Inside The Pride Box: Dominic Evans of Dom&Ink

What is the name of your company?

DOM&INK

When was the company founded?

2013

Tell us the story of how you brought your company to life.  

I remember thinking, if I'm going to do illustration, I need a name that people will remember. Taking inspiration from Beyoncé and Sasha Fierce, DOM&INK was born!

How did you feel after it launched?

It just started with a Facebook page so was very low key. Instagram didn't really exist as a platform for illustrators then so all my work came from Facebook. I felt excited, nervous yet very optimistic!

Where do you draw your design inspiration from?

I'm hugely inspired by graphic novels, DC Comics, Fashion illustration and femme fatales. In terms of themes, any amazing queer moments inspire me, from Drag Race to the latest Gaga video, I'm always having camp ideas.

Why was it important to you to create an “out and proud” LGBTQ+ company? 

I think I just wanted people to know that the personality I have matches my art. It's also really important that queer illustrators get more representation and opportunities and I felt being 'out and proud' was the way back in 2013. 

Was there a defining moment in your company’s history (so far) when you knew you created something special?

I think with my first book 'Free To Be Me' that was a huge turning point to have an LGBTQ+ journal for teens published by Penguin Books. I really hope my latest, 'Queer Power' is something that helps readers feel seen, loved and represented!

What has been the reaction of customers to your brand? I like to think my clients love my super gay art! There will always be people who don't like what you create, or you aren't their cup of tea, but you've always got to stick to you, because somewhere out there, you are someone's favourite brand/creator/person!

Any special customer stories that you want to share?

I think receiving messages after 'Free To Be Me' came out from parents of LGBTQ+ teens whom said it helped them, or off queer youth and how the book helped feel seen really made me realise how important representation is for the queer community in mainstream publishing.

At FRUITLOOTS, we call all the amazing products that we find our “loot”. What's a favorite piece of “loot” you have created?

I think aside from books, my favourite piece would be my phone cases with SkinnyDip, they were super gay and covered in rainbow hands and so unaplogetically queer. I loved them!

Tell us about the FRUITLOOTS products that we have chosen.

I absolutely love how Fruitloots has put together this stunning box. I have to say, I am a HUGE CANDLE LOVER. And those Ban.do pencils? LOVE. And the keyrings from Bianca Design? LOVE. I'm basically obsessed with everything in this box!

Where do you see your company in 10 years?

I'd love to branch into clothing more, homeware and obviously, world DOMination heheh.


If you could do a special collaboration with any person in the world, who would it be and why?

Gaga. Because.... GAGA!

Any advice to queer entrepreneurs?

Always stick with what YOU want for your brand. Don't let clients or brands you work with try and take your authentic queer self and make it too 'commercial'. 

If you could throw a party, with an unlimited budget and you could invite anyone, tell us about the party and who would be there!

Oh gawddd. I'd rent a mansion in Beverly Hills and invite every single Real Housewife EVER. Can you imagine? And Cher too, because why not? We'd all drink and do karaoke and jump in the pool at the end and have the cutest time.

Last question- If you could be any fruit, what would it be and why?

A banana because I love the colour yellow and they give you energy after you eat them and I'm always about building people up with love, good vibes and energy baby!

For more information on Dominic and to check out the rest of his art and books, click here

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Dominic Evans photos by Tom Buck (IG @tbuck9) / Free To Be Me photo courtesy of DOM&INK

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