Freelance artist and designer Dalia wants to encourage an empowering dialogue amongst women. How does she plan to do it? By capturing the female energy through patterns and curved forms - and it works. I was instantly attracted to her feed and wanted to learn more about her and her work. I respect her art for its boldness. Some may want to turn away, but for those of us who believe curiosity made the kittens, you will want to look! Dalia's focus is not on a females physical appearance but their spirituality, sexuality and prowess and I love that. Sometimes, society has a brilliant way of making us feel imperfect or ugly and that a woman should present herself in a particular way if she wants to be taken seriously or seen as intelligent, important, equal or talented. Dalia's work throws up the middle finger towards that ideology.
Her campaign does not end there. By not adding colour, she allows her audience to truly project themselves onto her work: we are free to explore and project ourselves onto the different characters through unbiased eyes.
What dialogue are you hoping to encourage with your viewers through your pieces?
The aim of my art is to allow my audience to resonate with it on any level. When I create my pieces, they each hold back-stories through my experience and my perception. I feel through years of manipulation of the population through the system has distraught us as conscious beings, further and further apart from agriculture and high respect for living things. Western Culture is a big example in my work, I like my art to question the ideology of ‘what it is to be female’ through my lighter visionary, erotic drawings or through the gorier themes. We are bombarded by the media, people, tv, advertising etc with oppressive norms in social structures, so I would like for my viewers to appreciate the female form as conscious beings. To be aware of the significance of a woman and the power of a living being growing inside of her, the instinctive motherly nature... Ultimately, my intention when creating is for the audience to perceive whatever they choose to.
How do you plan to embody / capture the female energy in your pieces?
I portray the feminine energy through my patterns and curved forms. Each Goddess usually has a pattern or hair which to me, represents feminine energy and a sense of time (Wisdom) or symbolic features such as the third eye, resembling the portal from Khemetic religion. I also include symbols that represent female energy to me, such as flowers, fish, crowns, crystals and magic embellishments.
Why aliens and mermaids? - mermaids have a strong history of misleading men and being somewhat dangerous yet beautiful - was this something you were aware of when creating your mermaid pieces?
Sometimes I feel like an alien, or that we are all aliens, especially when we throw around the phrase ‘we’re learning to be human’ in the Spiritual/Consciousness world. There is something that draws me to aliens over human illustrations, there’s an element of mystery and this massive ideology that aliens are higher intelligent beings. Some believe we must look up to the higher conscious beings so to some my alien illustrations can serve as an image of a God-like creature which can bring up all sorts of emotions for different people. Mermaids have always been my favourite type of mythical creature, especially The Little Mermaid ever since I can remember.
Yes I think mermaids do have a history of misleading men like The Medusa (who is also high on the list of favourite mythical creatures). I love the sense of thrill, fire, passion, and charisma a woman can have over men, mermaids represent a sense of power and rawness that I think each woman must have as a reminder to not back down or feel beaten down in times of darkness. When each one of us share this sensuality and rawness we must connect to our soul purpose, flow fearlessly that will allow growth, evolution, and healing for this life and the next.
A lot of your women have a third eye, why is this feature important to you?
I feel like it is my signature feature, it almost doesn’t feel finished to me if there isn’t one included somewhere. It represents the third eye, (the pineal gland in our brain which secretes DMT during our death) this is a whole other topic to go into, but I would say I am a believer of the Khemetic religion (originated from Egypt) where it is explained the vagina is a portal to the other dimensions, to Kundalini energy and holds great spiritual significance. When I understood this power each woman holds, it pushed me to create art that embodied women and question the oppression and lack of humility, or respect towards females. When my illustrations are grouped together, you can really feel they are connected through the third eye, as we all are.
Why do you choose to represent the female form through mythical creatures?
I feel like the mythical creature’s act as a symbol to remind us to uplift each other. To remind us that we are powerful women with divine feminine energy. What the audience feels represents these beings is what they perceive, and I want that to resonate with each person differently through their own experience. I have been flowing into more trance-like, meditative states as I have grown stronger in my intuition and spirituality, so a lot of the newer illustrations feel channelled through a visionary lens of divine feminine energy.
What influenced you to start drawing your characters?
I have always drawn creatures or beings ever since I was little, I found it was easiest to draw from my imagination or sometimes just see where the next form takes me and just ‘go with the flow’. I learnt Art in school, and then carried it onto college, foundation year and then university. Throughout the education system I experienced limitations through the marking scheme and some of the assigned projects or topics we had. Going into doing a Degree in Hair, Makeup & Prosthetic's for performance I was able to draw characters again. However, this was also slightly limiting compared to drawing an open form on paper, SFX had a huge element of the design process, accuracy and realisation. When a lot of the time I just needed to reflect and focus on drawing patterns or big forms with third eyes. This is what drove me to draw these types of illustrations, complete freedom, I feel less restricted when it is just the surface, pen/paint and me.
Head over to Dalia's pages to see more of her work: