Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Richard George Davis. I’m a South African artist, creative director, photographer and web developer living and working in Johannesburg.
I’ve always been a traditional artist at heart however the digital artworks I now create began as a hobby in 1998 after I began my career in a printing bureau. My keen interest in the design software and what could be achieved through image manipulation started me off on this journey of artistic discovery.
Since 2000, I’ve grown in the fields of digital media and have been fortunate during this time to have my artworks featured in magazines, used as set dressings for television series “The Following” and displayed in a gallery exhibition in Soho, New York City.
What is your favorite medium?
My favourite medium is digital creation mostly through the use of Photoshop however, many of my artworks encompass photography, photo manipulation, illustration, digital painting, 3D modelling and a variety of techniques that I’m constantly exploring and developing.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
The creative process is an integral part of my being, it’s how my observations of the world I interact with everyday furnishes my imagination with impressions of what is or may be possible in a visual form.
What is your creative process?
I wish there was a way to neatly package up the creative process for everyone to understand. I can describe some of the things that I go through to create my works or some of the times that I feel the most inspired.
The most prominent and striking ideas usually take root over a few weeks and once a concept has formed the actual process begins. Mainly my creative process begins with shaping the general forms of composition in Photoshop, blending each element for the concept. After I build everything as I want, my final touch focuses on the details. Throughout the process I analyse the results to make sure I’m along the creative mood and get the right result.
I like to capture visual misperceptions of everyday objects appearing as something else. The image render, shape and the illusion are the priority, the actual content and subject are there to only achieve the final result, not to be shown in and of themselves.
Is there a specific theme/message/emotion you aim to evoke?
Yes. I try to convey the feeling of the underlying theme and my personal message to the observer. The connection I’m trying to establish I would describe as non-verbal conversation between artist and the observer as I want the viewer to enter into my mental and emotional world.
Throughout my body of work, I mostly capture the surreal nature of the human predicament and how our emotions change our perceptions; These surreal and conceptual themed works redefine reality and stretch the limits of the imagination in which I create evocative, dream-like images or capture everyday objects appearing as something else. My works and the objects in them can be seen as something completely different given the right perspective, tackle the human predicament and playfully explore the intersection of language and art by making literal visual interpretations of familiar idiomatic expressions.
What motivates you to continue to create?
My motivation can be identified by my willingness to continue, to constantly seek new perspectives, new answers or solutions to whatever artistic interests I am pursuing, regardless of obstacles and long periods of inactivity that plague my work. I’m trying to create something vivid, insightful, and altogether engaging on an emotional level.
When you encounter creative blocks, what do you do to overcome them?
Stop work and take a break. Getting out of head and exchanging ideas usually helps be it for a few hours or a couple of days while working on something different. Sometimes you just can’t force creativity.
I usually find if I explore different techniques or I experiment with different mediums, even doodling, I can break free of this perpetual cycle.
What are your thoughts on the future of art?
With the ease of duplication and replication in digital media, the essence of original pieces of art do not necessarily hold its value the way it may have decades ago. However, this will not deter me, or any driven artists, from continuing to create; as artists our currency has never been monetary, it’s the enjoyment we receive from developing concepts to the final images that we then share.
No matter what direction the future of art is moving towards, artist’s desire is to continue developing their creativity and unique expression, along with their individual passion, this is what will define the future of art.
What is something you have had to learn on your own that you would like to pass on to the next Creative?
There’s a couple that I wish I’d heard or at least listened to early on in my career.
Find your own rhythm and style that is uniquely you. Experiment, as failure is the true strength of experience. Follow artists of different mediums, this will challenge your perspective of art and you’ll gain insights into new and exciting techniques. Art is a matter of preference, not everyone is going to like your work so accept this.