What was the inspiration to become a designer?
I was raised by three sisters, my mom, and my aunt. I was constantly surrounded by it – they dressed me up, embarrassed me, and engaged in the typical big sister-little brother abuse, haha. They also exposed me to fashion magazines and runways, which I absolutely loved. I became hooked and developed a strong desire to create. Creating is not just a want for me; it is a need, my fuel for life. It is my calling and my purpose.
You are a painter, how did it help you with your creative process?
I love painting, but I also enjoy creating sculptures and then painting them. Having a canvas is great, but I need three-dimensional objects to paint. I have no idea why, but I need depth in the item I am working with. Maybe that is why I love bags so much because it’s a three-dimensional experience.
You launched Sprayground after completing your degree from the School of Visual Arts. How long have you had the idea of Sprayground?
The idea went through many trials and tribulations, but it was organic in its development. My dream was to create something that would have a significant impact on the world. The School of Visual Arts helped me refine my focus on industrial and product design. The specific product itself emerged naturally. It started as just a lightbulb idea at the time, but what set it apart from other ideas was that I dedicated my entire soul to its growth and bringing it to fruition.
Your first bag was “Hello my name is” It became an instant success with your audience and celebrities alike. Tell us the process of your first design?
“Hello My Name Is” served as my introduction to the fashion accessories and travel world. Although I had a few other ideas, I wanted something that people could interact with. This design was inspired by the Hello My Name Is sticker, and I intentionally left a large white open canvas space so that anyone can draw on their bag. Seeing the positive response, I made the decision to produce every bag as a limited edition starting in 2010. This means that each bag is unique, and no two people will wear the same one. I wanted every Sprayground bag owner to feel special, knowing that their bag was created exclusively for them and will never be reproduced!
Sprayground collaborated with dozens of celebrities and athletes. Can you name the most fun collaborations that you had?
Shaquille O’Neal, Spike Lee, and Young Thug – their ideas were as wild as mine, and what we created together was fun and exciting.
What is your creative process for collaborations?
I always tell everyone I collaborate with that anything they can think of, we can create. If they can imagine it, it can be done! So let’s start from there. There are no rules. Design should never be restricted. Ugh.
Is there anyone that you would love to share your creative process with?
Boeing! I love aviation and need a collaboration.
Does music influence your design work?
Always, the brand is like a movie, where each bag represents a character. Moreover, all the content we create can be seen as scenes in the movie, accompanied by background music. Sprayground is essentially a massive music video.
Are you looking to expand into new creative outlets?
Yes, aviation, jetpacks – it’s all coming soon! We are creating the ultimate backpack.
What is in the future for DBD and Sprayground?
Slow and steady, yet fast-paced. I move like an F-16 but keep my eyes locked on the goals I want to achieve. I used to worry about the future, but now I just take it DBD (Day By Day). Why plan when you can ride it out and enjoy each day to its fullest?
How do you unwind?
At the spa darling! I enjoy some nature hikes, playing with my kids, and staring at the clouds.
Looking back, what kind of advice would you give your younger self if you had such a chance?
Take it slow. Stop worrying so much, and it’s okay to make mistakes. They only make you stronger and ready for the next challenge!