We had the good fortune of connecting with Dana Brock and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dana, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I love to create and work with my hands. Shapes, color and texture draw me in. I came to a place and time in my career in accounting that I wanted something more soul deep satisfying. I had been creating jewelry for myself and family and loved it. I wanted to do more of that and decided to launch my business: D’zyn By Dana (18 years ago this August). I could easily work my business around my job hours and give it time to grow. Why not? D’zyn By Dana is simply my ‘something better born from Grace’. As a designer, I wanted to approach shapes and color from a different perspective. So, I stepped into another realm of creative expression. Painting in abstract created the perfect balance for jewelry design. In both jewelry and painting, I create in a very organic free-form style. Now, my weeks are filled with the marriage of my two loves.
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.
My art is quirky and fun, colorful and happy. I’m a little bit off, so is my art and jewelry. I like mismatched pieces, uneven lines; things that resemble something, but don’t define perfection. In my art, I like to draw left-handed (my non dominant hand) so the lines won’t be perfect. It hasn’t always been easy, there were many times I was at a standstill or struggling to make things work. My mantra is always ‘just keep swimming’. And, never stop learning. One tiny little thing can jumpstart a whole new series (or jewelry line). I am most proud of and excited about the honors I have received in art. My painting ‘People Watching’ was juried into the national exhibition Watercolor USA and hung in the Springfield Art Museum. And, my painting ‘Spring Lines’ was juried into the Southwestern Watercolor Society Exhibition and won an award. And, I am honored to be a part of MillHouse Foundation and AWOL (Artists Without Limits), both wonderful groups of women artists I get to learn from and create with. I guess the best way to put it, is what I have written in the side bar of my website: She is quirky and fun. She works hard at anything she sets her mind to. She has a delicate side, relishes in the romantic. She has the heart of a gypsy; her soul feels and loves deeply. She honors the One who created her. Hers is a flame that cannot be extinguished.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
A really cool place to start and one of my favorite hangouts is the Cotton Mill in McKinney, TX. I’m partial to the place, because this is where my studio is located. This incredible historic building is full of interesting surprises. At one end (where my studio sits) is the MillHouse Foundation, a wonderful studio and co-working space for women. We would sit out on the terrace and eat salads ordered from Local Yocal. Then, walk over to Tupps Brewery (located behind the Cotton Mill) for some locally brewed happy hour. Or if wine is in order, head over to Landon Winery on the square in downtown McKinney. Lots of fun shopping on the square: Last Art Gallery, Mila Delfin, Wishful Thinking. Maybe grab a fig and goat cheese pizza for dinner at Cadillac Pizza. We could eat several different days on the square trying Square Burger, Harvest, Rick’s or The Yard. And, we have got to check out Stageworthy Arts, a super cool workshop where Melissa makes giant puppets, flying fish and lots of other amazing wonders. Another day, we can head to the west side of McKinney in Adriatica. Eat at Cavalli’s (you can’t tell I like pizza), then walk over to The Guitar Sanctuary, something cool you’ve just got to see. And shop inside at one of my favorite shops Love Life. A little more south excursion will take us to Valley House Gallery in Richardson. A wonderful gallery and artist exhibition with beautiful sculpture garden. Lunch or dinner at Frankie’s (Richardson) for excellent fajitas and sangria swirl margaritas. Even further south and always fun, the DMA, Nasher and Crow Museum. Add a stroll through Klyde Warren Park and the many food trucks for a lunch treat.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My entire family has been a huge support throughout my jewelry and art business. My husband Mike, son Jarrod, daughter-in-law Jessica, my parents Harold and Peggy, mother and father-in-law Jean and Bobby, sister Gina, brother Kyle, sister-in-law Lou, niece Paige. And friends – WOW! This list is endless. But, one person I am truly grateful for, God’s blessing in launching me into an art world beyond my wildest dreams is Gail Delger. I truly would not be where I am in the art world today without her friendship, mentorship, encouragement, critique, guidance and support. Thank you, Gail!
Other: https://www.instagram.com/dzynbydana https://www.facebook.com/danabrockart https://www.etsy.com/shop/dzynbyd https://www.artworkarchive.com/profile/dana-brock
Profile photo: Theresa Strange Johnston (All other photos I took myself)