Liliana Sanches Davis designed the amazing cover of What Kills Me. The talented 29-year-old artist from Lisbon, Portugal talked to me about how her nightmares inspire her work.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m quite obsessed about the things that I feel passionate about, I’m very introverted, as I dread social relationships, and often run to my inner world where I am a lot more comfortable.
For your art, where do you get your inspiration?
Music definitely drives me, and helps me give shape to my work, but as my art has been evolving, my fears have been playing the main role as my inspiration. When I have dreams/nightmares I also remember every tiny detail so that also helps me express myself in a more surreal way as well.
What kinds of things freak you out?
I hate admitting it but I have a severe case of nyctophobia (phobia of the dark). I can’t be left alone at home at night. It’s excruciating for me, I have no words to describe it. I’ve tried everything a person can to cure it. Therapy, confrontation, research, understanding. It never changes.
Can you give me an example of a dream that you turned into art?
The fading girl idea first came to me in a nightmare. I was very young but i still remember it clearly. I used it for quite a while in my artwork (girl fading into nothing from the waist down). Some people actually thought it was because I couldn’t blend two photos together in Photoshop, haha!
“Room III :: Schizophrenia” is the one that is the closest to being transferred directly from my dreams though.
What did you want to be growing up?
I recall being into arts since I was very young. Not necessarily just visual arts, but also theatre and music. When it was time to make a decision to choose a college degree, I chose Graphic Design and Psychology, in this order. I got an answer from Design Graphic school first so I did it. I still wonder how I’m doing as a Psychologist in a parallel universe!
What kinds of books do you read?
Apart from the books I read that are art related, I love Paulo Coelho’s books. By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is my favorite by him. He writes stories and teaches lessons that stay with you for a lifetime, and really makes you consider the way you are living. I also love Dan Brown, Daniel Sampaio, José Saramago.
For the cover of What Kills Me, what elements were important for you to convey?
At first I confess I was a little lost because I was too stuck to a previous idea I had for a different artwork; but then the author told me more about the story and the main character’s turmoil of emotions, and that’s when I understood. The idea is very similar to the Romantic era in the 19th century, where nature was a reflection of what was happening inside the painter or the main character. In this case, it was the aggressive waves crashing on the girl, and the stormy sky about to open in a violent storm.
For more of Liliana’s work and how to contact her, visit her site on Deviantart.