleague of mine, musician Shani Broner, in which we played live inside the museum a musical piece we wrote together, “Cecil's Last Chance,” based on my comics. I loved the time I spent in France for the Angouleme international festival in 2011.
Q: What are your ultimate goals for the future?
To create more art.
Q: Are there any up and coming projects that you would like to mention?
I am working on a new graphic novel, based on a story I wrote in which the younger son of a restaurant chef tries to save the business after his mother died and his father gets into trouble, in the context of 2001 suicide bombed Israel. I am also working on a performance of the dictator which will be held at a gallery in Tel Aviv that has transparent walls that enables the viewers to see the work 24/7.
Q: Where do you hope to be, career wise, in ten years?
I hope to be creating more art and teaching – I love it!
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For more information about Dan Allon’s work visit his official website: