Illustration ’79

All images on this page are Dombrowski’s sketches on 10-inch-by-14-inch unlined hardcover books.

Dale Dombrowski (1951–2022) was a highly prolific artist who produced drawings, illustrations, collages, masks, and 3D constructions. His drawings skillfully blend traditional and contemporary techniques, sometimes with nods to Egon Schiele and Matisse, and in the style of Kenneth Paul Block and [Illustration alumnus] Antonio Lopez.

He produced scores of wonderful sketchbooks. Sprinkled with written commentary, personal reflections and anecdotes, they capture with humor and sophistication his ideas about fame, politics, travel, gay life, and of course, fashion.

His style was loose and free. These examples incorporate collage material with ink and paints. He often used a chopstick for his pen and ink work! He was inspired by beauty of all sorts and spent hours upon hours flipping pages of fashion magazines for inspiration.

After graduating from FIT, Dale worked in visual merchandising for Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware and was a much-loved teacher at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

We met as students at FIT and remained great friends until his death. We were artistic collaborators on several side projects—doing window displays for Patricia Field’s original store on 8th Street, showcasing our “found object” masks in various art exhibits under the name About Face, working on a children’s television show called Mitzi and the Muscletones, and illustrating a children’s book called Little Patch of Green.

We appreciated each other as artists and shared many common ideas and interests. — Pauletta Brooks, Illustration ’79

10 by 14 inches