Monroe artist is a former Disney animator making new art on canvas

MONROE, La (KNOE) Jay Davis is an artist at heart. His Mom would give him sketchbooks as a child. Davis grew up in Monroe surrounded by the beautiful magnolia trees.

“I’d taken thousands of pictures from Kiroli Park, Forsythe, Point Drive where those old trees are and use those as a reference,” said Davis.

Now those pillars of nature are his inspiration.

“I love painting the things I find in nature. I go on a lot of nature hikes with my dog.”

Before Davis moved home and started painting the beauty around him, he fulfilled a dream. To become an animator for Disney. With a degree in architecture and a passion for drawing, there was a natural transition into the world of animation.

“Even though it’s computer animation you still work out your ideas by drawing. Thumbnail sketches and you can draw on the computer screen. The old style traditional animation I’d do that especially on the Meet the Robinson’s,” said Davis.

From 'Meet the Robinsons' to 'Huntsman: The Winter’s War', 'Atlantis' and several more, Davis made specific characters or objects come to life. Like the obscurest in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

“I was drawing the animation and making the computer puppets do what I was drawing so I’d get the performance by drawing it.”

He’s still doing animation work but he’s focusing more on the natural beauty around him and translating that on canvas.

“In the beginning, I have an idea it’s exciting. Then I start and it looks terrible for a while and I panic and then it starts to come together and I have to trust that it’s going to be okay. Eventually, it starts to come together and it’s fun.”

Davis' art will be on display at the Arender Studio on Art Alley in downtown Monroe. One of many downtown galleries participating in the Downtown Gallery Crawl on Thursday, December 6, 2018.