Day-Z ’s mind is constantly overflowing with ideas. They come so quickly and unexpectedly that she struggles to keep up with the drawing. Sometimes, an idea seems so obvious it actually surprises her on why she hadn’t thought of it sooner.
After graduating at Central Saint Martin five years ago, Day-Z aims to turn her degree into an art career. And she’s succeeding.
“I draw incessantly since I wake up and sometimes I’m so inspired that I keep on going all night long.
“I love the fact that I’m creating when everybody else is sleeping. Nobody disturbs me and I’m totally in my zone.”
Her endurance and determination go hand in hand with her great drawing skills.
At the end of the day, it’s all about understanding what her strengths are and working hard to perfect them.
“I’ve been experimenting with lots of things, from spray to sculpture, but I was rubbish at it, the details and the comfort that I can get with a pencil, I’m not able to get with anything else.”
When she’s not happy with a drawing, she literally rips it up, even if it’s almost finished. It took her six times to get the Coca-Cola / Charlie Chaplin right.
“Perfectionism is a hindrance in a way,” she says, “but it makes me try harder.”
She keeps pushing herself on refining her technique and improving her ideas, and after a lot of practise she reached a point where her drawings look almost like oil paintings or pieces of sprayed street art, on paper.
A mix of style, which perfectly reflects her themes as well. In fact, Day-Z ’s biggest inspirations lye on the opposite side of the spectrum: the old masters, like Rembrandt and Caravaggio on one side, Banksy, Mason Storm and photographer Alison Jackson on the other, and somehow she manages to combine them.
“My work is a mix between street art and the old masters. I’m just trying to merge the old – which can be a classic masterpiece or a classic character part of our culture – with the new.”
She explains that when people see something familiar, they already feel connected to it so when a modern touch sneaks in, it raises a stronger impact.
This modern touch can also be seen in the portrayal of a classic character in a situation that is relevant to the current society. Like for example “The Little Mermaid” with a pack of Prozac, the most prescribed antidepressant drug, represents that sometimes the true reality of a ‘princess’ out of the spotlight. Everyone thinks she must live the best life ever, but she suffers from depression.
Another example is “Storm and the Sea of Great Britain”. The original piece is painted by Rembrandt and Day-Z managed to recreate an incredible copy of it with a contemporaneous meaning: by drawing the British flag on the ship, she wants to emphasize what is happening today in Great Britain, which is in the middle of a storm through Brexit.
In addition from these social topics, Day-Z is influenced and inspired a lot by advertising.
“I find it incredible how we are unconsciously brainwashed in our everyday life through the repetition of something like a brand.” She plays with it like an optical illusion, by interfering a very known writing with something that looks the same but that is completely impertinent. Coco Chanel and Coca-Cola extremely familiar brands turn in this way into Charlie Chaplin.
Day-Z ’s fascination of street art is not only remarkable in her technique and in her topic choice. She confessed that she plays around town with stickers and that sometimes she opens adverts at bus stops to stick her own distorted ads on top.
“All artists are a bit cheeky, we’ve got this underlying naughty side to us,” she admits.
This seems like a kind of social and subversive experiment as well, because people are so brainwashed they won’t necessarily notice the change.
Another link with the street art world is her name choice, typical sound, and construction of a street artist tag.
“Daisy is my nickname since I was a child, and when I started to create my brand I decide to change the spelling to Day-Z because I didn’t necessarily want people to know I was female.”
That’s also why it is very rare to find a picture of her on social media, only her art because she doesn’t want to be considered on the base of her gender but only on what she communicates through her creative work.
Day-Z is thrilled to exhibit her debut show in London at Beautiful Crime Gallery in Shoreditch.
When: Thursday 20th October 2017 – 6th November 2017
Where: Beautiful Crime Gallery, 2A Luke St, London EC2A 4NT
What: “99 Problems” by Day-Z
To see more of her work visit her website here!