If you’ve received an email from Hightail in 2014 then Dominic Flask’s brilliant illustrations may have caught your eye. The Wichita-based designer and illustrator finishes his stint as Hightail’s unofficial artist-in-residence shortly, so we thought it was time to learn more about the fantastic world of DangerDom.
I enjoy designing for the screen
My work lies somewhere between the worlds of design and illustration and I do a little bit of both. That means I do illustrative work for things like websites and marketing materials but also some design work for things like logos and icons. I work with a range of clients from large to small, local to international and a lot of times my work is around the tech industry.
Most of my inspiration comes from mid-century pop culture
Though I draw a ton of inspiration from mid-century modern design, I love things like cookbooks, brochures, advertisements and other printed materials from the 1950s and 60s. I also have a nice collection of vintage children’s literature that I dive into when I’m feeling stuck on something.
Clean, flat shapes with a colorful palette are all I need
In my early days as an illustrator, I usually ended up applying a lot of textural work, color overlays and other things. I began to feel like I was suffocating the work. As I’ve spent more and more time illustrating, my style has become something that is a lot more thought out and planned using a simple and clear aesthetic.
I ask a lot of questions up front
It’s the best way to really understand the problems of the client, the goal of the project and who the customers, consumers or users are. Though each project is different, I generally produce sketches early on in the process before doing anything polished. The majority of my work is with people from other parts of the world so there are more phone calls and emails than face-to-face meetings.
People assume Kansas doesn’t have a creative scene
I’m currently based in Wichita, which has a small town vibe and everyone knows everyone else. There is a nice little community here with a ton of talented people living and working in the area, including my illustrator friend Luke Bott.
A lot of my favorite contemporary illustrators are friends
Besides Luke, there’s Ben Schlitter, Ty Wilkins and Dan and Nathan from DKNG. Besides people I know, I admire mid-century illustrators like Mary Blair, the Provensens and Charley Harper, as well as lesser-known artists like Robert Barry, Jan Harber and Cliff Roberts.
I sit at a vintage drafting table all day
My setup is pretty simple: a scanner, a Cintiq 13″ tablet, my 27″ iMac and a wireless mouse are the tools I use every day. My wife and I have a child, so I try to keep a regular schedule. I usually start with emails first thing in the morning and then kick into any projects that are in the development stages (sketches, research, exploration, etc.) while my brain is still fresh. Afternoons are usually for the button pushing type of work: drawing shapes and applying texture in Illustrator and Photoshop.