Written by Brittany Shawnté
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Today, we have business owner and graphic designer Duane Lindsey II! Duane owns his own production company DLINDZ Productions, which offers web and graphic design, video production, and photography! He got his start back in the Myspace days, loving the celebrity page designs on the social media site, and soon started learning how to do his own custom layouts. Once the designer had the Adobe Photoshop program down and was creating his own layouts, he started designing layouts for other people. Soon after his high school graduation in Akron, OH, Duane moved to Atlanta, GA, where he has resided for the last 9 years. “[I] felt that it was more opportunities to excel here in whatever I decided to do for a living,” he said of the move.
I asked Duane about what made him turn his love for graphic design into a real business. “Honestly, I didn’t really plan on starting one initially. I was just doing what I enjoyed to do,” the entrepreneur admitted. “But I decided to go ahead and start a business once I was starting to get an overwhelming amount of people asking me to make stuff for them. I started charging people to really cut me some slack. That was when I saw the potential in myself to actually pursue a business using all my skills.”
With his talent and business savvy, Duane has been able to achieve a lot since he started, including managing rap group, The LVRDS, which he says is his biggest accomplishment. Because of their potential to grow and become better, he has pushed himself to grow and enhance his skills in order to make them look better. Because of this, they’ve gotten the opportunity to open up for acts such as B.o.B and Usher. Another proud moment of his includes working with PJ of Famous 2 Most (F2M). He was even formally with We Are Toonz when the Nae Nae dance was created. Duane created the Nae Nae logo and directed the viral video that helped the dance tremendously on social media and YouTube. He also created Famous 2 Most’s Whip Dance logo (and viral video which has over 4 Million views on YouTube!
The creation of the popular Nae Nae Dance came about for Duane when former LVRDS member PJ called on some of his old dance members to join We Are Toonz for a dance competition. While they were practicing, trying to figure out a dance move to put in their routine, PJ did a funny dance move imitating a ghetto girl. Fellow group member Levi told him to do it again cause it was funny but it was dope at the same time, and he told PJ to put his hand up while doing it. That’s how the Nae Nae was created. While no new work is currently on the horizon with DLINDZ Productions and We Are Toonz, Duane hopes they work together again in the future.
In addition to The LVRDS and Famous 2 Most, Duane has also worked with Freco & Merlo (creators of the Drop Dance), Keem, Young Mafia Inc (creators of the Swazzze Shuffle) and producer Bangladesh who produced hits such as “A Milli” for Lil’ Wayne and “Lemonade” for Gucci Mane.
Over the next five years, Duane would like to build an ambitious team as well as a good foundation for his business. He would also like to help other people in the same field who wish to start their own businesses doing what they love to do.
BONUS: Top 3 Albums Currently Listening To
Drake – Views
Travis Scott – Rodeo
The Game – The Documentary 2