Daniella Koffler is an illustrator and animation director, she graduated the Bezalel academy of Arts in 2011. Her graduation project “Stairs to no end”, a short animated film, was screened at 15 international film and animation festivals, was featured at “short of the week” and was a Vimeo Staff pick. Since graduation she has been working as a freelance illustrator, animation director and illustration curator. She directed the short film “Strings” for Beit Avihai, worked with Moran Barak on the art application “Artistico” , and curated “Temperament”, a group exhibition which was dedicated solely to illustrations. She is currently working on 4 children book projects, and as a director of a German-Israeli animation Co-production.
Exhibitions: 2013 – “whales and blue hair – the illustrative imagination of Israel “ focus on Israeli illustrators, Teatrio association, Venice, Italy. The exhibition will be presented in the Bologna children book fair in 2014. 2013 – “Temperament” illustration exhibition, Hanina Gallery, Tel Aviv. Curator and illustrator. 2013 – Hanina Gallery, end-of-the-year group exhibition. 2012 – “Sinners and Saints,” group exhibition, Jerusalem Municipal Gallery. 2011 – Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design graduation exhibition.
How did you first get into illustration?
I was a story teller ever since I can remember myself. My favorite games as a child involved characters I have drawn for myself. I used to tell myself stories about them, invent their worlds… As a grown up, it took me a while to understand I can't live without stories, that I want to spend all of my days doing just that. When l studied at the Academy I took as many illustration courses I could find and get into.
How do you start a new project of children book illustration?
I start by reading it many many times. I try to find the stories within the stories and what is it that I can, as an illustrator, donate to the world within the text that isn't already there. Then I start the visual research. I collect references, textures I feel are related somehow, colors etc'. I draw a lot of versions for the main characters, until I feel comfortable with one of them, that one is usually is the best match. Then, I make a storyboard for the entire text. It changes a lot during the process, but that's natural, I think.
What is your artistic process, creating a new illustration?
Pencils Sketches are usually the first step. I have a huge collection of old papers, and I usually start by sitting next to them and make combinations. I draw and make tiny collages at the same time. Then I take the results to the computer and add things to it. I found out it's very liberating to start fresh, no screen involved, until I am sure I'm on the right track. I need to feel the materials, Smell them and let them lead me toward the visual answers I seek.
What is the difference between your work as an animation director and your work as an illustrator?
As an illustrator I mostly work alone, unless the author really feels the need to be a part of the process. As a director, I'm never alone – I always have a team, which is great because it gives me the option to bounce ideas back and forth and there's always someone to consult with. Also, animation is much more complicated in the respect that you have to know, in advance, how your character will move. When I don't have this concern in mind, I'm free to imagine things differently.
I think I got the best of both worlds in the respect that I have two mediums at my service to tell stories – the still images on paper and the moving images on screens. being an animator also helps me a lot, when I need to decide how to direct a scene on paper. But in both cases, I will study the materials and textures for hours. I think it shows in my films as well as my illustrations that I'm a color and texture addict.
What would be your ultimate goal as an illustrator?
I would like to become a write and illustrate my own stories. I'm inspired by some amazing illustrators who write – Shawn Tan, Dr. Seuss and Oliver Jeffers. I aspire to make my own mark with my own stories, when I grow up…