Driva Ritar and her monochrome characters
Born in Sweden and now based in sunny Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Driva creates illustrations that aim to make people feel strengthened and seen. She’s here to normalise mental health struggles, and to encourage a good cry every now and then. As a self-proclaimed shy introvert, Driva finds it easier to communicate her thoughts and feelings through her characters and her illustrations. Alongside this, she’s an advocate for a good playlist paired with a strong cuppa coffee. Follow her on Instagram to see her new illustrations posted regularly - and have a look out for her stories too, where she shares her dreamy iPhone photography and mini travel diaries from her day-to-day life.
We spoke to her briefly about her influences and ideas behind her work. Have a lil read, and indulge in her sleepy rabbits and crying creatures.
When did you start to draw?
I think I’ve always been drawing, but not realising it. I know that sounds weird but it’s actually true. For most of my creative life, writing and photography has been my main outlet. So now, what I usually say is that I “embraced drawing” fully early in 2018.
Who is your favourite artist?
I think the artist I always come back to when I want to feel understood and less alone in the world is Swedish illustrator Joanna Rubin Dranger. Her work is dark and funny, yet very sensitive.
Where is your favourite place to go to get inspiration?
I’m a very auditory person and I usually get inspiration from music, song lyrics, things I hear on the radio or in podcasts. I love creating very specific playlists for very specific moods and situations. When I hear something that inspires me, I go “looking for it” by making lots of sketches until I have found the “matching” illustration to the sound.
What influences your work?
There are two parts to this, for me at least. First of all, my head is a messy place and illustrating is a way of creating order and clarity. Putting it outside myself, so to speak. I also think it’s my way of asking “is it just me feeling / thinking / experiencing this?”