The Q&A: Ariel Davis

By Peggy Roalf   Monday February 27, 2017

Q: Originally from New Jersey, what are some of your favorite things about living and working in Brooklyn?

A: I was raised in south Jersey, right outside Philadelphia. They’re close geographically but very different places.
People care about art in Brooklyn, which is nice, and there is always something going on. I haven’t been bored once the entire time I’ve lived here. 

Q: Do you keep a sketchbook? What is the balance between art you create on paper [or other analog medium] versus in the computer?

A: I do keep a sketchbook that has all kinds of things in it, drawings, writing, poems, sketches for assignments. I lost a sketchbook in the subway recently, which was a huge bummer. As far as traditional/digital balance goes, a lot of my work is very drawing-heavy. A lot of the time I’ll scan it in and mess with it in Photoshop.

Q: What is the most important item in your studio?

A: My electric pencil sharpener—it’s so cool. Saves me a ton of time, and from breaking my wrists sharpening pencils. 

Q: How do you know when the art is finished?

A: When I can step away for a minute and look at a piece with fresh eyes and see if anything irritates me. Or if the deadline arrives, haha.

Q: What elements of daily life exert the most influence on your work practice?

A: How much coffee I’ve had to drink, and whatever movie I watched the night before.

Q: What was your favorite book as a child? What is the best book you’ve recently read?

A: I loved horror and mystery books as I kid. Any super ominous story really.

And someone just lent me No One Belongs Here More Than You, a bunch of great Miranda July stories, I feel like I’ve been meaning to read it forever.

Q: If you had to choose one medium to work in for an entire year, eliminating all others, what medium would you choose?

A: The most obvious answer would be colored pencil. But maybe something I’ve never tried before, like lithography. I would have a whole year to figure it out.

Q: If you could spend an entire day away from work and deadlines, what would you do and where?

A: Go hangout in nature somewhere upstate maybe. Go camping and go for a hike with my friends.

Q: What was the painting or drawing or film or otherwise that most affected your approach to art?

A: I think about the methods of framing and visual composition filmmakers use to assist in telling a story very often while making my work.

 Q: What would be your last supper?

A: A bowl of pho with some crazy stuff in it, and some seltzer!


Ariel Davis:

22 year old illustrator & friend of dogs. Currently living in Brooklyn.

I've done work for The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Pitchfork, Refinery 29, Lucky Peach, The Bleacher Report, Baffler Mag, and The Brooklyn Academy of Music, among others.

My work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators and American Illustration.
I’m participating in an environmental charity show,
The Great Outdoors, on Saturday, March 25, 7 pm, at Gowanus Print Lab, 54 2nd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. Proceeds will be donated to the Sierra Club. Info:
Instagram: @ariel.r.d


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