Tell us about who Corey Davis is?
Corey Davis is an 23-year-old artist from Atlanta, Ga, who has mastered a number of media from tattooing to graphic design to painting and film making. Some call me a “jack-of-all-trades” others label me as a “renaissance man”, but I just see myself as an entrepreneur, a buisnessman. It’s all part of the big picture.
Do you think by studying Advertising Design at Savannah College of Art and Design, this has shaped any of your illustrative creativity?
SCAD definitely helped me fine tune alot of my skills. They cant really teach you how to be “creative” in school, a good imagination is just something you have to possess. But school did teach me a lot technical skills, how to use certain software and tools, the rules of creating good art like composition or line integrity, which is definitely necessary and worth it.
How has Miya Bailey and Tuki Carter helped progress your personal tattoo style?
I learned alot from both artist… Miya’s main thing was understanding the concept of “flow”, he drilled it in my head each and everyday. Which keeps you tattoos from looking like stickers, making them fluid and flow with the contour of the body. He also taught me the importance of branding your own style, something people would see and instantly recognize as your artwork, something original nobody else could copy. I use alot of Tuki’s techinques, such as the way I shade.
What are the most important things you took away from working with them?
Making a living out of making art. They both showed me it’s possible to make money solely off your artwork, and in most cases you should always think of ways how to profit from art. We don’t believe in the concept of starving artist.
How did Plush.357 come about?
Plush .357 was a t-shirt company I created back in 2006 as a series for an art show, with some friends from screen printing class. In the beginning we was just doing it for fun, we had no idea it’d become such a huge brand. After people started seeing us rocking our tee’s around the city, along with a handful of celebrities, the buzz sky-rocketed. I was 21 years old and opening my first store, shipping orders all over the world and hiring interns. It was a great run but after experiencing some creative differences with my partners in 2009, I decided it’d be best to part with the brand. I sold them the name, keep my designs… I dunno what’s going on with them now, haven’t heard much… Currently I’m working on a new lifestyle brand called Billy Clint, well be officially launching in the fall.
You have great personal style, is fashion and menswear and important way to express yourself?
Not really, I don’t put much thought into clothes… I just buy stuff i think is cool and wear it like that kid in the movie “Big Daddy”. I have no idea what’s trending or what’s lame. I might go to the army surplus store and grabbing a dope aviator hat, I like having different shit. Stuff that alot of people wouldn’t have… I’m a t-shirt fanatic though, I think I have like 300 t-shirts, half of which I haven’t worn in years.
I see you have gone into film-making, I came across your work through the Coco and Breezy “20/20″ Collection and then fell in love with White Light Records – White Light Syndrome, is this something you plan to pursue a career in?
Filmmaking is something I’ve always wanted to pursue after taking a video class in high school, I just had no idea how I would get into because that option was available at the college I was attending at the time. Oneday, I just decided to make that investment and get a camera, and jump into it head first. The “White Light Syndrome” video was the first thing I recorded ever and it was a smash! I remembered being scared to show it at first, but the feedback i got was all good. Hopefully I can make it into a life-long career and make it a huge part of the “Corey Davis Legacy!”
You recently had a solo exhibition at City of Ink, how was your experience?
It was little more than a year ago… I decided to throw my first solo exhibition, after years of doing a number of group shows. My body of work was large enough to do one on my own. After studying Takashi Murakami, I thought it’d be small to incorporate lower forms of art (stickers, pins, t-shirts, skateboards) in my show, so everyone could leave with something, rather it cost them $1 or $1,000. The plan worked perfectly, it was an awesome experience. The gallery was packed, and I pretty much told every painting.
Your paintings range from playful to politically aware, social comments through your work?
Yeah, I usually find some way to tie a subliminal social-political, religious message hidden within the vivid colors and cute characters. But it’s all up for interpretation. I like pissing people off, its not always obvious because my work is cartoonish, but if you study my work you’ll see there is a lot of blasphemy and satire.
With so many ongoing projects and collaborations, what does Corey like to do to chill out when he gets the chance?
Haha, I like to make art. All I do is work, and most of the time I’m having fun doing it. I love what I do. Of course, I find time to get out and party. But right now I’m on a mission. I’m focused.