ARTHAGS: Crystal Letters Co-founder Crystal Davis Explores the Soul with AI
We are thrilled to present a new artist in our showcased indie artist series, #ARTHAGS. Crystal Davis is the co-producer of OpenRoad Poetry and co-founder of Crystal Letters. She uses AI in her work to explore feminist strength and states of mind. She is inspired by people who love art.
What kind of art do you create?
I’m a professionally trained artist and writer with a focus in painting, digital illustration, and poetry. I use my work as a story and a vessel of manifestation, but also create my art in a versatile way. No matter which way you choose to begin seeing these visual stories. You’ll always find something you didn’t see before.
I’m the editor, writer, and co-founder/sole contributor for Crystal Letters and co-producer of OpenRoad Poetry. My poems have been published online and print, including In Her Words, Emerging Poets 2019 and 2018, Megazine, Unapologetic Women, and PATHS: NJCU.
Choose 3-5 pieces you really like…
The first three pieces are Digital Illustrations created using Photoshop CS6, and the last two pieces are AI & Digital Illustrations created using AI and Photoshop CS6.
This piece is a representation of Prosperity. A reminder that prosperity comes in many shapes and forms. I chose this piece as a reflection of my journey.
8.5×11, Digital Illustration
This piece was created and chosen in celebration of Ostara, goddess of spring and dawn and of the March Equinox.
8.5×11, Digital Illustration
I chose this piece because there isn’t always a light to seek when you’re depressed. But there was an outlet, and I chose to depict my depression in a colourful way.
1024x1500px, AI and Digital Illustration
This piece was created with the Mighty Medusa in mind. This artwork is also part of a larger series, Sculabneoexpre. She is majestic in her stance but determined. You cannot see her eyes because she will turn you to stone.
1024x680px, AI and Digital Illustration
When I created this piece, I was inspired strongly by sculptures and abstract neo-expressionism artworks. This piece is part of a larger series, Sculabneoexpre. She is a woman who has been through so much struggle, and through it all she shines her brightest. Maybe startled, but alert and ready for the challenge. In fact, whatever that challenge is, she’s already facing it. Head on.
What do you aim to capture in your art? Has this shifted over time?
I aim to explore my own emotions and seek to create pieces that reflect the emotional states that I was in when I created them. I also use my work as a form of manifestation. My aim has shifted over time, and I have finally found clarity in how I create my pieces and how I want them to be received.
Can you describe a time when you transformed creative ‘failure’ or “I can’t do this” into success?
At the time of writing this, I’ve been out of work since January and it’s been a time where I’ve felt at my lowest low. I haven’t written continuously in the past year, and haven’t freely created art in about two years. Since January, and despite ups and downs, I’ve used this time to complete my first book of poetry and to create art based on my emotions.
It’s been a hard few months, but the output has been amazing. I feel accomplished and I accept myself as an artist and am finally making art for myself that I love.
Some say creating art can be solitary. What do you say?
It can be. Some people prefer to create alone; I am definitely one of those people. I always prefer the company of others through music when I am creating.
Creativity vs. cost of living – your thoughts?
You need to work to pay your bills. But you may also seek to make a living off of your art. I think that’s almost every artist’s dream, mine included. While it’s sometimes difficult to do, it’s best to keep a balance of both. Just remember to never let go or forget about your creativity, your magick. Otherwise, you’ll lose yourself. Little Boxes. And they’re all made out of Ticky Tacky. And they all look just the same.
What are your opinions on art’s place in society?
Art has a powerful and immortal place in society. It is used as a tool for education through storytelling regardless of what the design. However, I believe that there are several types of societies that surround us and affect how art is perceived. Let’s look at the $20,000 banana that was auctioned off at Art Basel Miami 2019. Money and pride rules most art fairs and communities are found in the Grass Roots. But all in all, art can be taught, art can be used for good, and art is a representation of our history; it’s like the blood in our veins. You can try and suppress a person’s desire to create, but one day that desire will come back in full force.
Best piece of advice you’ve been given (or given yourself)?
The best recent piece of advice I’ve ever been given – was “just to do it,” and it was unanimous from so many other artists in my life. Just to do it without fear, without reservations, without giving two fucks about what somebody thinks about your art. If people don’t like what you create, it just means that it wasn’t meant for them.
Any upcoming projects or things you’re working on right now?
I’m currently in the editing process of my first collection of poetry. I’m really excited about that, and I’m working on illustrations that will accompany the chapters in the book. I’m also using my spare time to host Poetry & Open Mics in Jersey City, New Jersey, so in case any one is ever interested!
Is there something we should have asked you but didn’t?
Yes: What inspires you (me)?
I am inspired by the world around me, but I am also inspired by people like you. People who understand and love art and want to give artists an opportunity to grow and share their passions with others.
Photo credit: Justin Woo
Where can people find out more about your art online?
Calling all artists with ARTHAG souls:
If you would like to be featured on Mookychick, please visit our #ARTHAGS artist submissions page. You will be able to interview yourself (so we don’t put words in your mouth), depict your artwork and invite our community to find out more about your creative works.