After earning my MFA in digital media from the Rhode Island School of Design, I wanted to go where design was needed. Three years later, I found myself in Baghdad consulting for the prime minister of Iraq’s office on an educational reform program. While that was a relatively short engagement (about a year), it also became the defining driver of my artistic life.
After a few years of processing, I realized the work I needed to make was best expressed through small metals in relationship to the body, which led me to art jewelry. I discovered the joys of learning without the baggage of degree-seeking, and have found myself traveling domestically and internationally to learn more.
Fast forward several years, and I found that the boundaries between my professional and private lives are blurry at best. From small engagements ranging from the White House Office of Digital Strategy and Maker Faire to large endeavors like co-founding the Baltimore Jewelry Center and serving as its Board President for seven years, I’ve been lucky to find a path that blends the personal and professional into a satisfying feedback loop.
Check out David Dao’s Maker PDF in AJF’s Library. It’s a convenient one-page fact sheet.