Dania Olivares was just a signature away from starting her banking career.
As she looked down at the line that would seal the deal, she just couldn’t bring herself to do it.
With a heart dedicated to art, she pushed the offer away and decided to follow her life-long dream and passion.Two years later she’s going full speed ahead with Doko Casual Art, working out of the Incubator at 1005 S. 16th St. in downtown McAllen.”The bank gave me a proposal on Friday and I was crying all through Sunday,” Dania said. “I didn’t know what to do. I knew our family needed the money but it wasn’t what I wanted. My husband and sister told me not to sign it but we didn’t have money and we needed to eat and pay rent.”I said to myself ‘yes, I’m going to sign it.’ Then when it came time to sign it, I said ‘no.’”The next day she was at Barnes & Noble with her sister Kendra planning to start a business.”I just started reading,” she said. “I was always good at drawing but didn’t know things like the names of brushes or a canvas. The next day I started my first painting.”Another month later she attended her first Art Walk in McAllen. There, nervous to hear what the public thought, she was surprisingly pleased at the response. She sold her first piece of art and made enough money to invest back into her company, buying more supplies.Her first sold piece – a partial view of the Eiffel Tower – was done with just the five colors she had at the time – red, yellow, gold, black and blue – and used some newspapers.”I didn’t know if it would be any good and didn’t know what people would think of my kind of art,” she said. “Then I didn’t ask the name of the person who bought my first piece – it was a young girl. I think I’m going to ask on Facebook if anyone knows who this person was. I just want to know.”Following Art Walk, Dania started searching for other opportunities and shows. She showed in Weslaco and Pharr and Edinburg. She currently has artwork placed in restaurants Roosevelt’s in downtown McAllen and Sabor Amor on Shary Road near Military Highway. She’s also received invitations to showings in Houston and Austin.”Many people have told me I am lucky but I don’t think so,” Dania said. “I work a lot. I search, I do research, I look for opportunities – that’s how things happen.”WHAT IS DOKO?The name comes from Dania Olivares (DO) and Kendra Olivares (KO). Dania describes her art as mixed media and something she creates that would look good in someone’s home. She uses different textures within each piece of art and has a tendency to hide things – such as small details (maybe using a unique piece of material) or quotes – within the artwork.”I’ll mix acrylic with all sorts of materials like newspapers, pages of a magazine, fabrics, cables, clothespins, whatever comes to mind,” Dania said. “I love when there are several people around something I’ve done looking for all those different details.”Dania plans to have a store in the future with many products for the home – including furniture and design. Until then, she will continue to expand her art and attend shows – she even planned on taking some pieces to a gallery in Chicago when she and husband Oscar go up for a Bears game.”I contacted a gallery there and I’m going to take three paintings there,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s going to work, but I’m gonna try.”It’s another opportunity.”INFOYou can see Dania’s Art on her Facebook Page – search: Doko Casual Art You can also make an appointment to see her creations via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.