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

Hi Dominika, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
If your business starts being the source of struggle, or stops being a sustainable source of income; is it time to give up or keep going for the sake of pride? Neither. It is time to re-evaluate your skills and assets and find a better fit. When I started my retouching house, ModelCitizen Studio, 15 years ago; it was at the peak of an era of endless glossy printed fashion magazines, sleek car ads, flawless beauty campaigns, over-the-top special effects for movie billboards. Then everything went digital. Then everyone starting using retouchers in India for a fraction of the cost. Then Covid. It was time for a “remodel”. So I started Coastal Chic Co, an Interior Design company. My eye for design, computer system, tablets and digital drawing skills moved seamlessly into 3-D rendering; and with on-site installations being required – someone in India cannot take that client. Art is making an evolution into NFTs, something I will be using my skills and assets to venture into also. Sometimes “giving up” is a blessing, and anyway, aren’t we are all meant to evolve?

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.
I have never let fear drive my decisions. I always had faith that what was meant would find its way to you.. but once it arrives, you work tirelessly and with passion.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Topanga Canyon hike for your body Cafe Gratitude for nourishment
Art Angel gallery for your eyes
Hollywood Bowl for your ears
A walk on the beach for your soulWho else deserves some credit and recognition?
Special thanks to a few photographers who influenced my path and made me feel so blessed to work with: Ranjit Grewal, an angel now in heaven, for telling me “Dom, you are so gifted you could draw with your eyes closed” -giving me the courage and push to start. Michael Muller for his trust in my skills to work on some the biggest campaigns ever. And major love for Lyle Owerko for trusting me in sharing the magical creation process for several of his fine art photography exhibits. I would not be where I am without the encouragement, support and trust from all the other gifted creatives on the journey.

Website: www.dominikabarnes.com

Instagram: @coastalchicco

Image Credits
Lyle Owerko

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