We were fortunate to sit down with Obray Cowan, the owner and CEO of Dermal Designz Tattoo and Piercing. The Cornelius-based tattoo and art studio has been in operation for over a decade, serving the Lake Norman area as well as clients in nearby Charlotte.
In addition to running a successful studio, Cowan is the creator of a best-selling coloring book as well as its corresponding mobile app. Today, he speaks about the importance of art and how it has the power to change the world.
Obray, thank you for being with us today. You have said that art is important to the world, so are you talking specifically about visual art, like painting or drawing?
Everything is art. And that is the beauty of it. And when we come to the realization that everything is art, it just opens our eyes to what is around us and in front of us.
Doing your hair is art. Just waking up in the morning next to the person you love is art. I mean, literally everything is art. And it can’t be boxed or contained, you can’t put a definition on it.
That is a great perspective – it tells everyone that they can create art in their own way.
People always want to categorize things, but what I love about being an artist is that art really is a creative expression. It can be expressed in whatever facet you choose, like music, art, food. It’s really in the way it’s presented to you.
Have you ever had a nice glass of wine, and just the color of the glass and the way it reflects – and then you’re like, what am I drinking? It’s all there, right in front of us.
How do you apply that perspective to your work at Dermal Designz?
It’s a beautiful craft. I love seeing my artwork walk around all over the world and hearing people tell me how much their tattoos bring them joy. I am so grateful that I am able to add to people’s lives that way.
And you know, even just looking at people – all different shapes and sizes – it’s beautiful. We are beautiful no matter who we are, and art is a way to show that.
I love to connect with as many people as I can. It is all about contributing and making the world a better place, in big or small ways. If I can make one person smile through my work, that honestly adds everything to my life.
I love being that light in the world that could be perceived as dark or gloomy.
You recently published a coloring book during the COVID pandemic. Can you tell us about that?
I was blessed enough during the COVID pandemic to create and publish a coloring book, which really aids with that mental health aspect. Coloring and being able to sit down and let your mind flow, it was definitely something we all needed.
Art is one of those things where you can just let it all go, whether you have a canvas and you are slinging paint, or coloring.
It’s all love – art is just undeniable self-love. And the more you love yourself, the more you can love and contribute to other people. You can’t pour from an empty cup, you know?
Obray Cowan is the owner and CEO of Dermal Designz Tattoo and Piercing Inc., the premier tattoo and art studio in Cornelius, North Carolina. To learn more about his tattoo work, please visit www.dermaldesignz.com.