When you think of what your perfect day is like, what does it include? Good food? Quality time with friends? This is something we asked Desmond Blair, an artist and the owner of the brand Art Without Obstacles. For Blair, who was born with a limb difference, Dallas has been the place he's called home and where he's created beautiful pieces while spreading the message of being different, not disabled. Here's a look at Desmond's perfect day in Dallas!
Morning: "To begin my perfect day, I'd start at Maraca's Cocina Mexicana in Deep Ellum to get breakfast," Blair said. "I'd probably get migas or breakfast tacos. After that, I'll run around getting art supplies at Asel Art Supply in Uptown or Michael's; I typically get my canvas from Michael's and brushes and paint form Asel. One of my artist friends referred me to Rec Shop in East Dallas. It's a skateboard shop, but they carry things like spray paint and it's pretty cool."
Afternoon: "In the afternoon I check out shows and exhibitions from other local artists," Blair said. One of his recent visits included the Erin Cluley Gallery in the Design District. "Riley Holloway just had a show there. There's also a gallery in the South Dallas Cultural Center that features all kinds of artists. It's always been a community hub and a place to connect with other Dallas creatives." Blair rounds out his afternoon with a stop at Ascension or the Southern Gourmet Kitchen food truck at Truck Yard Dallas.
Evening: "I like places with views, so I'd probably end up back in Deep Ellum at Vidorra for steak or chicken tacos," Blair said. "The Green Room also has a nice rooftop and so does Stirr; their drinks are good and they have a mac and cheese situation with crumbled Doritos in it. Ending the night on the South Side on Lamar rooftop wraps up Blair's perfect day!
2020 and COVID: It's no secret the pandemic has brought on a change of pace in our day-to-day lives. Somehow the timing of this change was what Blair needed to help him cope with tragedy. "It gave me a reason to stop because I was always going," Blair said. "It forced me to slow down. My mom had just passed and by default I would have reverted to keeping busy, but with everything shutting down and spending more time in the house, it gave me more time to process and think about things. And that's probably what I needed."
The slow down also allowed Blair to think about his career. Aside from learning new skills, he was given time to reflect. "I thought about the past 10 years of being an artist," Blair said. "I've got time to think about what's next, so I don't get caught in the rhythm of what I've already been doing and I can focus on how to take myself further. I've recently reflected on my mom's journey with ALS. Even though she had it, it didn't really stop her. So I started asking myself, what's keeping me in my container?"
Header photo courtesy of Bruce August Jr.