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Meet Damon Dominique

American Youtuber and world traveler

Meet Damon Dominique - illustration 1

Portrait of Damon Dominique © Damon Dominique

Damon Dominique documents his trips around the world and shares his travel diaries on his Youtube channel. Originally from Indiana and now living in Paris, the content creator draws his inspiration from European architecture and the human encounters he makes along the way... Between two flights, the Artsper team had the chance to talk to this digital native who is always up for new adventures!

1. Hello Damon! Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about your personal journey?

Hi, my name is Damon and I'm an American YouTuber who lives all over the world. After years of traveling around the globe, I still haven't settled in one place. Anyway, I make a living doing videos about my adventures in other countries and also about my life as an American in Paris. It's not just Emily in Paris who does this, right!

2. Can you tell us about the most beautiful museums you had the chance to visit during your many trips?

It's not really the museums, but rather the European architecture that inspires me the most! The Milano Centrale train station, for example. For me who grew up in Indiana, I swear: the Waterloo, Indiana train station is nothing like it.

Meet Damon Dominique - illustration 1
Meet Damon Dominique - illustration 1

Portraits of Damon Dominique © Damon Dominique

3. You love to travel the world and you currently live in Paris, home to a lot of historical and cultural places. What inspires you in this city?

It seems like Parisians already have a higher knowledge of the arts - well, that makes sense, they've been immersed in art all their lives - but me, coming from a small town in Indiana where there was a museum that no one visited except for school field trips, I was always intrigued by people who wanted to make the world more beautiful and who valued the arts. The city I come from is not particularly beautiful. Nature is beautiful, yes, but what always fascinated me was the beauty that mankind could create. Beauty reflects the thought that is produced by someone. I find that Paris is the place that most represents this idea. Here, art and the charm that come from it are as valuable as money. Even today, comparing it to other cosmopolitan cities, I notice that in the metro stations or even in the cars, there is often art or even poems, where they could have put advertisements to generate money.

4. You love vintage flea markets; what is the most beautiful piece of art you have found?

Four years ago, while I was staying in an Airbnb, I found a large mirror... next to the building's trash can! At that time, I still didn't have an apartment in Paris, nor was I sure I wanted to live there. I stored the mirror in my ex's basement for a year just in case (laughs). Now I've repainted it and put it in the corner of my apartment. It even has white paint chips on it, but I think these little "mistakes" make it look cool and charming!

5. How did your passion for video and filmmaking come about?

I decided to get into content creation after going through several castings and realizing that I would never have control over my career as an actor. I didn't want to risk that. What I mean by that is that I could be the most talented actor, but if there were no roles that I would be cast for, I wouldn't work. That's an extreme case, but all of this made me realize that I could actually do the same thing, on my own, on social media. I was doing a year abroad, in Paris at the time. I was experiencing new things, not only as a young man, but also as a foreigner living abroad. As I watched more and more young people addicted to their screens in the metro, I knew that starting a new life chapter on social networks would be a winning bet in the future. As time went on, I started filming my adventures at home and abroad, and my audience started to grow. It's been eight years now, and I have no intention to stop, thankfully!

Meet Damon Dominique - illustration 1
Meet Damon Dominique - illustration 1

Portraits of Damon Dominique © Damon Dominique

6. You have a strong aesthetic (vintage, warm colors, rich textures) and are definitely creative. You love to paint; have you ever considered painting more seriously?

I'm definitely drawn to the arts; painting, graphic design, interior design... I would say I enjoy it because of what I do. Social networking is still really virtual - I create videos, post them on the web, and interact with my online audience - but it's all intangible. That's why doing material things from time to time feels good.

My history with painting started because I wanted to make new friends in Paris. I found a painting course on Groupon, but when I arrived, I realized that with the other students, we had an age difference of at least 30 years and strictly nothing in common except our interest in painting. Nevertheless, I learned a lot and I really enjoyed the way the other students mixed patterns and styles, as if there were no rules. Where I come from, I don't think people would find this style very... aesthetic. Besides, can we really explain or justify what we find beautiful?

7. During your travels, how do the cities, the philosophies, the encounters, feed your tastes and your thoughts?

My whole style is based on one thing: lots of stuff from all over the place! Romanian grandmothers' textiles, colorful and bold fashion from New York, casual vibes from the Midwest, big decorative objects from old Europe... In fact, I always try to mix modernism and eccentricity. For example, I love to pair a painting of a 19th century king with an abstract painting from the 1990s, a gold lamp with a book on graphic design, or a sculpture with a Macbook. To me, that's the most aesthetic thing; using what was beautiful in the past and what is beautiful today.

Also, my friends used to call my apartment the "artist's squat" because there were dried plants, bust sculptures and knickknacks scattered everywhere... (laughs). I want my guests to feel like they are in a beautiful space. Almost as if they were in an art gallery, but the casual kind, where it's not the end of the world if someone drops a glass. I want to contribute to the beauty of the world, but make it accessible to everyone, without pretense or exclusivity, characteristics that can sometimes be found in the art world.

8. Do you have any new projects for 2022?

Last year I started a French course for English speakers. I was very honest from the beginning: for the first levels, you don't need to learn from a teacher who's a native speaker. And I stand on that, for any language. In fact, it's best to learn from someone who is also quite new to speaking the language, and who has developed the best strategies for the tricky parts. This way, the teacher already knows where the student is going to have trouble understanding, etc. It's at the advanced levels that one would need a native teacher to really capture and understand the language's nuances: the slang, the expressions, the culture. All this to say that my French course was a hit, and it inspires me to continue creating more language courses. The next one will be Spanish, my first love.


Their favourite artworks

Salfo Dermé (Yabré), La femme qui lit, Sculpture

Salfo Dermé (Yabré)

La femme qui lit, 2018
10.6 x 9.1 x 8.3 inch
Sculpture

$1,555

The Catman, Significado (1), Painting

The Catman

Significado (1), 2014
39.4 x 39.4 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$1,027

Abdallah Benanteur, 1954 Lettrisme Collage encrage, Painting

Abdallah Benanteur

1954 Lettrisme Collage encrage, 1958
14.6 x 8.7 x 0.1 inch
Painting

$1,815

Christophe Arbieu, Le Médicis, Le Parc, Painting

Christophe Arbieu

Le Médicis, Le Parc, 2020
39.4 x 39.4 inch
Painting

$2,489

Rafal Piesliak, Untitled, Sculpture

Rafal Piesliak

Untitled, 2018
11.8 x 9.8 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$726

Rafal Piesliak, Untitled, Design

Rafal Piesliak

Untitled, 2018
5.9 x 15 x 15 inch
Design

$1,037

Jazzu, Un cadeau du ciel, Painting

Jazzu

Un cadeau du ciel, 2022
47.2 x 15.7 x 1.6 inch
Painting

Sold

Jazzu, Comme un ailleurs, Painting

Jazzu

Comme un ailleurs, 2022
36.2 x 28.7 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$2,385

M_ Michael Mc Macfarney, David Banksy, Print

M_ Michael Mc Macfarney

David Banksy, 2022
49.2 x 23.6 x 0.1 inch
Print

$8,554

Our recommendations Marko Grgat, Torso 4, Sculpture

Marko Grgat

Torso 4, 2015
23.6 x 15.4 x 5.5 inch
Sculpture

$5,184 $4,407

Joan Miró, Cahier d'Ombres, Print

Joan Miró

Cahier d'Ombres, 1971
11.8 x 9.1 inch
Print

$3,318

Our recommendations Claude Viallat, Sans titre 5, Print

Claude Viallat

Sans titre 5, 2007
47.8 x 44.1 x 0.1 inch
Print

$2,281