Outside of My Comfort Zone

with Dominique Wynne

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hi! I’m Dominique Wynne, one of the last New York natives left in this city. I work as an Art Director in the advertising industry where I ideate on TV, digital and social campaigns. Recently I’ve taken a shift to dedicate my creative free time by using art as a means of activism. In my most recent project I use my platform to call attention to the narratives of people of color and the queer community.

Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
The advertising industry is notoriously male dominated and about 11% of women are Creative Directors. Less than 1%(!!!) of women of color even break into the industry in the first place so, for me, just showing up to work every day is overcoming adversity.

Tell us about your photo-essay Black, Brown, Other.
Black, Brown, Other is my debut as an independent creative. I took the interviews of people of color and members of the queer community on their experiences with alienation and worked with photographer Mel Taing to bring those stories to life. The interviews span across various narratives from the alienation within major art institutions, to immigrating to America, to navigating being white-passing etc. The entire project explores the burden of being silent.

Where did you find inspiration?
I’m 1 of 5 black creatives at my agency so having to think about my own identity was the impetus for this project. It was through my own feeling of being an outsider that I wanted to create opportunity to collaborate with people who felt the same. The entire project was produced by women. It was important for me to work with a photographer of color and other marginalized people to get this through the door.

Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
When you allow yourself to be vulnerable the doubts will come. Especially as a creative! I think the hardest part is overcoming my own doubts. I’m still trying to master that.

If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what would you be doing?
Literally the same thing but for Solange Knowles.

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I’ve been meditating a lot recently, even if it’s on my commute. It really helps me to be present and ground myself in what’s important.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
I have this affirmation I look at every morning that says “I feel fear but I’m not afraid.” I’ve learned to say yes more. To shoot my shot more. To reach out more etc. Throwing myself outside of my comfort zone has only proven to be good so far!

What are your biggest passions?
Using art to advocate for marginalized people and speaking on behalf of those who look like me and might be afraid to otherwise. That…and skin care.

So what’s next for you?
I’m working on a new project on bisexual erasure.

More About Dominique

Dominique Wynne is an Art Director from New York City who is passionate about creating safe spaces for people of color through art.

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