Dani Scharf and His Inner Child

Dani Scharf talks about his artistic process and inspiration as a Latin American Jewish artist.

I have to thank my inner child. He used to draw a lot, and he didn’t mind not being the best in the class by doing it. He also didn’t care when they told him he did not know how to draw. That curious child wanted to become an artist when he grew up.

Every time I work, I try to stay true to myself by connecting with the genuine joy of my inner child.

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When it comes to my process of producing art, the first thing I do is become as familiar as I can with the subject matter that I will be working with. If it is based on a text, I read it several times and begin to conceptualize.

I love to brainstorm while I am walking (similarly to Aristotle and his Peripatetic academy). I listen to music. I go to coffee shops and parks. I spend a lot of time thinking through my creative process. Then I sketch in one of my notebooks and later it comes to life in many different ways, such as with engraving, silk-screening or scanning of textures and digital retouching. This process can be for an exhibition, a poster, a newspaper illustration, a book, or any other creative format.

In March, I participated for the first time in the prestigious Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

I had the honor of having my book project, “Vida de Perro” (Dog’s Life) selected to be showcased at the main exhibition. “Vida de Perro” tells the story of a change in roles, where the dog becomes the owner and the human the pet. I was one of the first two Uruguayans to make it to the final selection since the Book Fair was established 55 years ago.

Following the book fair, I was invited to be a speaker at the historic first round table on illustration in Latin America and gave a Masterclass on self-management. These were truly amazing experiences. The exhibition will be shown in several countries throughout 2018.

I’m currently finishing up the illustrations of a book called “Cada cuatro años” (Every four years) for the editorial, Castillo from México. There are 10 funny stories that take place during the World Cup, from Argentina in 1978 to Russia in 2018. I’m also illustrating another entertaining book called “10 Niñas piratas” (10 pirate girls) for the editorial Amanuta from Chile.

I also have been working on a personal project over the last year called “Superstitio”. This idea revolves around the concept of superstitions, with an informative, reflective and entertaining approach. It will be presented as both an illustrated book and an experiential exhibition, playing with the concept of popular family superstitions.

I come from a very superstitious family. It was a legacy from my great-grandmother, who arrived to Uruguay from Turkey in 1920. It´s likely that she inherited this from her mother, who inherited it from her mother, and so on. Thus, it was passed down to my Grandmother, and then to my Mother. Personally, I do not consider myself superstitious. That said, there are certain things I do try to avoid “just in case”.

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