Q+A with FOUNDER + ARTIST, DANA VERALDI
We sat down with Dana Veraldi of DEERDANA to learn more about her inspiration, drawings, and more.
Her sketches of pop culture icons are conversation starters and totally chic. We’re currently rocking the Cindy Crawford red lips tee, because we can.
by CHLOE.: Introduce yourself.
Dana Veraldi: My name is Dana Veraldi. I live in NYC and I love to go to LA often. I grew up outside of Philadelphia. I have a company called DEERDANA – it is based around my drawings of various people that I want to have dinner with printed on t-shirts, totes, towels and more!
bC: How did you come up with the idea for DEERDANA?
DV: I started drawing from my own photographs of my friends and thought it was fun to print them onto shirts so I could give them away. The business happened very organically over time as stores and strangers soon became interested in purchasing them.
bC: Have you always drawn illustrations?
DV: No – I studied photography in college and in my last semester took a screen-printing class where I began to draw from my pictures that were primarily portraits of my friends.
bC: Where do you draw inspiration from?
DV: Everywhere – traveling, doing research, visiting museums, my friends.
bC: How do you choose the people you illustrate?
DV: Often it’s whoever I am feeling inspired by and sometimes I draw someone specifically for a friend.
bC: What were some of the challenges you faced starting your business?
DV: I often had side jobs (styling, creative consulting) so that my business could grow at a natural pace. There were times when the side jobs took over my life so it was important for me to find a good balance.
bC: What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business?
DV: Give a lot of your product away for free.
bC: What is your most popular tee?
DV: Larry David.
bC: You’ve collaborated with some incredible people and brands. What other brands are on your radar – sky’s the limit?
DV: I would love to work with YOU and also Prada
bC: What’s your favorite dish at by CHLOE.?
DV: Kale Caesar
bC: What does “Eat well. Eat with purpose.” mean to you?
DV: Be aware of the ingredients that make up what you are eating and where they come from.
1. Emoji that best describes you? Purple smiling face with devil horns
2. Your last meal would be? Petit Trois in LA
3. Spirit animal? Otter
4. Early bird or night owl? Night owl
5. Weird personal fact? I always wanted to be a doctor
6. Biggest pet peeve? Bad manners
7. Stranded on an island, what 3 things do you bring? My sister, a camera and a miniature horse
9. Kitten or puppy? My own cat as a kitten or a puppy
10. Favorite board game? Trouble