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Who Is Daniel Egnéus?
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Who Is Daniel Egnéus?

Picture of Ethel Dilouambaka
Updated: 14 November 2015
For this illustrator, everyday life and art are one inseparable whole. His last exhibition, As I walked out one morning, featured a collection of drawings from Athens that depicted his view of the city that became his home. Last summer, Daniel Egnéus sat down and not only re-read the Lord of the Rings trilogy but also accepted to answer a few questions in a candid interview.
Cityscape
Cityscape | © Daniel Egnéus

You were born in Sweden but lived in Prague, London, Berlin, Bologna, Rome, Milano and now Athens, how come?

I arrived 4 years ago, mostly out of curiosity. I had a friend who had work here and came with her for the weekend. At that time, I was living in Milano. After a weekend, I thought, ‘Ok, I could live here’ and decided to stay.

You have no formal education, but your work is quite impressive. Were you always interested in art?

I’ve always had an interest in art growing up. I read comics and thought school was not interesting, so I used to skip school to go to the public library to read and to learn — and draw of course.

Tell us more about your style, Quotidiano-Straordinario?

Well, it’s just a name I came up with. I draw mostly real things from real life, with their poetic touch. The most trivial thing has its own poetic and extraordinary aspect in itself, and that’s what inspires me in my drawings.

Can you briefly explain your creative process, and the mediums you use?

I usually just draw and see what comes out of it. For my recent exhibition at Zoumboulakis Galleries, my drawings show houses, people, birds… I always use the original sketches because I think this way, the drawings maintain their originality.

I work on paper and use crayons, pencils, watercolour and collage. But mostly, I just draw what I see around me; this is what I do.

New Fashion
New Fashion | © Daniel Egnéus

What are the easiest and the hardest parts of your job?

Without hesitation, drawing is the easiest. The most practical aspects, like answering e-mails, accounting, dealing with licensing and copywriting rights, are the hardest parts.

Any favorite artists you like?

Well, there are so many of them — many artists have influenced me as a child. I really like Arthur Rackham and Gustave Doré. I also like Will Eisner (The Spirit), and I read a lot of comic books, such as the illustrators from Mad magazine, and was, obviously, influenced by that.

What are you currently working on?

Well, it’s a secret — I cannot really talk about it. But I’m working on a children’s book that I both wrote and illustrated and also some children’s books from the USA and the United Kingdom that will be published in 2016.

Little Red Riding Hood cover
Little Red Riding Hood cover | © Daniel Egnéus

What song or album has been stuck in your head lately?

I have been listening a lot to Paul Simon lately, mostly his ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’ album. Ah yes, that’s embarrassing.

One item from your bucket list?

Illustrate Don Quixote and Edgar Allan Poe. I would love that.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee!

What is your next vacation destination?

London and New York. Well, mostly for work, but still.