By Mark Davis

I rule you.

Artist Statement – April 2014

As part of my “Creative Professional in Context” I re-wrote and really re-examined the artist statement I have been using and wrote almost two years ago. The following is the revision as it stands, but will probably undergo some more changes.

As a non-traditional student with a bachelors degree in Philosophy, my art & design work serves as the meeting point between my pursuit of wisdom and the need to express myself creatively; giving me a unique vantage point over the field of communication design.

This mixture of planning and freedom means that my fine arts projects are done with a “design brief” in mind, and that my design work is imbued with an independent spirit. Sketching and brainstorming is vital to everything, as is the ability to work and revise as quickly as possible; the latter necessitates that a majority of my work to be done digitally, and is increasingly found on the web and in the cloud. By leveraging these new technologies and constantly learning and staying up to date with them, I find myself not just working faster than I used to, but thinking differently than a lot of my more traditional peers.

Another significant part of my journey has been dedicated to the exploration of aesthetic boundaries: What is beauty and where/why does it break down? At what point does minimalism, a trick-of-the-eye, or a light-hearted demeanor lose the message it was intended to carry? Can the absurd be as powerful as the poignant? Does there exist a common experience that my work can reach or is art too subjective?

By pursuing answers to these questions and by tapping into pop-culture, religious history, philosophical discussions, and social-political issues, I hope to not just carve out my own niche of art & design in the 21st century, but to leave something that can be built upon and expanded by others for years to come.

It’ll be interesting to see how this summer internship at Kohl’s and the senior year at MIAD will effect things from here on out.

Artist Statement – October 2012

As part of my Career Prep class, we all have to write artist statements. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, so I thought I would share what I came up with and some of the thought process behind it:

My art and design work are a product of my love for philosophy and creativity, where the pursuit of wisdom and the need to express myself become more meaningful together than as their separate parts.

I rely on digital mediums, using Adobe’s Creative Suite, Wacom drawing tablets, the keyboard and mouse, and scanners to piece together my work in an easily distributable way. However, I still sketch, draw, paint, and collage when a physical approach is the best way to communicate a message or feeling.

A significant part of my artistic journey is dedicated to the exploration of aesthetic boundaries: What is beauty and where/why does it break down? At what point does minimalism, or even a trick-of-the-eye, lose the message it was intended to carry? Can the absurd be as powerful as the poignant? Does there exist a common experience that my work can reach or is art too subjective?

By pursuing these questions and tapping into pop-culture, religious history, philosophical discussions, and social-political issues, I hope to carve out my own niche in the 21st century. (Mark Davis, 10/2012)

Alright, so there it is in all of it’s embarrassing, cheesy glory… but if your own artist statement doesn’t make you feel a bit like you’re in that naked at school dream, then you probably didn’t do it right.

The best way I can describe my starting point was a process of powering through sheer frustration. I sat down and just wrote a first sentence over and over again, without deleting any of them. Once there was a whole page or two of them, I just looked through and started deleting one’s that just didn’t fit. It’s hard to define what made some work and others not, but there are a lot of ways to say who you are, and it’s never going to be easy… but you should be able to feel which one’s are getting close and which one’s failed.

After nailing that down, I went onto what materials/programs I use to create. That led me directly into how/why I create, and that into the reasons behind my drive and aspirations.

In the end, it seems to work pretty alright as an artist statement. At least, for now.