The Land of Life

C. Daniela Shapiro

About C. Daniela Shapiro

I am a freelance artist and illustrator getting my masters in illustration and visual culture from Sam Fox. However, I didn’t always study art. I got my undergraduate degree in philosophy and went to a Jewish day school (GOA) before that. These differing areas of study exposed me a unique way of veiwing art and what art can do. I care about sustaiability, accessability, empathy, and education in my work; always thinking about how my art exisst conceptually and physically in the world. I am drawn to illustration and comics because it is the clearest form of storytelling visually. When I was eighteen I created a graphic novel, The Stories of Survivors, illustrating Holocaust survivors expereinces, as well as my own when visiting concentration camps in poland. It is now being used in schools, universities, and museums around the country for education. I am working on another graphic novel about mysogony and my traumatic expereinces with men. I always aim for empathy in my work; never creating a villian, purely bringing emapthy to suffering. I hope my art continues to be published and used for Tikun Olam socially and environmentally.

About The Land of Life

I have ADHD and dyslexia and was thus excluded from succeeding in my educational institutions growing up. I was yelled at for doodling during class, but drawing is how I process and comprehend the world. Now that I am a professional artist, I use this doodle style as a form of self-validation and liberation. This piece is what those doodle pages looked like. I used warm 8.5″x11″recycled paper to add formal meaning, and a 0.38 in pen. My favorite prayer is Etz Chatim He and I thought it was very fitting for the Shmita year. It says ‘The tree of life, she who upholds it will be content”. I strongly agree that the health and wellness of the environment correlates to our own. We are not outside of the ecosystem, we are apart of it. I illustrate cities, cars, social structures because they are part of nature, not outside of it, and we have to be consiencious regardless of the feild you are in, on how you affect “the tree of life”. That is why I apprecaite the Shmita tradition. Treating our environment like ourselves- we need a rest and so does the land.