Daniel Ignacio on ‘Visual Storytelling’ and Spiritually Driven Worlds
For digital artist Daniel Ignacio, creative expression is the best way for the soul to communicate. His works are driven by a love and fascination for the world and its people. Quintessentially, though, this love and inspiration is sourced from God—whom Ignacio considers “The Ultimate Artist.”
Ignacio (also known as dkaism) is the talent behind one of Consecrea’s launch pieces, The Pilgrimage: a striking and contemporary scene of shadows and figures walking on an enlightened path.
Tell us more about you. How did art come into your life?
I have always loved visual arts and art history since high school. In 2014, before graduating from college, I developed an interest in the digital medium, following the works of digital artists and watching how they do it. At that time, I was working as a freelance writer and photojournalist, which ties me to visual storytelling and literature.
What does the creation process look like for you? How do you feel while you’re creating a piece, and after a piece is complete?
Messy, exciting, uncertain, free. Ideas and emotions dance around inside my head all the time, and as an artist, I turn them into art, transposing them to the canvas. I gather and organize them to give them form in the style that I know, and I just love all that process.
Who are your influences?
Old masters: Rembrandt, Bruegel the Younger, and Caravaggio. Current artists: Theo Prins, Flavio Bolla, Feng Zhu, Loika, and Alena Aenami. These artists strongly influenced my visual art. But I’d also like to mention some writers whose work continues to influence my work: C.S. Lewis, Haruki Murakami, Sylvia Plath, and Virginia Woolf.
You like to depict different kinds of worlds in your art—from colorful to somber, empty skies to cityscapes. What kinds of places in real life inspire you to re-imagine and create such vivid worlds?
My cityscapes are inspired by Asian streets, and I mean all of Asia—from the Middle-East to Southeast Asia. I’m inspired by the public markets in Kabul and New Delhi, night alleys in Tokyo and Seoul, food festivals in Bangkok and Manila. It’s also tied to my background as a photojournalist being drawn to these vibrant places.
As for the dream-like landscapes and skies, I create them as far from reality as possible, so they may only make sense when a viewer detaches themselves from real life. Viewing my dreamscapes requires leaving the familiar.
A lot of your work features cyberpunk, sci-fi spaces. What do you find so fascinating about them? How do you think spirituality will persist in near-future realities?
I don’t always intend that my works lean towards cyberpunk and sci-fi genres, but this subject does have a strong aesthetic appeal. In fact, before this series really began, I was transitioning from documentary photography to digital art.
My love for these streetscapes originated from that experience of travel, seeing new places, knowing new people, and making new friends across cultures. The theme of spirituality will persist as long as there are people. If you think about it, people are souls driving a machine of a body, and I think, with this concept, a connection is to be found between theology and futurism. As long as there is life, there is spirituality in art, regardless of art form, be it in writing, visual, music, or even dance.
In the piece “Storm Whisperer,” you portrayed a lone man by the skies. There’s also a very subtle, almost hidden image of a cross. What kind of scenario or emotion inspired the creation of this piece? Why did you choose to depict the cross?
This piece is mostly a product of exploration. I focused more on the journey or the process of creation, rather than thinking about the end product as a whole. Many of the elements are unintentional. But in the end, I saw this piece as an opportunity to make a soft allusion to the Biblical story where Jesus calms the storm. I infused a subtle theology in which this extraordinary boy can miraculously calm storms. But, it’s not necessarily a “superpower”, that is, his ability comes not from him but from God. This is another reference to a miraculous event in the Bible: Peter healed a lame beggar, yet he claims it was not his superpowers that healed the man, but his faith in God.
You told us that some of your work contains “Christian undertones and spiritual poetry.” We found this piece in particular very compelling. Can you talk about it with us?
This is a portrayal of the man possessed by Legion, a multitude of demons inside one person, exorcised by Jesus. When I revisited the story as part of my art process, I felt the heaviness and terror of the atmosphere in those moments, leaving me with so many questions: Who is this man? How did he get possessed? What is his full story? Who are these demons and what did they see in Jesus that made them tremble in fear? This piece records not just about the story but also about the curiosity I feel as I portray these supernatural moments, and if possible, I would love to know more.
How would you describe your relationship with spirituality? How does it relate to your art?
I love God, I love people, I love art. If we are made in the likeness of God, who made the universe, then the desire to create comes from Him. I believe God is the Author of Creativity, the Ultimate Artist. For me, art is a way to channel my creative spirit into the canvas. Art allows me to communicate my soul. The connection between my spirit and the artworks I make can be explained by a quote made by my favourite fiction writer, C.S. Lewis, author of Narnia, who is also Christian: “If I find in myself which nothing in this world this world can satisfy, the only explanation is that I am made for another world.”
"The Storm Whisperer" will soon be available as beautiful framed wall art at Consecrea. Order your limited edition Consecrea print for your home today, or sign up to receive news on our release of "The Storm Whisperer" and future collaborations with Daniel Ignacio.
Follow Daniel Ignacio on Instagram here.