Where you see a baseball hat, Dominic Padua sees an art canvas. Under the name Dom Chi Designs, Dom developed his singular artistic style by hand-illustrating and painting hats with swirling, flowing creations that are both rooted in the natural world and drifting above it with dreamy mandalas and mystic imagery. His hats are a little bit hip hop, a little bit hippie and 100 percent original. They are the work of a world traveler, an Army brat and a free thinker.
"His hats are a little bit hip hop, a little bit hippie and 100 percent original"
While hats are where Dom made his mark, he has expanded into skateboards, wall art, t-shirts, kitchen supplies, laser-etched mushroom foraging knives and with the onset of coronavirus, artful masks. His kid-size washable masks feature dinosaurs, ninjas, UFOs and other images that will make it hard to get children to take their masks off. Even when COVID-19 is a memory, you’ll probably still want to hold onto these. Another new offering is his Natural Wonder coloring book, an intricately drawn collection of drawings waiting to be filled with colors of your choosing..
"While hats are where Dom made his mark, he has expanded into skateboards, wall art, t-shirts, and so much more..."
Local breweries have tapped into his eye for art with commissions from Lagunitas Brewing Co. and Russian River Brewing Co. The 2020 Pliny the Younger featured Dom Chi designs on the label and coasters. Dom Chi’s repertoire has expanded into another sensory domain—fermented hot sauce, usually made with ingredients grown in his impressive home garden.
"Dom's creations are both rooted in the natural world and drifting above it with dreamy mandalas and mystic imagery"
All this creativity goes down at Dom’s Sebastopol studio, an industrial space behind the great Sequoia Burger next to Discount Alley, a quirky surplus store.
It’s totally Sebastopol, funky, cool and one of a kind, just like Dom Chi Designs.