Illustrator’s Portfolio 160: Dominic De Venuta

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Age: 31                  

Nationality: American

Living in: Portland Or.


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What is in your sketchbook?

My sketchbook is littered with dirty little secrets and quips I am too shy to express in person. Amongst the coded jargon dwells a colorful scrawling of doodles, figure studies, and bizarre visual experiments.  I also like to booby trap my sketchbooks with loose paper, reference images, and business cards, so when someone is perusing the pages they drop out and like razor blades slice up everyone’s cuticles, unfortunately I fall prey to this more than anyone.


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Where do you illustrate?

When it’s time to get serious work done I am in my studio. This is a place were there are no distractions. It’s actually a storage unit I rent out with a few friends.  It’s drafty in the winter and hot in the summer but it’s a place I can go that’s tucked away from daily life. Most of the time however, I am kicking back in a cozy chair or lounging in a park or in bed sipping a cold beverage making funny faces at paper.


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What inspires your work?

The biggest inspiration for me is my friends.  Whether they are creating art, music, literature, or even building a house I am constantly inspired by the people in my life.  Secretly, not so much now, I am competing with them. Like the booby traps in my sketchbook, I play little tricks on my friends to throw off their game.  Did you know you can set autocorrect in MS Word to change selected words when typed, such as changing “the” to “poop” or whatever.  No I kid, that’s mean.  I definitely set my standards to that of my friends and family. I know some very creative and productive people. They are my biggest inspiration.  


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What music do you listen to?

Music is a big part of my life.  I am very eclectic when it comes to tunes.  Seriously, I nerd out. I have music I can only listen to in the morning. I think it might be an obsessive-compulsive thing.  If I am working on a drawing that is very tedious and requires patients I can’t listen to music with lyrics. So I’ll play ambient Brian Eno or Godspeed You! Black Emperor type stuff but I’ll also play black metal like Burzum.  I guess I am all over the place. Sometimes, not often, I am in the mood for gangster rap.  I cannot stand however pop country music.


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What did you have for breakfast?

Two eggs and two pieces of toast and COFFEE.


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To see more of Dominic’s work visit, or follow him on Twitter and Instagram @kungfutoast.