At the age of 2, Dear Giana immersed herself in the pages of her mother’s fashion magazines. Giana flipped through the pages until a design caught her eye. Then the young artist would remix the design into her own unique creation: an original half drawing, inspired by the designs of old but through the creative lens of her Gen Z eye.
Her mother began to post the drawings on Instagram, where Dear Giana quickly accumulated a following. She held her first art show in Seattle when she was 7. She held another show the following year in Los Angeles, where she caught the attention of Nike. Since then, the Dallas-based artist and designer has held exhibits across the nation (New York City is her self proclaimed favorite) and collaborated with fashion brands like Converse, Levi’s, and Nordstrom.
For the past three years, Dear Giana and Nike have collaborated on programming for Air Max Day, International Day of the Girl, and design workshops for kids. Dear Giana’s workshop taught attendees how to draw the classic Air Max silhouette with a personalized twist.
The young artist, a creative zeitgeist in her own right, is passionate about educating and inspiring her young peers to find and pursue their creative passions. Her latest endeavor with Nike is an Air Max-inspired mural at The Shops at Park Lane. She spoke with D about the mural’s aesthetic design, the accompanying Zine, and the program.
Could you tell me about the Nike accelerator program? This is my first time hearing about it. The Air Max accelerator program has three episodes and introduces [viewers] to the behind the scenes of what you’re working on. For me, I’m encouraging to kids to use your imagination during this time. Helping and inspiring kids is something that I really do enjoy. That’s what I did my project on and why I love this program.
That’s amazing. You created a zine to accompany the mural as well? I created the zine to inspire kids to do anything you want at a young age, as long as you put your mind to it. The zine is creative, cool and DIY. I got to interview Melody Ehsani and Aleali May, my mentors, which was really cool. I got to design my own Air Max. I had a lot of fun making the Zine. It was an amazing, and truly magical journey.
I loved the mural’s neon blue leopard print and portrait of you with a gold nameplate chain. What inspired the other elements? I did the graffiti for it out of markers and pencil. I really do enjoy drawing graffiti and having fun with the different styles of drawing and letters. With the leopard print, I drew it by hand. The picture of me with the peace sign; that’s kind of my thing. I added the spray paint cans and pencils. I love sewing and making things. That one picture expresses so much of what I love to do.
The mural is on display until August 1st on the lower Plaza level next to DSW.