Douglas Davis was the kid who was drawing when the teacher was lecturing; creating when others were just coasting.
When he would get sent to detention, he’d spend his time there drawing for hours. And despite growing up in a super small town in South Carolina, he had access to an amazing art program. With the help of a nurturing mother, and a lot of talent and hustle, Douglas worked his way into a design career but always wanted more. He had spent a lot of his life creating, but came to a point where he wanted to explore the business side as well, and moved into strategy.
In this week's conversation, Chris talks to Douglas about growing up and going to school with very few resources, moving into the world of strategy and the value it has provided both for Douglas's clients and himself, and Douglas's hustle as a teacher, bringing up a new generation.
Douglas shares his unique perspective on life itself and how important it is to do what you love. “Life is long,” Douglas says. “Do you want to spend your life going to a job you hate?”
After completing an arts program from Hampton University, Douglas took his resume and experience and applied to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He studied communication design and discovered the problem-solving capabilities of graphic design. During his time at Pratt, Douglas was inspired to teach and work in the industry he had grown to love so much.
When he was just 22 years old, Douglas was found and hired at Juno Online Services, but lost the job a year later when a recession hit. Then, when he was kicked out of his apartment at 25 years old, he became an adjunct professor.
With so many forces going against him, Douglas persevered through curveball after curveball. He learned to hustle and keep going despite the scarcity of opportunities. Douglas’s story is nothing short of inspiring. We highly encourage you to listen and hear how he turned from designer to strategist, to now teach other creatives the business of design.