— CURRENT magazine
My career reflects a love of drawing, a love of words, and a keen desire to understand when to use which to make a point. I am an inveterate doodler and a shameless word nerd, always looking for new opportunities to use art as a problem-solving tool, whether the problem is a complicated global concern or a sad-looking crack in the sidewalk. In pursuit of that quest, I have used pencil, ink, charcoal, chalk, paint (water-, acrylic, oil, and house), small rocks, dyed silk, cake frosting, and computers dating back to the ones on which individual pixels had to be hand-arranged in order to create flesh tones. My clients have included several departments of the University of Michigan (Exhibit Museum, School of Music, School of Dentistry, Nichols Arboretum, et al), the City of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, The Shops at Kerrytown, the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Ann Arbor, The Savoy Society of Ottawa, the Center for Responsive Politics, The Children’s Center of Wayne County, Milkweed Editions, The Cobb County Water System, The Municipality of Anchorage, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services . . . and, at an exhilarating early point in my career, Marcel Marceau, for whom I hand-lettered a sign to replace one he'd left at home.
— Nancy Stone, City of Ann Arbor Public Services
Alongside my career in the graphic arts, I spent 21 years as a theatrical performer, designer, and director with the University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society (UMGASS), which taught me a lot about sharing the creative process, communicating ideas to an audience, and orchestrating chaos. I also taught creative writing and desktop publishing at the Huron Shores Summer Writing Institute, presented workshops on theatrical makeup for Young People’s Theater, and supervised a crew of scenic painters for the Pioneer Theatre Guild, which cemented my belief that miracles can be achieved with youthful enthusiasm. I have also been a voice-over artist for Assistive Media and University Press Audiobooks, and spent seven years hosting two radio programs for children, The Rug Rat Revue on WCBN-FM and The Mud Pie Cafe on Michigan Radio. As a result, I have an office full of old children's records, a makeshift recording studio in my closet, and plastic squeaking pickles scattered throughout my house.
In essence, the bulk of my daily life consists of scheming happily in my studio until nice weather drives me to cover nearby sidewalks with joyfully pointless chalk art. If you’d like to see a brief clip of each, click here.
If you’re curious about my primary influences, here they are:
Finally, if you had any trouble finding this website, I’m not surprised. Here's a list of David Zinns on the internet who are not me:
All these other David Zinns are respectable, hard-working people in their own fields. However, if you're looking for illustration, design, or the guy who did this to the steps of the Jefferson Market, you have come to the right place.