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Nick Davis is a digital artist who posts his work on Instagram under the name NDArtLife. “I treat digital art almost like graffiti in how you have the ability to draw wherever,” Davis said.
Davis was diagnosed with epilepsy seven years ago. He first got his start in creating art after being asked to do a painting in church. “God just told me to keep going, and I just started learning more about Basquiat and Kerry James Marshall,” Davis said.
“What they showed me is that, if there’s an image that you want to put out there or spread to people, you have to be the one to do it,” Davis told The Black Wall Street Times when talking about Marshall and Basquiat. Davis has said that he was inspired by both but specifically Basquiat in the way that “he didn’t wait for permission to draw.”
Despite only recently creating in 2019, Davis is not new to art. “Art has always been a part of my life, it just seems like a way to express myself with someone who deals with anxiety and depression,” Davis said.
Davis creates his art using his Ipad and an Apple pencil. “I draw everywhere, it can be in church, a restaurant, or my wife’s parents house. It gives you the opportunity to always be able to create.” Davis said. It takes Davis about two hours or less to create his digital art.
In Davis’s artwork, he focuses on Black characters.. “For black people, I believe in certain communities, you can’t wear certain colors or if a man starts crying we look at him as a weaker person, and I believe we can influence people just to be themselves without having limitations on loving themselves,” Davis said.
NDArtLife: a man on a mission to inspire
All of his Instagram posts feature art that Davis created. In the caption of the post, Davis always puts the hashtag #Blackisbeautiful. Davis says he does this as a reminder to “appreciate who you are.” He shared a quote that he loves from Maya Angelou that reads “If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”
Whenever Davis is beginning to work on a piece, he pulls inspiration from life. “One thing I’ve learned throughout these seizures is to just appreciate the moment and to just go where your heart leads you,” Davis said. “Some days, it can be a positive feeling or some days I’m feeling depressed or down or just wondering what’s next. These seizures have taught me to be grateful for the moment and take the opportunity from there.”
Whenever Davis creates his work, he uploads them to his Instagram. Currently, he’s preparing to upload a website where people can go see more of his work. He doesn’t create commissioned pieces so as to not limit his creative liberty.
“[I create art] to encourage people not necessarily for the monetary stats,” Davis said. “Life is short and you don’t know what’s going to happen next, so with the time I do have, I rather take time to inspire.”
Nick Davis creates and posts daily on his social media, often with quotes from legendary Black figures to go with it.