Jay Davis is a 24 year old Sports Technology BSc graduate from Loughborough University; one of the top 5 Universities in the UK according to the Guardian university guide 2019.
He has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Marquette in Milwaukee where he was offered a scholarship to play football. He went on to compete successfully many times in the most competitive college program on the planet – participating not only in football but also on the track, running in the 400m.
When Jay isn’t tearing up the football field or the athletics track he is always an extremely talented artist specialising in anime drawings. Jay adds his own unique twist to already popular characters creating exciting new character concepts.
Starting The Journey:
Jay has always had a natural affinity for sport. Standing at a whopping 6”5 – his genes, along with many years of hard graft, have been pivotal in his sporting success.
At the age of 13 he was already 6 feet tall and much stronger and faster than 99% of kids of his age. Although, eventually focusing mainly on football, Jay’s first love (unsurprisingly) was basketball.
Having been inspired by his sporting idol Michael Jordan, he began playing basketball from as early as 4 or 5.
Having watched the NBA and NFL on TV from a young age, American sports culture had always been enticing to Jay; so when the opportunity arose for him to be a part of this culture he grabbed it with both hands and threw himself into the fray. For Jay, it was always a no brainer “American college always looked so glamorous in the movies and I wanted to see for myself”.
Jay – The Elite Athlete:
Jay had already been a key member of Loughborough University’s Men’s football performance team here in the UK. Loughborough University is nationally acclaimed as the best sports university in the country and is the current holder of the British University and College Championships for the 40th year in a row (no that isn’t a typo yes 40!) There really is no debate as to Loughborough University’s title as best sports uni in the UK.
As well as this, the football programme at Loughborough is also nationally acclaimed – with the team competing in games against the likes of Man United U20s. It was Jay’s consistently high performance in Loughborough’s football programme that got him a scholarship offer at Marquette university. Part of the condition for the scholarship was that Jay had to study in order to be eligible; so he chose to do a masters in Business administration.
The difference in quality between BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sports) and the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) is vast according to Jay. The NCAA system provides a significant level of financial support, professional quality facilities, athlete care and supports athletes in finding the right balance between studies whereas he found the British equivalent often fell short, drawing a wedge between the two.
“In America we flew to most away games and stayed in hotels and were provided with breakfast, lunch, dinner, pre and post-game food, all without spending a single penny. We were sponsored by Nike and were given kit and apparel to wear. In England, I had to drive to away games sometimes because we couldn’t get a team bus. Food was post-match during home games only and we had to pay the university to play as well as having to buy our own training gear. Can you see the difference?”
From Jay’s time in America, he was able to attain some notable achievements. One of which was placing 4th in the 400m conference track and field finals. This was impressive given the fact that he had only started the sport 6 months earlier – after the football season had been completed.
Along with this, he was the only black male graduate from the school of business this year at Marquette. For Jay, this was the most important achievement to be loud and proud about; as a black man of Jamaican descent, he is aware of certain inaccurate negative stereotypes that surrounds this demographic and he hoped that, by highlighting his own academic success, it would encourage more black men to push themselves in their endeavours.
Jay’s Art Path:
Jay’s artistic journey had similar origins to that of sports. From as young an age as 2, he was constantly drawing (although I’m sure his drawings these days are far more detailed than they were back then) Drawing was a skill that Jay always had an aptitude for.
Despite his success in sporting and academic arenas – For Jay, it’s from creative niches that he wishes to earn his living. According to Jay, It’s important that he develops this artistic ability as much as he can “I need to sharpen my technical skills and gain a reputation for quality work. In doing so, I will be able to further my career as a creative”.
Jay has drawings of famous animes such as: Hunter X Hunter, Pokemon, Naruto, Dragon Ball and the list goes on!
Currently, Jay has managed to have his art work displayed at Birmingham science park – Moving forward he aspires for the drawings to get better and the features to get BIGGER!
Challenges and Obstacles:
Jay’s successful journey has, like many, had its own challenges and obstacles which he had to overcome to achieve his success.
Picking yourself up and moving to a new country with no friends or family is not a simple task – In Jay’s circumstance, it unfortunately meant that he was faced with personal, financial and sporting obstacles. One of the most notable obstacles being a sporting injury that Jay sustained in which he is still recovering from.
Jay’s approach to overcoming any of these obstacles were similar, faith in one’s self and a drive to move forward was (and is) always key. His calm persona and level headedness has been a great strength for him.
“I live my life with a composed and logical outlook and therefore face every challenge with the same confidence, composure and reasoning. I never panic or worry. What useless wastes of a man’s time! A problem can’t be solved by panicking or worrying so why bother. Instead I chose to stay calm and draw on the support of valuable friends and family”.
Taking a moment to look at how far you have come and try to be thankful for where you are right now is vital to help you through the tougher times.
Jay advises that if you are ever offered the opportunity to study abroad in America or elsewhere that you should “grab It with both hands”. The lessons and experience that you can acquire by pursuing your dreams in a new environment is invaluable and if the opportunity arises you should jump at it!.
For budding artists Jay advises that you need to share your work and get feedback from a range of people. Get other artist’s advice for technical development and get advice from people that don’t know art. However, you shouldn’t let other people’s opinions dictate your artistic direction.
“Take these opinions with a grain of salt and a pinch of perspective. You have to understand what angle each party is coming form and then come to your own conclusions. Also, just keep developing your craft!”.
Jay aspires to continue pursuing his creative talents and be established as a reputable creative, with multiple streams of income and ownership of his endeavours.
To Follow all of Jay’s upcoming artwork: