'Speaking of Art': Dana SanMar

Artist Dana SanMar will join in September's "Drink and Doodle" event at APV Gallery. (Photo credit: Dana SanMar)

Dana SanMar is a Colombian artist based in Atlanta specializing in children’s illustration. Her favorite mediums are digital painting and working with cut paper to create her designs. SanMar explains her meticulous process: “I start by designing the illustration. Once the line work is ready, I transfer the design to different pieces of paper, depending on the colors, and then cut each piece with an Exacto knife. The next step is to paint the pieces and add details, and assemble everything together with glue.”

To see her work, a viewer might be astonished to learn that it’s composed of these paper assemblages; the colors and lines show the work of a talented painter, but the depth created by each layer’s shadow render the overall effect entirely transporting and otherworldly.

Sanmar draws inspiration from nature and storytelling, particularly magical realism. The themes lend themselves well to her storybook covers. One series by SanMar provides original cover designs for several well-known and beloved books like “A Wrinkle In Time” and “The Wizard of Oz,” all of them elevated by her unmistakable and enchanting style. “Just knowing that my art can impact kids or future artists is a big motivation for me,” said SanMar. In her own childhood, Dana SanMar explored extensively across the spectrum of craft materials, playing with embroidery, crochet, drawing, painting and clay; she credits her parents with inspiring her move toward a career in art.

Dana SanMar will join in September’s “Drink and Doodle” event at APV Gallery, and she also contributes several original pieces to ABV’s catalogue. More of her work can be seen on her Instagram at @danasanmar