Destiny A. Davison illustrates that anything is possible

The artist explores intra- and interpersonal relationships in her ongoing comic “The Drolls.”

Destiny A. Davison poses for a portrait on Thursday, March 7 at Bordertown Coffee in Dinkytown. Davison is a local illustrator is working on a new series called The Droll about various real, unreal and in-between thinking things.

Elle Moulin

Destiny A. Davison poses for a portrait on Thursday, March 7 at Bordertown Coffee in Dinkytown. Davison is a local illustrator is working on a new series called “The Droll” about “various real, unreal and in-between thinking things.”

by Ksenia Gorinshteyn

Destiny A. Davison believes that anything, absolutely anything, is possible. 

Her illustrations and comics tell stories of real thinking things, un-real thinking things and sentient planets. 

“So very rarely are [my characters] human,” Davison said. “It’s really just another way to say be hopeful about your life and about all the things you could potentially do, potentially be. … That never ends. No matter how old you are, anything could happen.”

The University of Minnesota alum’s other-worldly illustrations typically come in the medium of permanent-marker doodles, something that harkens back to the artist’s childhood. 

“I used to draw on walls. Not in a healthy way,” Davison said. “If I was ever bored, I would go and crawl behind the couches and draw on the walls with anything I could get my hands on.” 

These strategically placed murals became part of a bigger picture.

Davison never put down that marker.

“A lot of times, I’ll just start with permanent marker or pen because it’s just natural and it’s permanent,” Davison said. “You can’t go back, so if you make a mistake, you just have to make it bigger. It’s just not on walls anymore.”

Art, especially illustration, is something Davison realized she cannot live without. 

“I remember going into her room and seeing papers scattered on the floor, her sitting on her bed and just drawing and drawing and drawing,” said the artist’s sister Alex Davison, a senior studying film at the University. “I just remember being in awe. It was like going into a museum.”

This collection of personal drawings has evolved into Davison’s witty and joyous comics “Planet B” and “The Droll,” which she frequently posts about on her Instagram pages.

“The Droll” is a series that reflects on labels we put on each other. Davison describes the drolls as “monsters” — just not as scary as we may think.

“I don’t think monsters were ever meant to be something to be afraid of,” Davison said. “They’re really just expressions of our own selves as human beings and our own creativity, including things that are fantastical or scary.”

Much of Davison’s personality comes through in the dialogue and style of her characters, especially the bold lines and their quirky nature.

“[Her art has] become this whole world, whereas before it was just like this small piece,” Alex Davison said. “And now it’s blossoming into this huge, beautiful colorful thing.”

Davison has presented her art, both visual and literary, at various art shows and events. At last month’s Err event, Davison gave an engaging PowerPoint lecture on “The Drolls.”

“I really like the oddities and creativity of her art. They’re drawings but they’re also stories,” said Err’s Hanna Kjeldbjerg. “She is one of those artists that’s always creating, always posting and sharing.”

Along with her comics, Davison channels her creative energy into improv and short stories. 

“I think we can all have our big projects or the thing that we think is going to be our big thing,” Davison said. “But I don’t really believe that anyone is destined to do one certain thing.” 

This is one of the ways that Davison has seen herself grow as an artist. She pushes herself to finish each project she works on. She takes risks rather than asking for permission to create her art.

“The worst thing that you can do is sell yourself short and not try,” Davison said. “That’s really the hardest part in anything … just trying. A lot of the times it’s really not as scary as you think it is.”