Unlike the traditional art studio, all the proceeds of sold art go to support the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts. Davis’ foundation awards art schools with scholarships to talented students and promotes art education and appreciation for at-risk youth.

When asked the purpose behind his foundation, Vernon Davis responded “I started the foundation because of my experiences as a kid. It’s very important that I reach out to these kids and let them know that it’s ok. You can miss out on a great opportunity if you don’t follow your heart.”

Growing up in the harsh inner city of Washington D.C., Davis feared the pressure of being judged for his love of the arts. Due to the prejudices of the inner city, Davis began as a criminal justice major at the University of Maryland.

“I figured that if I took up art classes, people would look at me differently,” Davis recently told Yahoo! Sports. “I wanted to be cool, and I didn’t know how to adapt at the time. It’s sad, but that’s just the way it was.”

It wasn’t until later in his college years that Davis began to follow his passion for the arts. In an interview by The SF Gate, Davis stated that it was his academic counselor who inspired him to pick up classes in art and change his major.

It wasn’t until his break in with his pro career in the NFL that Davis began to paint wholeheartedly. Davis’ process when painting reflects that of a pre-game warm-up:

“I just get into a zone, kind of like before a game,” Davis said regarding his mindset when painting. “I have this breathing technique I have that I do before a game to get me in the zone and focused. Usually, I don’t know where I’m going with the painting until I’m done.”

Today, Vernon is free to paint and share his love for art. He normally paints during the offseason and has said to be inspired by his favorite artist, Claude Mark, an influential African American painter.

Courtesy of: athleteslivehere.com