Dominic Jones is a muralist living in Westminster with his wife and five children.
Jones’ first memory of being interested in art was watching Anime cartoons. After school, he drew a lot of pictures for his mother using cartoons such as He-Man and Dragon Ball.
“My mom used to draw and we used to color together,” Jones said. Jones drew so many pictures that he had too many for the refrigerator door.
In school, Jones loved art class. It was natural for him to draw and he was always ahead of other kids in art class. Drawing was one of those things that came naturally to him.
When he attended Winters Mill High School, Jones worked at Roy Rogers. After graduation, Jones worked at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. Then he worked at the Carroll County Times for two years as a paper stacker. “During the 2009 blizzard, we worked to get the paper out. I got an award for that. It showed my work ethic,” he said.
“I started taking my art seriously in 2010. I picked up the paint brush and said ‘Let’s go at this.’ It was the best day of my life,” Jones said.
He started painting more consistently after his second son was born. “My first mural was the one of cars that I painted on the wall in my son’s room,” he said.
His wife’s grandmother told him to do a mural in the mall. She said, “It is going to happen for you one day.” His first mural was located at the Carroll County mall of a monkey when Chilly Willies was in the food court.
Jones and his family moved to Littlestown, Pennsylvania, where he started painting murals professionally. He used word of mouth to get business. First, he painted a mural at the Ace Hardware store depicting a playful view of the building with local people, the town and a map.
He painted a mural of the Marines lifting a flag at Hiroshima for Stoney Point Farm Market in Littlestown, known for Bronco Billy’s Beef Jerky. He also painted Stoney Point’s new logo.
“To improve my skills, I stayed focused and became consistent. I followed other muralists and networked with them through social media and picked their brains to learn the ins and outs of being a muralist,” Jones said. “I watched a muralist from Spain on Facebook. We were able to communicate with the Facebook translator. I also communicated with a woman muralist from Texas.”
Jones also sold his art at local venues. The first event was at the Sykesville Art and Wine Festival. He promoted himself and sold prints of his artwork. Julie Della-Maria, the executive director of the Downtown Sykesville Connection, supported Jones’ efforts to do a mural in Sykesville. A group of 10 artists each did an illustration depicting a scene from, “Curse of the Snallygaster,” written by Gatehouse Museum curator Jack White.
“I like being around other artists and helping other artists,” Jones said. “This book is a non-fictional book about the flood in 1868 and incorporates Sykesville history. I painted an image that showed the chaos of the flood. The murals are spread throughout Sykesville, making it a scavenger hunt to find them all,” Jones said.
He was also asked to paint a Carroll County farm scene on the back of a building in Sykesville. Nearby, Jones painted an oil tank to resemble a pig that the town nicknamed Sir Hamlet Oinks-a-lot.
His murals are on a wide variety of things and not just walls. Jones painted a snowball truck you will see in Westminster Blizzards Shaved Ice. He painted a gas tank on a large farm in Pennsylvania Arentz Hay & Grain, Inc. to resemble a piece of corn.
One of Jones’ favorite murals was one for UPS in Middletown, Pennsylvania. It is a mural of a UPS logo rusted. He sketched it in white chalk and then painted it by hand without templates.
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“Art has helped me heal my mind, body and soul. I suffered from bad anxiety. Art has helped overcome that. When I do a portrait of a person who has passed, I know it brings happiness to the family,” Jones said. “Art is the DNA in us. It allows us to be ourselves and it shows us what we can be as humans. It gives us a glimpse of how creative our minds are. To me art is as powerful as love and love is art.”
Jones said he is on a mission to paint the town.
“Anytime I can put paint on canvas or on a wall, it shows the world a piece of me. Art allows people into your mind,” Jones said. “It all started with me telling my wife I am going to start a mural business. So many artists are in their own space thinking that no one will like their work but you must get out there and show it to the public. People have watched me grow.”
Jones does a wide variety of artwork and commissions. He does artwork on wood using a laser-engraver to put photographs on wood. Then he paints them. He also paints sawblades. His most unique paintings are his hand-painted sonograms. It is a great way to save a special photo.
“I can do every style of art. I do portraits, abstracts and clay work. I am trying to find my way. I attached myself to murals.” Jones said. “My talent is a gift from God. I am a self-taught artist.”
Jones’ business is called Jones Custom Murals and Portraits, LLC. He can be contacted at email@example.com and 443-821-3376.
Lyndi McNulty is the owner of Gizmo’s Art in Westminster. Her column, An Eye for Art, appears regularly in Life & Times.