Based in Santa Barbara, California, Daniel Sulzberg’s work is infused with the easy-going creativity that his home state is famous for. It’s colourful and fun, welcoming and sometimes a bit zany. The characters effortlessly jump to life in his illustrations.
Growing up in a town called Danville, he was always Dan from Danville. After initially trying to emulate his older brother, who was a fine artist, Dan later discovered cartoons, comics and Nintendo games. Soon, he had invented Danvillage, a place for all his whimsical characters to inhabit. It’s become the moniker he works under as an illustrator.
A graduate of UCLA’s design programme, Dan’s favourite artists include Dali, Murakami and Miyazaki.
Dan’s process starts with loose sketching on paper as he plays with ideas for each piece. The sketches are refined and the composition is honed for a final drawing, which he’ll scan to colour with his iPad and Apple Pencil, before transferring it into Photoshop for the finishing touches.
Vivid colour, positivity, surrealism and whimsy are all elements of Daniel’s style, which is heavily influenced by where he’s from – California. “The vibe of being relaxed, casual and yourself is a part of who I am and it definitely shows in my work,” he says.
Dan’s clients include Red Bull, Major League Soccer, The Washington Post, LA Galaxy, Tottenham Hotspur, Evite, Zedge and Wise Potato Chips, among others.