Reflections of an Artist: Interview with Kris Davidson
25 May 2011

The Author

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>>>Dream Chaser Activist * Live Music Enthusiast * Cannabis Industry Expert *Sparkle Spreader * Mindfulness Teacher * Yogi Artist with a Mermaid Soul <<<


An artist is a being of intelligence, mystery, and power. Those who pursue art are challenged to recreate our world through color and design, and passion drives the artist to follow through. But the final product is not the canvas itself, but the eyes of those who gaze within it. Today, so many types of work exist in our world that the taste of the viewer usually lies on a spectrum between love and hate where everything is generally accepted. The artist’s message isn’t about like, love, or hate, though, but communication through symbolism. Although some are blind to this meaning, everyone is affected: the emotions and ideas that exist within a piece of art breed in your conscience and evoke thought and wonder. Whether the theme is elegant or evil, funny or confusing, the art shouldn’t be taken for granted because the images are translations from a world in which you live.

Inspired by the live painting movement and its reflection of the music community, I passionately got involved. Art has become a grounding force in my life, but since graduating college and moving into “the real world,” I’ve been faced with a constant struggle: balancing who I feel I am with what I feel I’m supposed to do (based on the traditional values I was brought up with). “Starving artist” is a well known phrase, and most artists trying to make it in today’s economy have to maintain two careers. Feeling a little intimidated about the rhythm of things, I decided to link up with an inspiring and successful artist, Kris Davidson for an interview, encouragement, and some realization. Kris D. is well known as a performance artist along side STS9, for his collaborations with David Hale and Jason Garcia, and his whole hearted devotion to communication through art. Thank you Kris for giving us a little piece of your world!

SBL: Inspiration is everywhere, where do you pull it from the most?

KD: That’s a tough one… everything is part of a larger pattern, whether I am looking into the outside world or into the inner worlds. The most mundane is part of this greater pattern, as well as the most profound. Bsaeauty and things that repulse- how all these things fit together…whatever you want to call that greater pattern. That “isness,” hopefully I can draw from that the most.

If your paintings could speak what would they say?

Hmmm…Generally speaking all my paintings talk about how profoundly interconnected everything is, but it sounds kind of garbled in English words: Nouwrll noiska º nyendin º nouwrll º >>  ….so, it may be best to just leave it in its current visual language form.

How do you prepare yourself for a live painting?

It all depends on the vibe of the day I suppose. Yea it varies, but generally whatever helps me feel grounded and energized…

When painting live, how much of the actual painting is created on stage during the show? Do you plan ahead before you start or do you let your surroundings influence your work?

It really changes from painting to painting. Sometimes a lot of preparation is involved and sometimes none at all. I don’t really have a preference; each is its own thing. Regardless of preparation though, the surroundings inevitably play a key role and are a major influence.

Do you prefer studio paintings versus live paintings or vice versa?

Yes and yes. Lately, I prefer the studio more.

Is there any one particular feeling or emotion that comes out during your creation process? If so, what is it?

As time goes along the process becomes more satisfying and joyful. In my earlier days I would get in ruts where I was too critical and hard on my self. I’d take what I was doing too seriously and I’d get stuck in perfectionism. This led to periods of feeling sort of neurotic when I was deep in a project, haha. Thankfully I’ve worked through most of that shit and it’s generally all heart and devotion and that’s the practice I intend to maintain.

What has been the toughest part about being an artist?

Practically speaking. making a sustainable career out of art- though entirely doable and worthy of the effort- is difficult when you don’t have much to start out with. That can be tough, but it makes you tap deeper into your self to push through it and I am very thankful for that.

I find myself constantly caught up in a storm between my passion to pursue art and the reality of making it successfully. What advice can you offer the “starving artist”?

Have faith, work as hard as you can and beyond, keep one foot in this world and one foot in the other…

If you were one particular medium (i.e. spray paint, acrylics, plaster, etc.) what would you be and why?

I’d have to go with water on that one. I use water as a medium a lot, so that works yea? Paint, plaster, graphite, ect, would leave me stuck in whatever form I was left in by the so-and-so that left me there…too risky! Water, generally speaking, would allow me to keep moving and changing into new forms…

How have you transformed as an artist over the years?

True change comes from the inside, on a consciousness level. When this happens the art follows suit, as it is really just a byproduct of this. So yes, over the years of being “an artist” there have been all kinds of internal shifts and changes on this level which allows the art to continue to change…thankfully! 😀

What is your mission as an artist?

To be open and to be a vessel where spirit can reach and stretch further. To play my part in the greater pattern that’s unfolding through all beings.

Gratitude is an important part of living consciously, how do you practice this?

I recently realized that true gratitude is true presence. True gratitude can only be accessed in the present moment. I’m just now discovering what a deep practice gratitude can be.


With time we will soon see the work of Kris D. inked on many! Kris is currently training under partner in collaboration, David Hale, at Anchor Tattoo in Athens, Georgia! Kris and David have begun a journey of collaborations together and their first book “Medicina” is now available online. Check out the works of both gentlemen this summer, June 11th at Evolverfest in Atlanta. Also if you’re going to be attending the Georgia Theater in Athens, pay close attention to the entrance, there’s going to be a mural project you don’t want to miss out on:)


Get a copy of Medicina here!

and another great interview with him from our friends at HeadCount!



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