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Danuta Bennett, PhD-Illustrator, Artist and Graphic Designer

Danuta Bennett wearing a cowboy hat and smiling.



“As an artist and graphic designer, Danuta Bennett often incorporates the realism of metaphor into her creations, embracing the full spectrum of reality and its potential transformations. Her work seamlessly blends abstract and realistic elements, captivating viewers with its fusion. Danuta crafted artistic symbols and illustrations that provide a deep immersion into the history of psychology, transcending mere verbal expression. Through her digital collages, Danuta’s imagery guides the viewer on a captivating visual odyssey.”

A note from the artists:
Carl Jung suggested that symbols possess an extraordinary capacity to access the collective unconscious, acting as channels for articulating intricate emotions, thoughts, and ideas that surpass language constraints. The genesis of the book, which interweaves psychology and symbols, stands as evidence of the interconnected relationship between art and the understanding of the human psyche.

We intended each image to encourage readers to delve deeply and intuitively into the symbolism presented. Employing a collage technique, we sought to bridge the realms of consciousness and unconsciousness, mirroring how symbols operate within the psyche. By utilizing pre-existing photos and artwork, we aimed to tap into the collective unconscious, integrating expressions crafted by others and then reconstructing our own interpretation of the imagery to mirror our comprehension of the symbol within the context of the history of psychology.

Ira Progoff, an American psychologist, suggested that artists, poets, philosophers, and mystics in every era and culture have a destiny to unearth the imagery of their own psyche and bring it into the realm of ultimate concerns.
We encourage you to utilize the symbols in your own unique manner, just as we have reinterpreted the original images. Connect with them on a personal level and incorporate them into the language of your own psyche.

In our endeavor, we aimed to showcase examples of symbols that have held profound significance throughout history. These images encompass religious, political, and historical symbols and reflect their respective times’ cultural and socio-economic climates.

Through this book and its accompanying artwork, we aimed to elevate it beyond a mere compilation of illustrations, transforming it into a symbolic language that deepens our understanding of psychology and symbols. Our intention is for this exploration to maintain neutrality, free from religious, political, philosophical, or ideological associations, and instead concentrate solely on the universal psychological significance of the symbols.

The key difference between a symbol, icon, and illustration is their purposes and how they convey meaning. Icon” and “symbol” are terms that we often use interchangeably, but there’s a subtle difference:

A symbol is a visual representation that carries a deeper, often cultural or abstract, meaning. It is a concise way to communicate complex ideas or concepts. Symbols are open to interpretation and can hold different meanings for people or cultures. They often represent broader ideas, values, or beliefs that convey a significant concept without being overly detailed.

It is a literal, visual representation of what it represents; Icons represent the exact thing they look like. Icons are not conceptual imagery; they are practical and useful. An icon is a simple image that represents the real thing.

An illustration is a visual representation created to enhance or clarify a specific idea, story, or concept. It is a more literal and detailed depiction of a subject. Illustrations are typically more straightforward and aim to represent a specific object, scene, or narrative. The meaning is usually more direct and less open to interpretation. Illustrations can be highly detailed and intricate, providing a realistic or stylized depiction of the subject matter.

While both symbols and illustrations are visual representations, symbols are often more abstract and open to interpretation, carrying deeper meanings, whereas illustrations are more concrete and specific, depicting a particular subject or story in a more detailed manner.

The source images used in the book artwork were released under Public domain images – License: CC0 Public Domain, Pixabay license – where the creator has released it explicitly under the license Creative Commons Zero CC0.  and Pxfuel, CC Creative Common license and Fair use, as specified in references.


Danuta Bennett, Ph.D., graduated from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, specializing in ecology. She co-founded the Aeolian Center for Psychotherapy and Creativity, focusing on organizing workshops and public lectures exploring the intersection of art and psychology. Actively engaged in the local artistic community, she serves as a member and former vice president of The Santa Barbara Art Association and is affiliated with The Carpinteria Art Center. Furthermore, she plays a key role as the marketing director for the Santa Barbara Artists Studio Tour.

A person looking at a drawing of a woman.

Danuta’s artistic talent is evident in her impressive exhibitions, such as “Purple Tango” and “Nudes & New” at the Voice Gallery Santa Barbara, as well as “Ready to Hang” at the Santa Barbara Community Arts Workshop Gallery. Additionally, she participated in the “Flat File” exhibition at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. Her work has been showcased in numerous juried shows and solo exhibitions, including the notable “Flowers under House Arrest” in Santa Barbara. Moreover, she was highlighted as a featured artist during the Art Foundation of Santa Barbara Event.

Beyond her role as an artist, Danuta excels as a freelance graphic designer and photographer. She has crafted visual materials for online psychology and substance abuse treatment programs, produced stylized photographic marketing materials for local nonprofits and individuals, and designed brochures, logos, banners, and advertisements. Her artwork has graced scientific magazines, and she has provided her expertise as a social media consultant for “The Santa Barbara Teen Star,” a nonprofit talent show.

Danuta’s dedication to sharing her knowledge extends to her role as an art instructor. She imparts her skills in painting and drawing to older adults at The Samarkand, a senior community in Santa Barbara, and teaches an introduction to traditional Eastern European craft at the Carpinteria Art Center.