Have you met? Dustin Oswald, aka Dorshak Bloch February 05, 2015 15:59
Dustin Oswald, aka Dorshak Bloch, is a local and well-known artist. He has been a full-time artist for about a decade, and he has built his brand, Bombs Away Art, to create and sell Okie-centric t-shirts, prints and other work through his website and local boutiques like Blue Seven, 7518 N. May Ave., and DNA Galleries, 1709 NW 16th St., and at bombsawayart.com.
Recently, he opened his own gallery, Planet Dorshak, 3003-A Paseo Drive. He moved into the space about a month ago and is readying for his second First Friday Art Walk on Oct. 3.
While the life of a professional artist might seem all glamour and creativity, the actual day-to-day work of sustaining a business around creativity is not the most thrilling part of the job. We got some enlightening answers to the daily details of an enviable career.
Have you met Dorshak Bloch?
How difficult is it to balance the business and the creative sides? Do you feel it takes away from your creative side?
Yes, absolutely. I haven’t had the chance to sit down and make anything new; I haven’t had the time, especially since we opened the new gallery.
Right now, I am focused on the fall and winter lines, all the new shirts and styles, trying to get those out. I think everything is out on the website, and then I will start emailing those to the boutiques that carry my work, so it’s still in the working stages.
The apparel side of my business takes up a lot more of my time than anything else right now.
The gallery, day to day, is easy so far, comparatively, and it has been going really well. We’re getting a lot of positive feedback.
What is the best part of your job?
It’s when I get to sit down and actually create, draw a picture and know that I can, once it’s finished, sell it.
Have you left behind the days of living paycheck to paycheck?
Month to month, the sale of art varies so widely you can’t really ever count on a set profit, and it’s so wild. Summers are completely dead. Fall and winter are different, with Christmas and the Thunder season. I actually still live paycheck to paycheck, but I’m better off than I was when I started. That’s for sure.
What are the best, or the most consistent, times of year for you?
November and December for the holiday season. Also, if the Thunder makes the play-offs, Thunder is super hot. During the holidays, I see a lot of Thunder shirts and also a lot of my most popular shirts; the Oklahoma Kitty shirt and the Osage Shield (pictured) tend to be popular.
It’s just a weird business. Nothing is consistent.
Dorshak Bloch’s Oklahoma Kitty T-shirt by Bombs Away Art
What misconceptions did you have about being a professional artist?
I think I had good enough mentors, and it’s not easy and there’s a lot of talent out there. I was encouraged to take the opportunities as they were presented and continue to do that. My dad was a small business owner. He ran 3E0 Geoponics, a family farming corporation. Being a small business owner, I’d say he inspired quite a bit of the hardworking farming mentality.
When did it occur to you that you could do that for a living, and have you ever questioned that decision? If you couldn’t make art, what would you do?
I always was encouraged as a child and felt like I had enough ideas that if I could execute at least a small percentage of them, I could make it happen. You have to have a lot of faith in yourself, and I think that I was given the tools that I never questioned, “Should I?”
What are your five-year plans?
Firstly, the gallery being successful, of course. Consistently selling out of limited edition prints; knowing as soon as I post it, it’s sold. I will be traveling to small press exhibitions each month.