Artist Spotlight: Jacob Davis | Arts & Entertainment

Jacob Davis, a senior studio art major with a computer science minor, has loved digital art from a young age. Coming to Valparaiso University with the intention of being an art major, Davis has since grown in his passion for illustration.

“I always knew that when going to college I wanted to do art as my career, cause that’s what I love doing. If I were to do an office job, it would be the end of me,” Davis said. “So yeah, it’s just something that I’ve always just wanted to do.”

Currently, Davis is spending a lot of time working on his senior thesis project for his major. The deadline is approaching, and upon further reflection, Davis finds that the hardest part of the project isn’t the art, but the expectations he faces both internally and externally.

“It’s been a bit stressful probably because, for my own expectations of myself, this project is supposed to be the peak of my learning here at Valparaiso, and showing off my talents and skills that I’ve grown, demonstrating all of that work, ” Davis said. “And also my own expectations; I’m always wanting to make the best artwork I can…So it’s been a little stressful finding that point where I’m like ‘this is good,’ like I can say ‘this is finished, and this is complete.’ I always think it could be better.”

Luckily Davis has found support here on campus for his artistic goals and vision through his professors in the art department.

“I mean, half of art is practice and developing more skills,” Davis said. “And the art program here, I’ve had some pretty swell professors who helped to encourage [me].”

Davis also finds inspiration from other digital creators he follows online. For many years now, seeing other creators’ art projects has always been a source of comfort and motivation for him.

“Whenever I’m going on social media or websites, I follow hundreds of different artists, and they make the most amazing work and I’m just like, ‘oh my gosh, this is absolutely stellar, and I want to be like one of those guys at whose artwork I just go ‘they know what they’re doing,’” Davis said.

In terms of Davis’s particular art style, he doesn’t see his artwork as fitting in any particular one category; nor does he have a distinct process he follows every time when creating new art. Davis creates what he feels at any one time, and this spontaneous approach has served him well.

“At the very least what others have said the most distinctive parts of my work are my very loose linework, sketching and painting process where it’s very in-the-moment, I suppose. I don’t really have any specific methodology. I just do what I think feels right for it,” Davis said.

In the future, Davis sees himself continuing his journey as an illustrator. He enjoys creating art that is mythical and whimsical, and he sees himself pursuing this passion further in the future.

“The thing I love most is creating interesting scenarios, or characters, or creatures, bringing the fantastical to life is what I most enjoy doing,” said Davis. “Whenever I’m not doing schoolwork, a lot of my artwork revolves around characters of mine or monsters or stuff like that.”

Those interested in seeing Davis’s work are strongly encouraged to view his senior project, which will soon be featured in the hallway that connects the Christopher Center Library and the Center for the Arts and Sciences Building, amongst artwork from his peers. His piece will be titled, “Beasts of the Bygone.”

“It features mythological creatures from cultures all over the planet,” said Davis.

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