North Texas Daily

UNT student designer finds comfort in digital art

UNT student designer finds comfort in digital art

UNT student designer finds comfort in digital art
July 03
09:00 2021

New media art senior Darren Dobson incorporates different types of themes, colors, shapes and sizes to find their colorful voice and express that voice through digital art. 

“I’ve always been an artist,” Dobson said. “I don’t feel like I had a voice until a year ago.”

Dobson started drawing and designing digital art in 2011, and in 2013, they started selling art to various clients across Denton.

“I knew that I always loved color, shapes and patterns,” Dobson said. “But I never knew that I would be able to create a distinct style for myself.”

They found their place as a digital designer, and have received likes and follows from more than 4,500 individuals across Instagram (@darren_designs) and Twitter (@DarrenDesigns_).

“The pandemic is a huge driving factor in me deciding to take this more seriously,” Dobson said. “I want to put more time and dedicate, put my all into it so that I can make this into a business, a livelihood.”

Dobson said they worried about turning artwork into a form of income out of fear of turning it into a chore, rather than a form of self-expression.

“I don’t know how I feel about money and art,” Dobson said. “I personally wouldn’t even want to make money if I didn’t have to, but because we live in this world, I’m obligated to.”

Dobson’s friends have shown support towards their designs, talents and growing business.

“Their talent is not limited to their artistic abilities,” communication design junior Claudia Bastos said. “They are also incredibly business and marketing-oriented. They do not lose sight of their goals as a creator.”

Dobson’s customers have enjoyed watching their growth since their start, such as UNT alumna Lorne Mayes.

“Darren’s vibrant art always brings a smile to my face,” Mayes said. “I love seeing the evolution of their pieces too. I have one of their mushroom stickers on my water bottle, and I can’t wait to own and frame one of their art prints.”

Dobson recently bought a book to help inspire their work and will look into color schemes, compositions and other mediums to help with starting new pieces. Their process to create a piece starts with drawing, then continuing to add coloring to make it complete.

Dobson uses platforms such as Adobe Suite, Procreate and iPad applications to create designs. When designing a piece, they get lost in the artwork and can draw for hours on end, fueling a feeling of happiness within, they said. 

“It calms me down,” Dobson said. “I don’t feel stressed out when I’m doing it. It’s not easy, but because of how it makes me feel, it doesn’t make me irritated. “

They said  as an artist, they feel obligated to talk about their personal experiences and issues in their pieces, but they look to other outlets for this type of expression. 

“My art can be the only place where I’m free to do whatever I want,” Dobson said. “It’s my space that is outside of the world that I live in — it’s a safe haven.”

In the future, Dobson hopes to get into photography work and incorporate it into pieces to further immerse themselves in the world of design. 

Courtesy Darren Dobson 

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Mahonri Mendoza

Mahonri Mendoza

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