"Art is pure expression. It’s a part of everything we do. It’s the basis of communication, culture, and civilization."
INTRO: Davy Minor is an Atlanta-based writer, artist and curator. He is the creator and editor of Deer Bear Wolf (DBW) magazine, which is described as "a collection of the various animals that roam the city of Atlanta." Animals being artists, creatives and musicians that call the city home. DBW is a magazine, community and record label. Davy is passionate about supporting the creative endeavors of the city and he plans frequent events to keep it vibrant. On the DBW website, you can purchase music and art from local talent, check out Davy's weekly event recommendations and submit your own work to be considered for the next issue of the magazine.
Stephanie: When do you feel most inspired or creative?
Davy: Late at night. I’m naturally a night owl, so I find between about 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. to be my most productive time of the day. There’s little distraction and my mind will go in weirder places the longer I’m awake.
S: What is your daily process?
D: My schedule is radically erratic from day to day. Sometimes I wake up early in the morning, and sometimes I wake up early in the afternoon. Sometimes my plans for the day change as the day goes on. The people I interact with and my work environment is completely different from one day to the next. But it feels most natural to me. I don’t enjoy falling into a routine because I’ll find myself feeling complacent. I enjoy treating each day as a unique adventure, and I adjust my lifestyle to the surrounding conditions.
S: Where do you go to find inspiration and new ideas?
D: Most of my process is thinking. I listen to music and just ride along with my brain and work out ideas in my head. I usually do that alone in my bedroom. But I also spend a lot of time seeking out new experiences, visiting different environments, interacting with lots of people in social settings because those stimuli are what I draw from. There are so many moments where I’ll be having a conversation with someone, and they’ll say something that sets off a chain of thoughts in my mind, and I’ll come up with a new idea or figure out a way around a problem. I definitely get my inspiration and ideas mostly from other people and new experiences. Then I take those ideas and whittle away at them all by myself.
S: What type of workspace is best for you?
D: I like to work in as many different spaces as possible. Pretty much everything I do only requires a laptop, so I can work just about anywhere. Outside on a porch is definitely a favorite spot of mine. Most of all, I like working alongside other people while they work on things. Coworking is super effective for me. I feed off the creative energy of others, and it helps me stay concentrated on what I’m doing when other people are working hard beside me.
S: How do you define art?
D: Art is pure expression. It’s a part of everything we do. It’s the basis of communication, culture, and civilization.
S: What life lessons have you learned by being an artist, writer and curator?
D: Being a curator has really taught me the importance of community. It’s rewarding for me to help other artists create. And everyone has something to teach, so you can learn so much from working with other people. With being a writer, I’ve discovered how therapeutic art can be. Having a creative outlet to express my emotions improves my overall well-being. When I write fiction, I’m able to channel all the awful experiences I have into something else. It’s like I expel the darkness and negativity that’s inside myself into a story.
S: In your opinion, what resources and/or voices are missing from the art world?
D: I’m always in favor of more resources and voices, but I tend not to worry about that too much these days because right now there are more voices than ever, and there are more resources available than ever. There are voids I see that I try to fill, but I try not to get too upset about the things outside of what I can do myself. In terms of making a living off art, there’s plenty of issues right now. But in terms of simply making art, almost anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
S: Is there a specific type of music you like to listen to when working on creative projects?
D: It depends on the project. When I write, I usually only listen to instrumental music or not listen to music at all because it distracts me. But if I’m just working on ideas, I play whatever music I feel like at the time.
S: What distracts or discourages you from getting creative work done?
D: I feel like distractions are kind of essential to my creative endeavors because it resets my mind when I return to the work. Sometimes I’ll get distracted and then eventually my brain will wander and come back around at a problem or idea from a different angle. It’s always a fine line, though, allowing some distractions and then having the discipline to come back and work more.
S: In your opinion, how has the digital revolution impacted the art world and creativity in general?
D: It’s changed everything. So many tools to both create and share art are accessible to almost anyone. Art is no longer in the hands of only the elite. With so many more people able to create, and with so many new ways and means to create, there is so much awesome art being birthed. I view creating art as a fundamental human instinct, and I think it’s overwhelmingly positive that so many more people can have an outlet to do it.
S: How do your creative pursuits benefit you personally?
D: I do creative pursuits simply because it’s what I do. It’s how I feel normal. It’s how I feel happy. So it definitely benefits me personally in that way. Putting together a magazine, running a record label, putting together events, it’s all super fun to do. And I learn so much from all of these projects.
S: How do you describe your work to other people?
D: In essence, I’m a storyteller. Whether it’s writing fiction or trying to tell the story of Atlanta’s creative scene, my art is narrative. With my writing style, I always favor clarity and efficiency.
S: Do you have any recommendations for fellow artists?
D: The biggest advice I have is to just do. Make art. Collaborate with people. Study others’ art and learn from it. Work hard and enjoy it.
It's pretty fun to get music suggestions from someone that actively runs a record label. Davy's current picks are below. The ones in bold are under his record label.
- Warpaint Warpaint
- Mac DeMarco Salad Days
- Warehouse Tesseract
- Jungol Ghost Knocks
- Entire Wild Nothing discography
- Nomen Novum Lookalikes
- On Holiday On Holiday
- Sealions Number One Lover
- Tantrum XYO
And if you're a fellow ATLien, check out this festive project that's happening until December 25!