Dom Sebastian is a London based artist and designer, who loves still lifes; and when you look at his pictures, you will probably fall in love some 90s phone or an evian bottle. George Griefy talked to him about his artwork, the internet, Capitol Records stealing his work, and subliminal messages.
Could you introduce yourself?
I am an artist/designer, I work across photography, graphic design, textiles and fashion, often merging all of these disciplines.
Do you feel London has a heavy influence on your imagery?
I don’t think London specifically influences my imagery since pretty much all of my research is done online; however, the creative/queer scene in London is very inspiring.
Portraits or Still-life shots?
I’m always more interested in objects than people, so Still Life shots.
Do you have a favourite artwork of yours?
Probably something from my new project gel futures, I think at the moment its one of these two below:
Do you think that an online presence is essential for artists today? Why is that?
Yes, it is essential, as it’s the primary way of looking at and finding artwork in today’s world. More-so than like, going to a gallery.
Last month, you accused Katy Perry and her record label Capital Records, as well as SF9 band of using your artwork without permission for their single covers. How do you feel about that? As an artist, are there any legal protections in place to stop this from happening? Any advice for younger artists?
It’s very frustrating, and it does make you more cautious of the internet. But it just comes down to people needing to be more respectful of artists and just actually contacting them and paying them – it’s not that hard. Well, legally, the moment you create the work, you have copyright protection over it. In America, there is a copyright register, in the UK, there isn’t. You just have to know what to do when something like this happens – like having a lawyer, which is not always the easiest thing for young artists. Advice I would give, is potentially put your work online in lower quality; however, the one that Katy Perry’s team used was extremely low quality! An HD version of that doesn’t even exist.
What are your thoughts on subliminal messages used in Commercial Photography. Do you believe that subliminal messages are embedded in ads, commercial artworks, etc?
Yes, subliminal messages are used in ads, I can’t think of any specific ones, but I guess that is the point, that you don’t notice it. I’m sure its used a lot in like food ads and things like cars and watches. I think it’s a good idea. I don’t know if they actually work, but I think its clever and I would consider using subliminal messages… I think its really interesting. If you can subliminally get people to buy stuff, or take more interest etc, that’s pretty cool, right?
What are you working on now? Any plans for the future?
I’m continuing my gel futures project for my degree in textile design and plan on releasing a capsule collection in the summer.
Interview by George Griefy