Today we’d like to introduce you to Rob Domenech.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
As far back as I can remember, art has always been an integral part of my life. Whether it is drawing, creative consulting for international performers or photography, art has always found its place with me. More recently, though, I have focused my creative energies towards photography.
This started just three years ago when I decided, completely on a whim, to go out and buy a digital camera. I honestly do not know what it was that possessed me to do it, but I did and, for a change, have been incredibly happy for my impulsiveness that day. I have never been trained in any of my artistic endeavors and this was no exception. I wanted to figure it out on my own. I wanted to make my own mistakes and learn from them. If I were going to fail, then I would fail in my own way.
In another lifetime, I used to be a freelance graphic designer, so I am very comfortable behind the wheel in Photoshop. When I realized that I could use this skill in tandem with photography, an incredible world of infinite possibilities opened right before my eyes!
Fun fact: I have been a fan of Salvador Dali’s work for a very long time, so you can imagine my joy when my dad was putting together our genealogy and found him in our family tree! Google “Salvador Dali’s tombstone” and have a look at the full family name etched on it. Not that this makes me special in any way, I just think it’s a cool talking point. 🙂
Please tell us about your art.
It took me nearly my whole life to discover that I think in pictures, so the photographic medium just made sense to me. I sit with my sketchbook, envision a story, watch it unfold in my mind’s eye, then freeze a frame of that story and draw it out. These drawings become the blueprint for my photography and then came the question of “now just how do I make this happen in real life?” This, for me, is where the true art begins.
All of my images begin with a story. The story is always the foundation, then all of the symbolism is built on top of it. To me, I don’t want to just make pretty images. I want my work to speak. There’s an air of mystery to my work that is by design in that I want the viewer to decipher the image for themselves so that the story that the image tells to them is tailored specifically to that person and their experiences. It’s kind of engineered in the same way as those ink tests that psychologists give where they show you an ambiguous blob of ink, and you’re supposed to interpret it into an image that makes sense to you. In doing this, you are actually projecting a piece of yourself into that ambiguous ink blob and pulling out something from yourself.
The images that I create have been called “creepy,” “dark”, “beautiful” and many more adjectives. I enjoy mixing both beautiful and dark elements together as I feel that it tends to really grab your attention. There’s a bit of tension when the dark elements are examined, but then there’s a feeling of relief when the eye latches onto the beauty. Even the smallest spark in the darkest room commands your attention, and that is what I try to incorporate with my imagery.
I am a lover of art of all kinds. I truly appreciate art that is loud and in your face, but what moves me the most is the kind of art that is subtle. The kind of art that makes you, the one experiencing it, have to lean in very closely to hear the story that it is trying to tell you. The kind of art that speaks softly, but carries a big stick. This is the kind of art that I love to make. Quiet stories that dance around surreal imagery.
Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
If you have a “main job” that pays the bills and allows you to continue doing your artwork, do not be in such a rush to leave it behind.
If your artwork isn’t capable of supporting you right now, that’s okay! There is absolutely no shame in finding work to help keep food in your belly while you are still trying to figure things out. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Do not be fooled by what you see people doing online and do not compare yourself to anyone.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can find most of my work on my Instagram account (@robdomenech).
If you really want to support my work, share my Instagram account with everyone and anyone that would care to have a look!
I do some showings around the country every once and a while, so keeping up with me on social media would be your best bet for discovering when and where I will be. If you happen to come out to one of these events, please find me and say “hi”!
Audrey English (@audreydoran on Instagram)
Amber Fink (@vivalabamber on Instagram)