Dana Tanamachi chalk drawing

Dana Tanamachi is an inspiring young graphic designer who produces simple, effective and memorable designs. Dana’s success is based on a good knowledge of Typography (choosing and placing text), a good eye for design, and a desire to work with her hands. She uses very cheap materials, and much of her work is influenced by ideas and styles from advertising in the past.

What makes Dana interesting to our readers? Her story shows that a combination of hard work, talent, a bit of ‘luck’ (or being in the right place at the right time), doing what you really enjoy, and following your interests can pay off.

Although already working as a graphic designer, Dana’s career really took off by chance. She was invited to a party in New York where it was suggested she draw something on a chalkboard wall. Using chalk she drew the word ‘Brooklyn’ and during the evening people had their photos taken in front of the drawing. She did similar drawings at other parties, and the resulting photos were shared on social media – leading eventually to demand for her work.

Dana uses very cheap, and easily available materials, which most of us grew up with at school. Basically this includes classroom chalk, a few rags, occasionally a step ladder and a ruler, and of course, a chalk board to draw on.

The inspiration for much of Dana’s work is old advertising posters and shop fronts – the way the lettering was constructed and displayed translates well to drawing with chalk, and so her work could even be described as a modern version of traditional hand-crafted sign writing skills.

You can learn a lot by looking at Dana’s Time Lapse Videos. One example is shown below