WetINK Quarterly (Spring) – Featuring: Dan Hugo

After completing his National Diploma in Graphic Design at The Cape Peninsula University of Technology in 1996, Daniël Hugo was fortunate enough to get a design position at a clothing company in Mauritius. “It was on the island that I began filling sketchbooks, chronicling ideas and extremely vivid dreams. This was the beginning of the ‘Oneironaut’.”

Returning to Cape Town in 1998 he has since been freelancing as an illustrator, storyboard artist and visualiser for numerous ad agencies, publishers and film productions. His lists of former clients include Ogilvy Cape Town, Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press. In 2001 he became a member of the ‘Igubu Comics Collective’ and has been a contributor to numerous underground publications including ‘Helix’, ‘Clockworx’, ‘Velocity’, ‘GrafLit’ as well as ‘Holland SF’.

Since, he has self-published ‘The Oneironaut’ & ‘Other Tales’ (a collection of short comics spanning 2001-2013) and ‘The Souvenir’, a graphic novella prequel to and inspiration for Uncharted Waters which appeared in the independent local anthology publication ‘SECTOR’. ‘The Souvenir’ has also recently been translated by Brazilian publisher, Skript Editora, for the lusophone market.

As a local independent comic creator, he co-presented a panel on South African comics at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2014. Apart from his illustrative work he has participated in several group exhibitions locally and continues to devote time to practice his creative research.

We recently caught up with Dan for a quick Q&A :


When you were at school did you have anyone who inspired you to take up art / or was there a moment that made you think, yeah this is something that I would like to do?

I was very lucky to have supporting parents and art teachers that encouraged me to draw from a young age. I was always attracted to comics and illustrations and knew that I wanted to do something similar. After school, I studied graphic design and then kind of fell into illustration.


What is your favourite medium and why?

I can’t say that I have a favourite, they all have special qualities and effects. I do appreciate the speed and versatility of digital and that one is able to experiment without necessarily having to commit. Otherwise I usually work with pencil or acrylics.


To date what is your favourite project/piece that you have worked on?

I’m really proud of the 100 page silent graphic novel (DieStrandloper) that I conceived and completed during the height of the 2020 covid lockdown. I’m also very pleased with the prints on display at WetInk, seeing as they happened around the same time and has inspired me to explore this dreamworld some more through different art projects in future.-


Do you have any projects/exhibitions in the pipeline?

Apart from launching my graphic novel, I recently had my first solo exhibition, Camissa Alterna, with original paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. Going into the future, I’d love to create more paintings, experiment with acrylics and do more shows.


What is your studio set up like? Do you prefer a quiet space or do like a bit of noise and chaos?

I have a home studio so I prefer to keep the chaos to a manageable level. I usually clean up a bit before a big project in order not to be distracted. Otherwise it’s mostly a messy space, depending if I’m painting or not 🙂


If you could swap a piece of work with anyone who would that be?

There are just too many incredible artists whose work I admire! To pick just one, is breaking my brain…

Dan’s work will be on display at Wetink Cape Town from 3rd October – 15th December 2022 

Check out Dan’s Instagram @danielhugoillustration

Prints available ✉️ danhugo@gmail.com

Wetink Quarterly (Spring) - Featuring: Dan Hugo
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Wetink Quarterly (Spring) - Featuring: Dan Hugo
Interview with Dan Hugo, Cape Town Illustrator.
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