Artist Q&A: Joshua Davis
What was your inspiration for Flower Power?
I had in my mind a very peaceful, organic piece. The rich textures and floral patterns are reinterpretations of things I found in traditional kimonos and formed the basis of the print. Then I refined the composition over, and over again. I think there were about nine iterations of the print before the energy was right. This print represents the power of peace in the beauty of nature.
Did you always want to be an artist?
Yes. Since 2nd grade. I went to catholic school and had done some artwork for a book report. A nun noticed my work, and saw a talent there. She called my parents and told them they should nurture it. It was totally unexpected, and there are no artists in my family, but they listened and bought me an oil paint kit. In 2nd grade, I did my first oil painting, and that was it. I was hooked.
What made you decide to mix art with design and technology?
It really gives me the ability to be a designer, a programmer, and a critic, all as part of my process.
Where do you draw inspiration for your art?
Mostly history, nature, and foreign cultures, and often a combination of all three. But also from my garden. I pull a lot of colors from my garden. What really interests me is reinterpreting things that have happened in the past – but changing the medium. For example, in the Sakroots Flower Power print, most of my inspiration came from Japanese kimonos – embroidery, silk, floral patterns – that kind of thing.
Based on your process, how do you know when a piece of art is complete?
Honestly, it’s when the chi is right.
There’s an energy flow to the creative process and to the work, and when that energy is coherent, it is done.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
Gardening. I would definitely be a landscaper. In fact, I spend about half my time out in the dirt. I try to go to Amsterdam every year just for the bulbs. I bring back about 600 bulbs every year, my favorites are Lilies.
Is being eco-friendly important to you? What are some ways you stay green?
Very much so. You can buy prints of my artwork, but rather than offset printing, I print to order, which saves trees. A digital, technology driven lifestyle also helps me be green. Rather than using a different product for each specific use, I have one product that does everything. My iPhone is my go-to device that does everything.
How do you view the world, what is your philosophy?
In one respect, technology is bringing us together and globalization has a positive effect. The ability to communicate across the globe is incredible, but at the same time, it can be a barrier – particularly for those who cannot access the technology and the information. We have all these amazing communication tools, but in some ways they enable us to communicate less. Negativity is an epidemic in our society. It is a barrier to productivity and it is everywhere, and it’s a huge problem. I do not subscribe to that really. When it comes down to it, as long as I strive for enlightenment, positivity, and to be the best person I can, everybody wins.
When you’re not at your computer, where can we find you?
I am generally in one of four places: at the computer, in the garden, skateboarding, and teaching at the NY School of Visual Arts, or in another country.
Check out all the latest products in Flower Power by Joshua Davis, here!