Artist’s Name: Dominique Condison
Artist’s Age: 22 Years
Why do you do what you do? When did you realize a passion for what you do?
I do photography because I love the idea of capturing the world from a different visual perspective than what most persons see. There is always more than what meets the eye, we just have to pay attention for a bit longer.
I realized I had a passion for this field of work when I was thirteen (13) years old. I used to stay at school, late hours, waiting on my mom to pick me up and to pass the time, I would walk around with my friend and take photos of nature along with random objects and buildings. I then got my first camera at that same age and began taking it to school to take more photos. I also created a Facebook page which was named “Domishi Photography” at first and created another with my friend named “Drom Star”. Domeraki came about one day when I no longer felt as if “Domishi” encapsulated what I envisioned my photography conveying. I remember the name coming about because I heard it in my head, I was playing around with the beginning of my name and I wrote Domeraki and then I researched it to see if anyone else had it and I found the meaning of “Meraki.”
Meraki – This is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be.
What is your educational background?
I went to Stella Maris Preparatory, then went on to St. Andrew High School For Girls and, now, I am currently in University studying for my Law Degree.
What are some of the challenges that you have faced while trying to pursue your passion?
Persons don’t take me seriously because of my age. I work in a male dominated field which often times lead to persons being in shock when they realize I am the photographer for an event.
Have you encountered people who have been skeptical about your dreams?
Yes, I have. Photography has always been referred to as my backup plan or something I do on the side to get by. My parents initially were skeptical about it but when they realized how passionate I was about it, they began to show more support.
How did you initially react to those people and how do you act towards them now?
It was discouraging, to say the least, especially when it came from persons who were important in my life. I have always reacted the same way, which is never to internalize it but instead deflected it because if I believe it, I will begin to manifest it. I always took on the mindset of ‘wait until I get farther and let’s see if you’re still singing the same song because I know I’m not staying in this position forever”.
What are some of the fears that you face even today?
I fear that I will never accomplish all that I want to accomplish as it relates to my business. I fear that I am not doing enough and I am getting to my destination at a snail’s pace.
How do you deal with those fears?
I deal with those fears now by forward planning in detail, mapping out how and when I want to accomplish expanding my business. I also tell myself “Rome was NOT built in a day” therefore, I need to take it easy with myself and not rush the process but simultaneously not become complacent. I practice to enjoy the journey more because it is far better than the destination.
How do you work? What is the method to your ‘madness’ and how do you filter your creativity?
To get myself in the mood to work, I often listen to Indie or Pop music to get my creative juices flowing. I also use the sky to get myself in the creative mindset, I would usually sit and look out my window and allow what I see to speak to me. I tend to ‘sky watch’ when the sun is setting because the sky usually lights up beautifully just before the sun disappears, especially after a rainy day. Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube also have helped to inspire my creative process.
I filter my creativity mostly by looking at new ideas I find via Instagram or YouTube or Pinterest, placing what I find in two (2) categories, ‘concepts I want to do’ versus ‘concepts I’ve done’. I will either attempt the new concepts or use some of the old concepts and incorporate them with the new concepts to create something else. I often try not to do more than one concept at a time. I usually attempt the one I’ve wanted to do the most or the one that best fits a test subject (person) I wish to use.
What role do you believe “the artist” has in society? / How do you feel your art form has the power to benefit society?
I believe the artists are tasked with the role of enlightening and changing people’s mindsets to understand that there is much more in this world than what the naked eye can see. Each person has an entire world in their brain that no one else knows about. For an artist to convey the world within to the outside world, is a masterpiece in and of itself.
I feel it has the power to convey messages that persons struggle to talk about. Society will be able to experience the world differently after seeing my work.
Where do you see yourself going?
I see myself becoming an international photographer and collaborating with other artists, whether photographers, dancers, painters, musicians, writers or videographers and creating projects that will inspire persons to explore and embrace different versions of themselves because no one is ever just one thing at a time.
By what terms do you measure success or perfection? When do you feel like you can say that your work is finished and ready to be experienced by others?
I measure success based on the goal I wished to accomplish from attempting a project. The image I see in my head is my marker for success, once I am satisfied with the outcome of a photo; I often see that as success. In addition to my personal idea of success, if the persons that I vet my images or videos with are able to tell me what they like most about the finished product, that also adds another layer of ‘yes it was a success’ but it is never the ultimate determining factor because, at the end of the day, some will like it and others won’t.
I can say that my work is finished when my imagination has come to life or the finished product has come close to what I had imagined. I believe persons are ready to see the finished product when I return to my project after a few hours of not looking at it and analyzing its every detail, I can say ‘wow, this is it’. In other cases, it works backwards, where my initial reaction is me loving it and then after starring at it for some time, I begin to dislike it and if I cannot say what I dislike about it, then I know it can be shared because there is a difference between the product being unfinished and the artist being afraid to publish it due the fear of being ridiculed for it not being like what people normally see/like or just for the sake of persons giving any form of critique.
What elements of your career bring you the most stress?
The editing process and how tedious it can be.
What is some advice that you would give to anyone who is trying to walk the same path as you?
Pride yourself in being confident with your work but also learn from the critiques along the way. There is always something new to learn about the field itself and there will always be someone more experienced than you are, therefore take everything that is thrown your way with grace, approach it with boldness and pace yourself. Never rush your creative process because beautiful things come forth when you give your creativity the leeway it deserves. Leave a piece of yourself in everything you do.
“…if I believe it, I will begin to manifest it. I always took on the mindset of ‘wait until I get farther and let’s see if you’re still singing the same song because I know I’m not staying in this position forever…”
~ Dominique Condison