Today we’d like to introduce you to Dominic Fernandez.
Dominic, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Right after high school, I went straight to college with no idea of what I wanted to study. I was thinking about majoring in forensic science but it wasn’t something I was passionate about. I always loved art but never thought of it as a career choice. However, a friend of mine convinced me to take a graphic design class and the rest is history (shout out to Ivan).
After graduating, I was fortunate enough to find a full-time graphic designer job but I wanted more. I wanted to create art based around my love for music. I always had an appreciation for music and the idea of working in the music industry as a digital artist is a dream. So I decided to sign up for an Instagram account and that was the moment D2R (Dream 2 Reality) was created.
Everyday after getting home from work, I would go straight to my computer and just design. I would listen to music from my favorite artists and just create whatever came to mind. Some days I would lose track of time and it would be 4am and I would have to get ready for work in 4 hours. I wasn’t getting paid to do any of this but it was something I truly enjoyed doing till this day. I would post design after design of my favorite artists for fun. Then one post changed everything.
I wanted to add more to my page so I started incorporating motion graphics into my posts. I then created a motion graphic for the song Loyalty by Clever and I sent it to him with the mindset of him not even noticing it. Later that day he replied back and he basically loved it. He posted it onto his page and followed me back. He was the first artist to actually give me a chance and whenever I created something for him he would post it. This opened opportunities for me to actually get my name out there and make some money on the side. I even had the opportunity to work with Roc Nation a couple of months later. Till this day, whenever I work with Clever I always thank him for giving me a chance and opening that first door.
This year has been crazy for the brand I’m continuing to work on everyday. I currently still have a traditional 9-5 job but all my free time goes into D2R. I continue to post visuals on my Instagram of my favorite artists which is growing my account and opening more doors. This year I had opportunities that never even crossed my mind that were possible. I was contacted by EMPIRE to create a tribute video for XXXTentacion, visuals for Berner and B-Real, visualizer for Kid Trunks and Noah Cyrus, lyric video for Lil Uzi Vert, official video for Clever which is dedicated to Juice WRLD. It’s only the beginning for D2R and I’m excited for the future.
I want to end this with just thanking the people that believed in me and always showed support. There is a handful of people so I’m sorry if I miss anyone. If it wasn’t for my mom and grandma, I wouldn’t be here today. They are the main people that shaped me to the person I am today and I would give up everything for them. I know my mom is reading this so I hope I’m making you proud and I love you and thank you for being such a great mother. Even though my grandma isn’t with me physically, I know she is watching over me every single day and I hope I’m making her proud. I want to thank my oldest brother Henry. I grew up without a father in my life but I always saw him as that father figure especially with the way he carries himself with his own family. He always had an amazing work ethic which pushes me to work harder everyday. Shout out to all my day one friends that I have so many great memories with: Medina, Manny, Ralph, Gervacio, Danny, Leo, Campos, Mauri, and Ivan. Shout out to my second family and some of the greatest people I ever got to cross paths with; Mitch, Matt, Darlene, Nate, Reggie, Dave, Wayne, Wilson, Spencer, Ryan, Josh, and John. Shout out to all the supporters on Instagram. Finally, huge thank you to Clever, JJ, Karltin, Young Don, David, Harrison, Joey, Miles and Killstation.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There will always be struggles in any path you take. The one major struggle I continue facing is time management and self-doubt. Working a 9-5 job and building up D2R is a struggle. During the week, I run on probably 3-4 hours of sleep just because I get home late from work and stay up late. I don’t complain about it though because I get to end everyday working on something I’m passionate about.
One major struggle I had in the beginning of this year was self-doubt. When I was contacted by EMPIRE to create a tribute video for XXXTentacion, I was speechless. Huge shout out to Harrison for making all this possible. XXXTentacion is easily one of my all-time favorite artists and I even got a tattoo dedicated to him when he passed away. I didn’t want to disappoint EMPIRE because this project meant a lot to me. I would get in my own head with negative thoughts. I would picture them not liking the video, never releasing it, or this being the last time I work with them. I remember before sending the final video, I would just stare at my computer with these negative thoughts. Fortunately, those thoughts never came true. They loved the video and released it the following week. With every big project I get this struggle of self-doubt is slowly fading away and I’m fortunate enough to still be working with EMPIRE.
D2R – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
D2R (Dream 2 Reality) is basically my branding as a digital artist. I specialize in graphics and visuals mainly in the music industry. I’m most proud of all the work and relationships I’m creating.
What sets me apart from others? When it comes to working in a creative field, I personally don’t like comparing myself to others. There are so many great traditional and digital artists out there in the community. However, when you compare your work with others, I feel like you start focusing too much on what they’re doing and not on your own work.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Meeting Killstation all because of my artwork I posted on Instagram. In 2019 I created some fanart for Killstations upcoming album ‘The Two of Us Are Dying’. He absolutely loved it and even asked me to send it to him. He eventually posted it onto his Instagram page. The next day his manager sent me an email asking for the artwork so they can use it to advertise an upcoming live show. Seeing my design on a poster for a live show that I was going to was insane to me. Especially because I’m a huge fan of Killstation. I ended up getting the design printed on a metal canvas and emailed his manager if it was possible to give it to him at his live show. He replied right away and we got it all set up.
After the show, I got to meet Killstation and talk to him for a bit. He told me how much he truly loved the piece. He told me how he always gets fanart but when he saw mine, he was speechless. He even gave me some inspirational words. He told me that people will try to bring you down but you can’t let them. You need to keep working and he even said that one day I will be big. That moment I had with him is something I will remember for the rest of my life. Till this day, my profile picture on Instagram is a picture with him before we had that conversation. Huge shoutout to Joey and Miles for setting all that up. If Nolan (Killstation) ever reads this, I just want to say thank you for believing in me and I truly appreciate everything you said to me that night.