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Artist Daniel Aristizábal on eccentricity and introspection in design

Constantly exploring new technologies, Daniel Aristizábal is always seeking new ways to grow and express himself through his art.

A pastel-colored 3D interior by art director Daniel Aristizábal.

Visuals by Daniel Aristizábal

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Surreal, gravity-defying scenes and dreamy gradients make up many of art director and digital illustrator Daniel Aristizábal’s works. His design studio, Lazy Eyes, acts as Dani’s alter ego. It provides him with an experimental bubble, whereas the works he releases under his own name are more personal.

The Colombian-born artist has a distinct visual language, but is constantly exploring new ways to reflect all parts of his personality, from his quirkiness and eccentricity, to his interest in social and political subject matters. Dividing his time between Barcelona and his hometown Medellín, he draws inspiration from these two disparate cities.

3D visual of green hands inside a ball pond by Daniel Aristizabal for the Museum of Ice Cream
Design for the Museum of Ice Cream.

Questioning your purpose

“The funny thing is that when I was growing up, I never thought this was going to be my path,” recalls Dani. “I was much more interested in other areas: science, writing, history and making dumb jokes.”

Despite his wide range of interests, he couldn’t bring himself to focus on any of them. To his surprise, he ended up studying graphic design. “Design school was really frustrating. I didn't enjoy it one bit,” says Dani. “But unbeknownst to me, all these experiences, feelings, sounds, flavors, breakups, travels and defeats were simmering inside of me and they finally came out once I moved to Spain.”

Although he’s come a long way since then, and has also worked with many big names, Dani still sees his visual style as a work-in-progress. “There is not a single day that I don't question the validity of what I do,” he tells Shaping Design. “I'm very critical of my work and motivations, perhaps way too much. Social media pushes people to become a machine in order to be relevant, and that logic is really destructive in my opinion.” Instead of putting his energies into creating what people want to see on social media, Dani focuses on aligning his work with his life vision.

3D visual of pink sink with a pair of glasses stuck inside a bar of soap by Daniel Aristizabal
3D design by Daniel Aristizábal & Carlos Garcia for Kaibosh.

I have been told that I'm a very eccentric person and, frankly, I agree. It’s cool to be weird."

Living in an ultra egotistical world