Today we meet Dominic de Souza, the founder of Saintnook.
1. What’s your background?
I was born in New Zealand, schooled in Fiji and France, raised in Australia, and now happily married in the USA. A lot of travelling in my years has involved plenty of contact with people and cultures, old and new, which has cultivated a deep appreciation for Phil 4:8.
One thing that has remained pretty constant is a passion for history and stories, and within the last ten years, I accidentally fell into visual design and loved it.
Today I work as the Visual Arts Manager for Seton Home Study School, a world leader in homeschooling. On the side, I provide visual design consultation, and juggle a number of pet projects such as Saintnook, a garden, and dreaming up children’s novels.
I am dating my strong, beautiful wife named Maria, and we have a gorgeous little freedom fighter named Mercedes.
2. What are your interests?
I started with illustration at a young age, and from there became a total bookworm. Since then, I have a passion for novels and history, and in my heart of hearts, hope to find the time to write children’s novels about great and epic stories. I’m also a Ren Faire lover, martial arts enthusiast, tea drinker, and avid brainstormer.
I remember being inspired by saints as a child, even though I fled from the dry rote of my Catechism lessons. Their stories and examples are what have inspired me to develop Saintnook.
3. What do you blog about?
I occasionally blog at CatholicAuthor, a place for exploring ideas, sharing stories and showcasing the books I write.
I’ve written 3 so far; a coloring book for young illuminators, an illuminated prayer guide for children, and my first children’s fantasy novel.
4. What do you like about Saintnook?
What inspires me the most about Saintnook is 2 things; its focus on the visual presentation of saints instead of textual, and the social network paradigm. The ability to get to explore a saint’s friends and ground them in their era set off lightbulbs in my brain. To date, websites have been thinking of the saints from a traditional, textbook mindset; Saintnook is a attempt to do something more modern given the arsenal of digital tools at our disposal.
Over the years, I’ve been on a personal crusade to learn more about my confirmation saint, St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Although I remember being passionate about St. Robert as a child, my parents recommended St Bernard for his erudition, which they thought matched my insatiable quest for knowledge.
To my chagrin, I learned next to nothing about him, and since have been eager to get to know the saints from their point of view.
5. What do you do on the Saintnook team?
As the founder and visual designer, I develop all the graphics and artwork. I keep the months moving by giving our team deadlines and goals for getting the saints online, and try to keep this a fun experience.
I’m a firm believer in leaders working in the trenches, so I’m happily pinning, researching and trying to connect to new friends all the time.
6. Who is your Favorite Saint?
That’s not fair. I don’t have a favorite parent either. ;)
If I had to pick, its the simplest ones who affect me the most deeply. St Imelda has stuck in my soul ever since I learned of her ecstatic death, right after her first Communion. And the film ‘The Reluctant Saint’, about St Joseph of Cupertino, inspired a desire to nurture a simple love for the Blessed Mother.
Working on Saintnook has helped me remember/realize that all the saints are all alive, and used to be as horribly human as I am. Becoming a little closer to their lives brings me a sense of peace, and provides touchstones of experience for my life.