Artist of the month: Daniel Ignacio

Melissa Gilbert
4 min readSep 29, 2021

“I would rather live in any other world than this one.”

Daniel Ignacio aka DKAISM is a multidisciplinary artist in contemporary art, storytelling, literature, gothic poetry, social commentary, and a creator of dreamworlds dipped in mystery.

I met Daniel through the NFT art space we brought pieces of each other's work and I loved his take on cityscapes, he also designed my favorite hoodie in the world.

It's so colorful and reminds me of adventure

Daniel is based in Ontario, Canada. He was raised in the Philippines and lived there for 13 years, which subtly influenced his early works. In 2014 he developed an interest in the digital medium. He started learning the basics on his own by watching master-concept artists such as Feng Zhu, Flavio Bolla, and Tyler Edlin. At the time, he was working as a freelance graphic designer and junior photojournalist. He used to use the old DeviantArt as his only platform to post his work, but in 2017 he made the effort to promote his work by getting active in the local and global art community through art exhibits, collaborations, and social media art circles.

Alley of killers DKAISM

1. When and why did you start making art?

I started learning about my craft in 2014, in 2018 I started considering it as a serious career path. At that point, I knew it was my calling. Art has always been a force that pulls me in, no matter what choice I make in my life. Since I was a child, I’ve always imagined worlds different from ours, with characters, creatures, places — all in my head. I have to let them out, and I discovered in myself that the only way I can do that is through the canvas.

2. What work do you most enjoying doing?

I enjoy the “happy accidents” the most.

Those accidental, little details that make a difference to the overall composition, which is particularly important when I am trying to “save” a piece. Whenever I plan my next piece, I look at so many references, and during the process, when an unexpected element gets added to the piece “accidentally” and I feel that it fits the work, I just love it.

3. What memorable responses have you had to your work?

One unforgettable comment I received was from a lady in 2017, saying she was inspired by my piece “Anxieties Away” to get out there and travel to the mountains. She was well-traveled, and that particular work just aligned with her spirit so she bought a copy of it:

“…I’ll be inspired and thinking of traveling every time I see your art now.”

Another memorable comment was:

“Your art is so pretty, no wonder people wanna steal it.”

For context, this was during an art theft debacle where someone sold my designs without permission.

The boy with the kite DKAISM

4. What is the hardest thing about being an artist in your opinion?

In my experience, I find time management the hardest. Being an artist means having to manage the “admin” side of things like updating your website or portfolio, keeping up with emails, making invoices, waiting for payments, updating licensing terms, and so on — when all I want to do is make art all day. And at the moment, I do not have the resources to have an assistant.

Sometimes, I also feel like I have the opposite of an art block. It’s more of an “art surge”, in which I have so many ideas I want to execute and transpose into the canvas, but I don’t have time, or my skills aren’t enough, or that I cannot prioritize it because of life.

5. What movie/tv show or book would you recommend?

I highly recommend three of my favorite movies of all time: The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and Spirited Away. I love the “adventure to another world” kind of genre when it comes to work of fiction, which in turn gives a lot of influence to my art. In the Japanese context, like in anime and manga, it’s called the “isekai” genre and I am always on the lookout for things like that.

The lake house DKAISM

If you would like to see more of Daniel Ignacio's work you can check out his channels: Twitter, Instagram, NFT shop

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Melissa Gilbert

Digital Artist: I write artist interviews, tips and tricks and my life as an artist on the side.