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Scavenger Hunt Art: Somewhere There's a Dinosaur

Adam Davis delights in making art that is accessible and engaging. Hence, the dinosaur scavenger hunt.

First, Adam Davis drew not one or two or five, but 100 robots.

He saw it as a creative challenge. “Within the constraint that it has to be a robot, you can make each one completely different. A robot can be a giant Voltron or R2D2.”

Now, with funding from the Awesome Foundation — an independent organization that makes $1,000 grants to novel endeavors — Davis is painting a series of 100 dinosaurs.

And he is creating a scavenger hunt with them. Clues lead to each of the paintings. The paintings are the prize.

Davis, 34, is also married to , who . The couple live in Alameda with their 4-month-old baby boy.

When did you start creating art? I started drawing when I was five. My brother had drawn a bunch of pictures of Superman flying, but he hadn’t finished any of them. One picture had a head missing. One had its feet missing. I went through and finished all of them. At that point, I said I can do this. And I just kept drawing.

Then I got sidetracked and started playing music. I never went to school for art because I was always on tour.

What bands did you play in? I started playing guitar seriously at 20. I played with Link 80, which was a fairly successful punk rock band. (It was called Link 80 because all the guys who started that band lived off Route 80.) After that, I was in a band called Desa. I spent most of my 20s with $20 in my bank account. I wouldn’t have traded it for the world.

Do you still play? I don’t have aspirations to be a huge rock star anymore. I’m currently in a group called Gnarboots. (Gnarboots is skater slang for doing something extreme.) It’s weird because we put no effort into it. Our drummer doesn’t even own a drum set! Yet we play more and record more than my old band did. It’s nice to know that I can still have fun even though I’m a dad now.

When did you resume creating art? Recently, I realized what makes me happy. I have an office job which provides regular income, but what makes me happy is making things.

What were the influences on your art? I would look at the art that a lot of bands would use and it was real tough guy stuff like skulls. I felt I had to emulate that. For a long time, I rebelled against drawing cute stuff. Then I realized that even though I’m a big guy with tattoos, I like to draw robots and kittens.

Now, I am painting the 100 dinosaurs. As I finish each one, I hide it. Then I send out clues and whoever finds the painting first gets to keep it. I’m about halfway through.

How can people play? Go to the website where I post the new clues. I also tweet to let people know when I’m about to post a new clue.

When I started, the clues were easy. For example, I’d post a picture of and the picture would be inside Julie’s. I thought that was kind of boring so I made the game a little harder and more fun. You have to decode things.

What geographic area does the dinosaur scavenger hunt cover? As far as I can reach. Most of the pieces are hidden in the Bay Area, but I hid one piece in Australia with the help of a friend.

How long does it take people to find one of the paintings? Less than a week. I don’t think any of the first 25 lasted more than an hour, which was impressive, because I thought some of the clues were really difficult but people were burning through them.

What’s next? I want to do 100 zombies. Zombies take a lot longer to draw than dinosaurs since they have a lot more detail. They’re more of a niche than robots or dinosaurs which appeal to everybody. I don’t think there’s anything cute about the undead.

What’s it like being married to a famous blogger? I’m really impressed with how much traffic and how many comments Stephanie gets on Patch. She’s a really good writer.

I dated Stephanie in high school and we went to Winter Ball together. Then she went to college and I was with the band. Years later, I stopped by to see her family and we began dating. I had an epiphany and I realized she was the one I wanted to be with. We’ve been married three years.

Alana Dill October 17, 2011 at 02:35 PM
What a charming idea! cute dinos, too.
Adam T. Davis October 17, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Anyone who is interesting on following the progress of the dinohunt, or interested in participating, go here: http://100dinosaurs.blogspot.com

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