Darin Michelle
Creative Director

Darin Michelle

Made in Maryland

Design: Circus Ballerinas

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This has been one of my favorite bodies of design work to date. I feel that this collection of vinyl and acrylic based work best shows the style of art I am interested in; whimsical and a little dark. I love circus and carnival themes. There is something so wonderful and magical about a great circus or carnival. I think I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of becoming someone else for a period of time for the sake of entertainment and wondering what that does to someone’s psyche and personality. I think that these things translate into our everyday lives, which is how Transform. Perform. Entertain: Dance of the Circus Ballerinas came to life. A body of work inspired by the face that we put on day-to-day to seem “okay”; okay with work, life, our dreams! While renting space out of SOTA (Studio of the Arts - currently Creative Paradox), I was challenged with the idea of creating a body of work for a gallery show. This was indeed a challenge, because I was a Graphic Designer who was running a small, grassroots streetwear brand, that was feeling lost in a world between producing pieces for retail consumption and the Fine Arts training that I had previously received just a few years before. Where did I belong? What did I really want to do? Was design graphic tees fulfilling enough? To be honest, it became a little bit of a rat race. I became more concerned with producing what I thought consumers wanted and not what I really wanted. I always noticed that the pieces I designed because I really loved and enjoyed them sold the best, so when did I become so jaded?

I’ve never really claimed to be an artist. I am a designer. The title artist carries so much significance to me and it is hard for me to place myself in a category next to some of my favs; Stuart Davis, Van Gogh, Van Eyck. I feel much more at home living and dreaming as a Designer. That is who I am, so I did what I consider my first design show, which involved a very delightful photoshoot with some of the most amazing women I know, which I was happy to hand-pick. A lot of time designing around the photos and then printing them out and applying what I had designed to flame treated clear acrylic sheets that were stacked but appeared to be floating behind one another. I LOVED this whole experience! It made me think about my work and why I was creating it and then changed a lot about me and my approach to work and creating. So much so, that I took years off to really come into grips with what it is I want to do.

These Circus Ballerinas were the beginning of a long, exhausting and exciting creative journey.

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Tanesha-BC

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