I am excited to continue the series: Designer Spotlight. Designer Spotlight features different artists and designers on the blog. Towards the end of summer, I had the opportunity to interview Dina, owner of Art by Dina D. Dina is a painter and photographer based in the DC area. She makes abstract contemporary acrylic paintings that would spice up any kind of project. Dina can be found on Etsy at ArtbyDinaD and her photography site at dinadeephotog.com.
Dina’s art was featured in August’s Color in Review: Touch of Sand SW 9085 – Neutral Themed Decor. Check out the post to see her neutral artwork and the coordinating color scheme and decor.
Interview with Art by Dina D
Note: The interview edited for publishing and clarity.
Before I was an artist, I had left my job to do photography full time. I initially helped my mother create and manage a crochet shop on Etsy. My mom passed away in 2014. My whole family is really close, and I was quite close to my mom. We spent a lot of time together.
Usually, when I have something on my mind, I journal. I was at a park and couldn’t write in my journal and unload my feelings. I went home and picked up my mom’s acrylic paint tubes and supplies. After grabbing the supplies, I returned to the park and just started painting. I pretended like I was my mom. I painted nine paintings in that one sitting. With each painting, the emotions that I went through were very different. I had tears on some of the first ones.
I took all of my mom’s crochet down and I put the paintings all up on the shop. They sold like crazy! The next day I went back to the park and painted nine more paintings. They just kept selling. That is how I started. I will never forget that day.
2. What is your inspiration? What inspired you to paint?
I am inspired by different things. From music to light, to just what I’m going through that day. It all has something to do with how I feel that day and that moment. With every painting, I have a story. It’s almost like a journal! I paint every day and it’s all emotional painting. My work is all pretty much abstract. There are some portraits, but I pretty much paint whatever I feel. Inspiration comes from my senses: I’m inspired by what I am hearing, feeling, and smelling.
I also love being outdoors and I love going to parks. I have so much appreciation for nature. I’ve learned that through my photography. When I sit at home and paint, I often put nature sounds on. It just makes me so alive. My family and friends inspire me a lot. I feel so full of love and I try to be as giving as I can. I am so happy, that that feeling is exuding out.
For someone to want my art in their home or gift it, it means the world to me. And with every piece, I think of my mom.
3. How does your inspiration translate into your artwork?
When I listen to certain kinds of music, I notice I paint a certain kind of painting. I’ve categorized some of my paintings into collections. If I’m listening to jazz or light music, it feels kind of bouncy, and I do lots of dots. If it’s very deep instruments or instrumental, I notice I am using my thicker brushes and I paint broad and deep strokes. Some music and sounds allow me to paint fast, makes the workflow, and I don’t think too much.
4. What is your design process like?
I don’t really like starting to paint without having an idea. I find that sometimes when I paint like that, I get stuck. Since it’s emotional, most times when I start a painting, I already have it in my mind. I am running over to a canvas, and I am laying it out. If I am not near the studio, I draw it and take a picture of it. If I don’t capture the vision, a lot of times I’ll lose it.
For most of my paintings, I am running over to the canvas and just starting it. I’ll paint and paint and through the drying process, I’ll set it up and just look at it. Then I’ll switch to working on something else while looking at it in the corner of my eye.
After that, I revisit it and make some tweaks. Once that’s done, you have to brush your hands off and leave it alone. You can rework a piece too much and then not like it. I try to make my painting process as meaningful and as purposeful as I possibly can.
Well, I learned a lot through photography. I feel like I have on a pair of glasses where I can see things way more clearly than I’ve ever seen before. It’s a completely different perspective. I am a different person through photography. When I start painting, I go into that same intricate mood.
Sometimes, I even catch myself and say, “Oh wait, you are looking at it as a photographer. We’re not looking at surfaces and where the light is hitting”. In the creation process, I want to stand in front of this canvas as a painter, an artist.
To me, photography is all about detail. It is very intricate. Being a photographer and having that kind of eye, It helps me with texture and my angles. My photography skills really come in handy when it comes to coordinating and balancing the paint and the objects on the canvas. It is also helpful when I am sizing it all in the end. It comes full circle when I photograph the art. I paint and photograph in the studio.
Do you have any designers or artists that you think should be featured? Let me know in the comments!
For another interview, check out my last designer spotlight: Travel Palette: Featuring Mural “The Love I Vibrate”