We had the good fortune of connecting with Dom Lay and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dom, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe that risk taking is a necessary part in reaching or achieving our goals. Often times we like to live in comfort and avoid pushing our boundaries that could possibly lead to something greater in our lives. We tend to sit around and keep thinking to ourselves, what if, or no, I can’t do that, or what will people think of me? It is this innate fear that will not allow us to discover our full potential in what we do and create. There were many risks I had to take when starting my career especially. Years ago I always had anxieties in my head that people would judge what I would do. I began the journey of becoming a concept artist to work in the entertainment industry. But as I was studying over the years, I felt that my art wasn’t going anywhere. I was stagnating as an artist and I grew frustrated. I was merely copying what my peers were creating and what types of subject matter people in the industry were doing because I thought it would ultimately land me a job. Soon enough I was burnt out of art, and lost my passion to create for quite awhile. It wasn’t until I took the risk to create my very own artbook in 2020 and break into being an independent artist. Initially I was afraid of taking the leap, and felt somewhat apprehensive that it wouldn’t sell to anyone out there. Surprisingly enough, after its completion there were people messaging from all around the world wanting to purchase a copy of it. It was nothing I ever expected in my lifetime and it felt truly satisfying to create a personal project that sold on the market. If you want to achieve anything great for yourself, taking risks is always going to be part of the equation. There is never an easy way around it.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is meant to take people on a journey with me. I don’t typically like to create my art just to get pure recognition or for tons of likes or followers on social media. My art is purely created to inspire others, and for people to keep. I love to break the mold a little bit when it comes to creating my work. Typically I will see other artists in the industry draw or paint in the same genre or style, so I want to try and push the boundaries a bit, by creating in a peculiar, unconventional way, and telling stories throughout my pieces. Not everyone will enjoy what I create and that is completely fine. I accepted that it is a normal part of the process and I focus more of my energy towards those who do enjoy my work. It benefits more to strive and be different than to always follow the crowd. I ultimately got to where I am today by failing. Failing hard through seven plus years, and learning through trial and error, and seeking for advice from those above me. I continued to improve each day artistically, spiritually, physically, and mentally. The path has been most difficult despite some others thinking it was easy for me. I don’t know everything about what I do, nor was I gifted with any special talents or abilities growing up, but it was through my passion and determination I was willing to work hard to be able to make some sort of impact in the art world. That was my dream. I feel that is more important to me than simply making money, because I knew it would follow anyway if I was good at my craft. I overcame most of my challenges by being patient with the process and enjoying the journey. Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that you can’t always get what you want from the jump. Things take time, like a blade being forged and sharpened over several months and years. Improving in art is a long game and not meant for short term gratification. For me, becoming the best artist was never my goal or intention. I don’t believe you can sustain yourself with that type of goal long term. But rather being the best at helping other people reach their own goals was what I was aiming for the most. I wanted to get better at that. It makes me happy to see someone else happy that I helped them unlock their potential. I want people to know that I am always here to help if they need it. Whether it be someone to talk to or someone who just needs advice or tips with their situation. Being an only child, I know how it feels to go through life alone and battle through all different types of challenges/insecurities along the way. I want to be there for anyone who is going through that.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First, I would definitely take them to Irvine Spectrum to chill and hang out or grab a quick bite to eat, head over to Crystal Cove on a warm weekend to walk by the beach. If they’re in the mood for a run or bike ride, I would take them to Orange County Great Park to explore the trails. Maybe go to the District at Tustin Legacy to catch a movie on a Friday night. And if there is still time, take a drive down to Laguna Beach to see the gallery art walks. There is quite a bit to see in Orange County. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shoutout to my family first and foremost for supporting me through life, as well as my mentors and friends who believed I could make the push towards my dreams. I would also like to give a shoutout to my followers on social media for building this community online that supports my work and sharing it around to other people. Getting to your destination is never easy, and is impossible to do purely alone. I believe if it is your goal to go far in life, always set aside the pride and reach out for help or actively seek it out. But most importantly take action and apply the advice you are given from others that you find helpful.

Website: https://www.artstation.com/dlartistry
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/layeredpainter/?hl=en
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dom-lay-574054125/

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