ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – 24-year-old Dyess Airman Shannon Davis was recently commissioned to paint two murals on the walls of Retro World Arcade’s new location on Butternut Street. A task that was unthinkable a year ago, as Davis was involved in a rollover crash that left him with a shattered femur, broken hands, wrists, pelvis and spine.
“It was around this time last year… I was so busy I was doing commissions left and right, working… I think it caught up to me to where my body couldn’t keep up with myself anymore, and I ended up having a seizure while driving,” Davis recalled.
When he was confined to a wheelchair, Davis said he had a lot of time to think. While he still hasn’t fully recovered, he said the accident made him reflect on his life. He added he found a renewed passion and respect for the little moments he often took for granted.
“It’s kind of given me a different perspective upon the art that I create… It’s given me more of a sense of joy… Honestly, the fact that I’m here today was purely through the gift of God. I feel like I was extremely blessed to be here and still have the ability to create art because that’s what I’ve always been extremely passionate about,” said Davis.
His work at Retro World includes a painting of cherry blossoms and a scene with the Dragon Ball series character ‘Goku’ staring out at the horizon, a symbol of Davis’s new outlook.
“Obviously, Goku is a fictional character, but in my mind, I feel like he’s seeing what I’m seeing. Y’know? Just the beauty in life,” Davis said.
He has been working on these murals for the past two weeks and is working quickly to finish the murals before the new location opens around Halloween. He said this project is a perfect fit for him. As a military kid, he lived in Japan for four years and has always had a passion for anime, video games, and art.
“I drew up this design, and from the moment (the owner) saw it, he was like, ‘this is it, I’m gonna put this in the front room.’ I was like, okay, we can do that,” said Davis.
He has also been commissioned for a mural on Dyess Air Force Base, and for every project, he said the feedback has been universally positive. It’s a nice experience he hopes will continue as folks check out the new arcade space and see his work.
“I will say if you want to come to Retro World Arcade, I’ll be here, and we can compete against each other. Because I am an avid video game player. And I’m definitely going to bring this up while we’re playing that I created this (mural),” Davis said.
Davis added that he hopes his story and his art will inspire others to put in the work to make their passions and dreams into a reality.