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Exclusivity has a primordial talent for seducing intrigue and ego. Its formless essence is what percolates through the satisfaction that washes over our minds when we imagine being famous or powerful – the thought of truly being unique. And yet, in spite of that, our ravenous inner consumer gnaws mechanically on a flavorless substitute for exclusivity: convenience. We are more likely to purchase something we can get faster and easier – and cheaper – than something that is irrefutably, helplessly ravishing and spectacular.
Quantity appears to have commercially dethroned quality. And in the process it sponsored instant gratification’s tyranny over creation and installed mass production as the new head of state. Creation, however, commands a phalanx of immortal insurgents to fight this tyranny: dreams.
Dale Landry, lifelong illustrator and graphic designer, used her dreams as the architecture for the business she built, Dreamscape Drawings (on Etsy, DaleDraws). As a kid, she would dream of entire worlds, ones with their own political systems, social stratification, climates – everything. She just assumed that this was how everyone dreamed, that everyone’s imagination operated at this level. It wasn’t until she began visually transcribing these elaborate fantasies into anthropomorphic characters and dystopian atmospheres on paper that she realized how delightfully unusual she was. Upon discovering that, she became tantalized by the challenge and excitement of escorting others into her exclusive realm.
By the time she was a freshman in high school, Dale had amassed a growing clientele composed of peers who wanted glimpses of her mysterious reality. By leading her thoughts to waltz on paper with pencils, markers and gel and ink pens, she was opening her customers’ minds to a new way of thinking. And the attraction of that experience spread. So, as more commissions came in, she needed a more widely accessible portal to her imagination. Thus came about the first iteration of her current website for Dreamscape Drawings.
Today, Dale remains known for her hyper-unique style of illustration, which has preserved its distinction as a cryptic still captured from mid-dream footage. And she continues to peer at life through her own kaleidoscope to produce mixed-media interpretations of what she sees. She has created logos, watermarks, product design/packaging, concept art, graphic novels, caricature portraits, banners and cover art. All the while, the kinetic energy of her imagination has been perched on the precipice of new ways to transport her dreams to reality, such as pyrography and wood carving. Her capacity for creation is, without question, as inexhaustible as her love of surrendering to it.
Professionally, Dale is also a successful graphic designer. Her academic background is actually rooted in that, chosen over illustration for its greater likelihood of pointing her toward a stable career. The difference between the two fields is that, whereas illustration involves expressing new ideas in your head for others to see, design relies more on collecting and assembling existing ideas. The two practices complement one another, and in some instances, the media used for each actually converge. For instance, she can use the digital tool Procreate® to manually draw things on her tablet and then modify the digitized drawing (e.g., add texture) with software like Adobe® Photoshop®. This multiplies her creativity by enabling otherwise impossible things, such as aging the canvas. As a result, by acquiring new skills in graphic design, she is simultaneously becoming an ever-better illustrator, making her vocation almost self-perpetuating.
When asked what her personal mission is behind her work, Dale’s excitement leapt through her answer: “I want people to think of me as a hobby they’re passionate about!” Her entire demeanor was wrapped in a soulful smile that sparkled metaphysically along the edges of each syllable in that statement. The response embodied the impetus for her quest to usher people into a universe of fantasies – not merely hers but also those conceived by the people who commission her. By producing tangible representations of their thoughts, she’s inviting them inside the very thing that makes them exclusive as human beings, that sets them apart from everyone else: their dreams.