DaVinci Don is an LA by way of Memphis transplant achieving his biggest dreams as a multifaceted artist. With his hands in fashion design, styling, music and photography he is definitely a force to be reckoned with. He took that time out of dope ass life and blessed us and hopefully you readers as well with a few tips on moving to LA, building a social media presence and getting in the groove of finding your own lane.
Who are you, and what do you do creatively?
My name is Donte, they call me Young Davinci… DavinciDon. I make everything under the sun. I make clothes, I make music, I design jewelry, I style, I do photography… you name it.
Okay, so you’re multifaceted?
For sure, for sure.
Okay, so you’re from Memphis, but you live in LA now?
Yeah, I was born in Lousiana and I moved to Memphis in like ’97 and now I live in Los Angeles.
What was the transition from Memphis to LA like? To get a bit personal, that’s something that I’m looking to do in the near future, but it’s like “Damn…” That’s a big leap, ya know? Memphis is a big city and it’s coming up, but in the shadow of LA, it’s small.
I mean, so it was more so not really moving into the whole city. It’s like you’re moving into the next part of your own line, so I feel like if you are tryna come out here, at least have an idea of what you wanna do. If you keep that focus, it’s gonna work itself out to where you’ll eventually end up in your place.
The transition was interesting because I felt like right as I was getting out of Memphis, I was getting into a space where I was being around different people. Then when I moved out here, it was whole new wave of people, so it was kinda crazy. It’ll be my second year in October . It’s like I’m just now getting into that space.
Okay cool, cool. So, what gave you the drive to wanna move to LA?
I felt like there were better resources that were geared toward where I was trying to go. For example, if I was tryna make clothes, we have a whole fashion district here that’s however many streets wide, however many streets long of juts fabric and different shit. As opposed to Memphis, you have a couple of stores you can go to. One of the biggest fabric stores in Memphis was about to close when I left. Then I also do music too, and I’ve met a lot of people so far to where I feel like I have a nice circle of musicians. I feel like we’re closer to the next stage of our journey… I guess. [laughs]
Would you say that you found art, or did art find you?
I feel like… I mean, I’ve always felt like an artist. I’ve never not felt like an artist. Regardless to where I’m at. I feel like it followed me. It’s always with me.
It’s like I have that same mentality. Like now, I work a 9-5 and its like, I be on the computer and I’m typing then I start thinking that I’d really rather be somewhere taking pictures or writing ya know, like this ain’t for me.
I feel that completely, but it’s like sometimes you gotta use that 9-5 to fuel your after hour. It’s like from 5-9, what you doing with that time?
I guess I’m in the space of actually trying to figure out what to do with that time, and I’m making excuses. I’m the dude that’s like, “Oh I just got off and I’m tired. I just wanna lay down.”
Yeah, it definitely feels like that. I was in that same space too. It’s like in my mind, I’m not really tired like I’m ready to go to sleep, I’m just tired of doing the shit I had to do from 9-5. Then it was like damn, if I’m just working this 9-5, 5 days a week, I ain’t gone ever have time to do the other shit that I wanna do. So it’s like fuck all that sleeping stuff, I’m just gone do whatever I can while my eyes still open. So at some point, I’ll be able to ditch the 9-5 shit.
I feel that man. So, I was on your IG, and your style is fucking impeccable. I think it was the corduroy vest? It’s dope as hell. How would you describe your style?
Yeah, I love that joint, but my style is like… I feel like my style fits the vibe of the place I feel like I’m going to. I feel like I dress for the place I’m going. If you wanna be in a certain place, or if you wanna reach a certain thing, you just have to decide what’s the difference between you, and you in that space. So you gotta steadily and slowly break down that list until you’re there. You gotta keep changing shit up. So like, as far as style goes and the way I style people, it’s like right now I style a bunch of artists. To me they’ve always been superstars, so now I just style them accordingly.
Do you draw inspo from other artists, or magazines?
Not necessarily magazines. I don’t really have time to look through them. I have the last eight vogue magazines, and they’re still in the plastic. I haven’t even opened them yet. I feel like I’m constantly drawing inspiration from everywhere. A lot of stuff I see everyday. A lot of my stuff now has greenery and flowers. Out in LA, I see a lot of land, I see a whole lot of green and different trees that I didn’t get to see in the south. That kinda changed my perspective and some of the ways that I accessorize and dress up clothes.
Speaking of your style, your Instagram is pretty dope of course aesthetically. Do you have any tips on how to build a social media presence and or brand?
You gotta get to a point where you can find one theme or concept and see how many times you can rework that concept, and if you never get tired of it, you got a good one. You know, you can keep reinventing yourself. But, if you run that thing dry, then you gotta go back to the drawing board and pull something different outta yo bag. As far as mine goes, it’s like I want a balance of everything. My IG is kinda like a hub or like a website away from a website. So, like as I get ready to release more things, like my music I’ve been working on for a year now. You’ll be able to go on my IG and find everything.
Do you find your different art mediums merging together?
Definitely, 100%. I feel like it has to, otherwise, I’d be living like 4, 5, 6 different lives. So, if I have a show or a song to put out, it stops me from doing just this other thing. I hear a song, I made the beat, so how does it feel? How do I make it appeal to all the senses?
Pros & Cons of being a part of LA’s up and coming art scene?
I feel like to some degree it’s easy to look like what you wanna do. The thing about being in LA there are more people tryna get to similar spaces. So, you gotta be able to either have a crowd or draw a larger crowd. Ya know, I’m from the South, so I’m just now getting around to meeting different kinds of people. It’s like you gotta set the table before you serve it.
I think that’s one of my biggest fears. I want to get into styling and fashion, but I just haven’t made that effort just yet. I’ve been introduced to so many different people, and where I was a year ago, I never would’ve thought my life would be what it is right now. So now, I’m afraid that when I move to LA, I won’t have that many connections there like I do here.
Man shoot… [laughs] That’s part of it. If you do move to LA, it will be completely different. Every six months, I feel like I’ve been a whole different person. The first 6 months, I was trying to get into the flow of my day to day. The next 6 months, I started going through a lot of drama with my homies from Memphis. I damn near lost all the folks I damn near would’ve come out here with. So, my second year, I decided to say fuck all that shit and focus on me. This past 6 months has been, “Okay, so let me get this money.” You get to that point to where you figure out what your focus is supposed to be and then you gotta start making that way. Regardless to where you go. You gotta find that lane. I didn’t really have connections when I came out here. I still feel like I don’t have that many big connections. I’ve met people, but that’s just by doing what I do on a regular basis.
What can we expect from you in the coming year?
In the coming year? That’s a lot… [laughs] a year is a lot of time. My season just started. Like once Fall drops, everybody knows I’m finna run it back. Fall starts my fiscal year. Now it’s time to do these drops. Like I’ve been recording for a year. I got a lot of stories to tell. I’m really just about to tell some stories and Ima let it encompass all your senses.
Bet, well I told you I think you’re a really dope person. I’m anticipating your drops. My last question for who, what is the recipe to your art? What does it take to be you, DaVinci Don?
The recipe to be DaVinci Don. you gotta know how to catch ‘em at every angle. Period. I feel like that’s the secret. That’s the recipe. That’s the sauce. That’s the game. That’s the key. You gotta know how to catch ‘em at every angle, and that’s what I do.