ArtKristia Watkins

David "DaveL" Lavernia

ArtKristia Watkins
David "DaveL" Lavernia

It began with a crayon. Learning boundaries by seeing where the color meets the line, even daring to go beyond the lines to explore his own creativity. But at a young age, daring was scary for David “DaveL” Lavernia, a Miami-based artist, and it wasn’t until his sister’s prodding to share his talent with the world that he was able accept the power of his art on an audience. He finally saw the long-term influence that one crayon, so small and seemingly insignificant, had had on his future and his passion.

“I never thought that anyone would feel a certain way by seeing what I had created… I realized then that I can receive so many different emotions from one painting,” 

Now, DaveL enjoys the daring. “I tend to challenge myself more often and remove myself from [my] comfort zone,” he said. Right outside of that zone, lie the art of mural making. Over the years and throughout the country, he has painted several large-scale murals during music festivals. “Every single time it’s amazing,” DaveL said.

On a much smaller scale, DaveL creates custom art for surfboards and skateboards, imprinting them with his thankful and energetic spirit that shines through his animalistic designs bursting with color. He has attended SurfExpo for nearly a decade, and each year he feeds off of the high energy surrounding him as he goes back to his roots and paints on surfboards.

Pulling from his love of nature, the mountains, the jungles, the ocean, DaveL used his art as interpretation of the beauty he saw and admired. Some of his most striking works feature wolves or lions. “They are both incredibly powerful yet graceful,” he said, “I think that is why I find myself attempting to master these beautiful creatures.” Others, scenes of breaking waves or other characters from the deep sea, are produced from experience and dreams, he said. “I have always been a child of the sea,” DaveL said.

This passion is completely ingrained in him. If DaveL isn’t creating art, he’s probably hiking, swimming in the ocean, getting lost in the Everglades or searching for the perfect wave.

For DaveL, his daily creating has become a kind of meditation for him. “Every day I grow with my art,” he said. Whether it’s a huge mural or a small print sold on his Etsy store, each creation is an expression of himself, his adoration of nature and his growth as both a human and an artist. And in a city like Miami, with its tropical atmosphere and multitudes of cultures, his growth is accelerated and his use of colors is more vibrant. “Miami is such a great place for an artist,” he said, “It’s … tremendously inspiring.”

You’ll be able to see DaveL’s art sooner than you think. He will be exhibiting at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival in booth #249. You can also connect with him through Instagram and Facebook.