In 2016, when Derwin Scott was searching for artwork to decorate his new place, the Baltimore native was unsuccessful because nothing caught his eye. He wasn’t interested in the typical paintings one would come across in stores like IKEA or Target. Instead of waiting to find the perfect art pieces, he decided to take matters into his own hands and create what many stores were missing—“something different.” Scott purchased a canvas from a local craft store and created a design of his own. What Scott didn’t know was that this one decision to do “something different,” would lead to the birth of a company, DSD Paintings.
Scott’s creativity spills into paintings, countertops, flooring and so much more. His work has attracted celebrity clients such as rapper Lil Boosie. His 55,000 plus social media following regularly tunes in to see his latest art creations.
Black Enterprise Contributor Nicole K. Webb caught up with the founder and CEO himself to learn more about his journey.
When did you realize that creating art was your passion?
Besides spending time with my kids this was the only thing I wanted to do. That’s when I realized this was something big to me. Not to mention witnessing how it was changing me into the person I wanted to be. It keeps me creating and wanting to design more. That’s how I started venturing off and designing floors, headboards, and countertops. I started to consider myself an interior artist at that point.
How did you learn your art techniques?
I’m 100% self-taught. Everything I’ve learned, as far as with my art, I just got out there and experimented. If you look at my first couple of pieces and compare it to my recent pieces you can definitely see the progress.
What have been some of your most memorable projects since beginning your company?
I’ll say the projects I’ve made a few mistakes on honestly. Those mistakes got me sharper than ever when it comes to handling business now. I’ve paid for a few of those mistakes but also protected myself from things like that if they were ever to happen again. On the plus side, I think one of my most memorable moments was when I started to have the celebrities that I’ve watched on TV hit me up about my work.
How did you come up with the name and meaning of your company?
I knew I wanted to stand out in the art world so I had to do something different to make my mark. My mother always told me to be your own man, be creative, don’t run around and copy everything you see so I kept that in mind. I’ve always encouraged my kids, my friends, and social media following to do the same. Let’s step out of the box and Do Something Different, “DSD Paintings.”
How do you stay abreast of changes in your industry to ensure you are ahead of the competition?
Honestly, I don’t look at it as a competition. I like to focus on what I have going on and what my visions are. I think we spend too much time focusing on the next individual and when that happens I feel like we take away from time we could have been investing in our own craft. Looking at two and three different lanes while driving can become a distraction at some point so I tend to stay in my own. I always give props to people who do good work of course, but [as] far as competition all I see is me.
What advice would you give other artists who want to have success with their work?
Don’t be afraid to be different. Believe in yourself and the work that you create. Put it out there for the world to see and experience.