Inspiring women — Dàmaris Coll: photography, travelling and all things Japan
Dàmaris Coll is the author of some of our favorite photos and dearest memories: the ones she took at the Festivalet fair.
She writes and edits a super inspiring blog called The Cat You and Us where she shares her trips, fashion tips and love for her cute furry friend, Juno.
Let's meet Dàmaris!
Ahoy Dàmaris! Welcome to our journal, it’s a pleasure having you here today with us! Could you please introduce yourself? Where are you from? What do you do?
Ahoy Captain! So happy to be invited to your journal, it’s such a gift to be included amongst the group of inspiring women you have featured so far, I admire all of them so much that I have to admit I even feel a little bit overwhelmed.
I’m Dàmaris and live in Barcelona with my husband, Daniel and little furry baby cat Juno. Juno may look very little (she is tiny in size!) but she is already 12 years old, and I cherish every day having this stubborn, grumpy yet very sweet munchkin by our sides.
I have a technical academic background, I studied a master in computer science and work in a research group at the Technical University in Barcelona, which specializes in smart routing. However, I feel I have a strong duality, as my passion is the visual arts, such as photography, cinema or design.
We met some years ago on a Festivalet fair, where you were taking pictures, and we started following your adventures on your blog and Instagram account ever since because we love your style! Is photography your creative outlet?
I also clearly recall how we met at a Festivalet, I fell in love with Don Fisher at first sight. I started taking photos at the Festivalet fair for fun on 2013 (wow, almost 10 years already!) that I posted on my blog, and that’s how I met Alicia, one of its organizers, she loved my photos, contacted and proposed me to be the official photographer. I have been the official photographer since then and it’s very rewarding to develop close relationships with so creative and skilled people, during the two-day fair I am inspired by all the participants.
As I was mentioning my work is highly technical, but I have always been very interested in the arts and decoration. As a teenager I loved to read all the classics and watching movies from various eras. This shifted to photography when I met Daniel whom I was dating back then, I remember during one birthday he got a new camera and we start sharing it and self-learning all about the basics. Then I bought an analogue camera too and at the same time started investigating how to color edit digital. I fell deeply in love with photography and how it allowed me to pursue my passion for artistic creation, in a way I felt it was doing ok enough to keep pursuing it.
I also find decoration rewarding, but photography is a primary source of happiness for me.
Your travel guides on your blog are so useful, we discovered amazing places or plans to do thanks to you! How do you find all these beautiful spots and manage to share everything so detailed and well written? Are you super organized?
Thank you! I guess this comes from the more logical and technical side of my personality. As a kid, I used to help my dad to organize his collections and it seems to have stuck with me. Also, I am a Virgo and the classic trait of Virgos is that they are very organized and list-oriented, which I feel is true for me. I especially enjoy organizing future trips and make plans, cost estimations, I always joke that I could easily start my own travel agency for personalized travels.
For inspiration, I use Instagram and TikTok to find places to visit. I have created collections for each destination, and I store all the places and restaurants I like, separated by destination. I usually prefer to take inspiration from accounts that share their life, rather than travel-only accounts, some of them can be a bit repetitive by only showing the same spots that do well with engagement. However, people who share their life with good photography usually have similar interests to mine, and I know their recommendations will be more spot on. This is only like the first trigger, once I decide to start planning a trip I create a Google Map, and add all the saved spots as pins. Then, I start my research and visit blogs and Youtube to learn more about what else might interest me nearby.
With this strategy, I find more alternative and interesting spots. After that, I create a realistic plan for all the days and an Excel sheet where I can estimate costs while making the plan. This is my Virgo side in full action (laughs). Because I carefully save all the planning, it's easy for me to share everything in detail in my guides. I like to think that the work I put into it could be helpful or inspirational for others.
Speaking of travelling, we know you have a soft spot for Japan and you visited the country several times, what do you love about the country and its culture? Can you share with us a “wow” moment you experienced there?
Barcelona is where I live but Japan is where my heart belongs. I am really that intense with the country! I think it has something to do with how I connect with the culture and values, and the empathy for others is something I relate. I think I have the country’s imaginary imprinted in my inner self after my favorite childhood animes, such as Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, Dr Slump, Doraemon, Candy Candy, etc… From there, I was very interested in learning more about the culture, the gastronomy and the language. About Japan, I am not a blindly fanatical enthusiast. Of course, I recognize that no place or culture is perfect, and I know that they have many challenges to overcome, such as improving feminism and reducing societal pressure. Currently, I am studying Japanese at a language school. I have classes every Friday, which after a long week of work is not always easy, but I always find myself enjoying it and it helps me to completely disconnect from all the worries of work.
The first time we visited Japan was during our honeymoon, and what was supposed to be a once-in-the-lifetime experience became our favorite place in the world that we need to come back to again and again. I’ve had many “wow” moments during the four times I have been lucky enough to visit the country, but one exceptional “wow” moment I remember very vividly was during the sakura (the cherry blossom) season, when there was wind and many petals were floating in the air. People quickly stopped their cars to get out and admire the sakura rain. We felt like we were experiencing something special with all of them. Their love for nature and the seasons is something I have also learned a lot about during our visits.
Your naif style fits perfectly with Don Fisher universe! What do you like the most about our captain’s imaginary?
The moment I saw Don Fisher I knew it was something very special. The bags were not only well-crafted, but the attention to detail and the storytelling won me over immediately. I also think it fits perfectly with the kawaii Japan culture that I love so much. They create characters with a a story and then produce daily life items shaped after that character, for example, a soap dispenser shaped like Rilakkuma (a bear), which I own!
In addition, Don Fisher’s appreciation for nature is also evident; you can learn about fish species. All that together is something that I don’t think that there are lots of brands that do that. There’s something that may seem silly, but every time without fail, when I open my Don Fisher bag, I smile at the sight of the spine. It may be a small detail, but it makes the bag perfect.
Thank you so much for joining us today, Dàmaris! You are the sweetest and we loved getting to know you.
Do follow Dàmaris blog, The Cat You & Us, where you'll find the most amazing travel guides to Japan, US, UK and more! Also, her Instagram account is and endless source of beauty and inspiration.