unique gifts

Why I Decided to Start Creating Desk Art

Why I Decided to Start Creating Desk Art

About two years ago, I was working at a real estate development company as a paralegal with a team of about approximately eight (8) attorneys and another paralegal and I sat next to and was friends with the company owners’ executive assistant. At the end of the year, there was generally a gift swap game that we played at work for the holidays but I was feeling generous and wanted to show my team my appreciation for being such awesome people to work with. So at the end of the summer, I racked my brain for gift ideas that would be personal for each of them and that would impart a little bit of my other life, some of my creative talents.

Early Desk Art by Dawn M. Wayand

Early Desk Art


I was painting a lot of general-sized paintings that year and it hit me – I could paint them each a painting! But then I thought it would take me a great deal of time to paint a regular-sized painting for each person on my team (plus I wanted to include the company owners…) Then I had an epiphany. I could paint smaller paintings for their office walls. But again, not everyone on my team had an office or even office walls to hang a painting on. That’s when I thought about small easels and making them paintings for the desk instead. What a unique gift this was shaping up to be!


Above image from top left clockwise: The main attorney I worked with loved golf, so I created a mini painting of a golf club about to hit a golf ball into a hole on a nice sunset background for him. One of my favorite attorneys to work with was just everything to me: a mentor, a boss, a colleague, an entertainer (he was always making me laugh), a counselor, and a friend so I painted “He Who Wears Many Hats” for him. I had learned that the female attorney on our team had a secret talent learning to play piano, so I created a painting of curvy piano keys on an abstract and incorporated notes on paper for a mixed media touch. Our construction attorney had just bought a Peloton and while I didn’t know all that much else about him, I thought about those crazy bicycles from the 1800s and painted him “The 1871 Peloton”. I caught the owners’ executive assistant constantly printing recipes on our shared printer so I thought about making her a painting revolving around food, called “Cooking Italian I”. Our litigation attorney was constantly traveling someplace around the world so I thought painting him a mani painting incorporating travel icons would be appropriate and it was called, “Where Next?” There were others but these were some of my favorites.

Current Desk Art by Dawn M. Wayand

Current Desk Art Pieces (some sold)


The following year, I started creating more desk art as after presenting the paintings to my team in a group setting – they seemed to be a big hit and I felt that adding a little unique decor to someone’s desk could really be that one thing that makes someone’s bad day better, or is an escape, or even a conversational piece while sitting at one’s desk at work.


I had the opportunity to sell my work at a small store downstairs from where I live last year in November and thought table and desk art would not only make table decorations for the holidays (my holiday desk/table art) but also super unique gifts to give any time of the year so I started thinking of every possible thing I could paint on a 5×7” or 6×8” canvas that might embody a person’s interests to make the gifts personal. Some of the works I went mixed media on for a three-dimensional effect. Again, they were a hit.

Desk Art by Dawn M. Wayand in the Store Window

Store Window with my Table/Desk Art for Sale Last Year


One night very late, I happened to be taking my trash out and noticed an older gentleman standing at the window of the shop looking at my artwork through the window after hours. Without telling him right away that I was the artist, he started going on and on about the ideas, the uniqueness, that they were all “really amazing”. When I admitted they were my work, we ended up standing there talking for about an hour, about the technique, the thought process behind them, how I came up with the ideas, etc. He told me to keep doing what I was doing and commended me for the work.


This is why I create. I love meeting people and getting feedback on my work. I love the reactions I get to something I create. I love putting the beauty of art into the world. Even if it’s not on a wall, but only on someone’s desk.

Posted by Dawn Wayand in Behind the Scenes, 0 comments