Ascending Artist: David Waters

Ascending Artist: David Waters

After selling his designs to big name brands, the Spokane artist wants to focus on pushing his creative limits

Detail of David Waters’ piece, Inland Empire.

Before David Waters even had his college degree in hand, the explosively colorful, organized chaos of his designs had caught the eye of some huge brands: Nike, Adidas, ESPN.

With that knowledge, and a quick scroll through Waters’ online portfolio, one might surmise that the 2013 graduate of the University of Idaho’s graphic design program could land a job at any creative agency he wished.

But Waters doesn’t want that.

“Keeping a hold on creating something I can continue to have a unique voice in, it means so much to me,” the pensive, bearded artist, 28, says from the dining room table of his parents’ home in the North Spokane neighborhood of Indian Trail.

In front of him, a glossy-screened iMac is positioned behind the matte grey rectangle of his Wacom Cintiq digital tablet, an invaluable tool through which Waters’ deeply detailed designs are transferred from imagination to hand to screen. Before he takes the pointed stylus in his right hand, Waters pulls on a woolly grey glove because, he says, his hands sweat a lot.

“I would much rather work a job at a gas station or stocking shelves, if I could keep my art on the side, than sacrifice creativity,” he says. “I’m pretty restless, and I don’t know what I’m going to do next. It’s more about not wanting to lose that perspective of being on the outside and being free to experiment.”

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