Josiah Davis: portrait of a sophomore

Ravindu Ranatunga, Managing Editor

Josiah Davis has had many accomplishments over the past year such as designing and creating his own app, and winning best in show at the Crocker Art Museum for a 30-inches by 40-inches self-portrait. And guess what? He’s only a sophomore.

Josiah’s app, PaperChase, is a third person, endless flying game that involves accurate aiming and quick turning.  Players tilt their phone to steer the paper plane away from obstacles and to pick up collectables.

The initial idea of making an app came in the middle of 2012, while enjoying a shake at Jamba Juice. His dad dared him to make an app and he took up the task, without a full understanding as to how challenging creating the app would be. He came up with the idea later that year.

“We took this idea of a paper airplane flying through the streets of New York City and built on that,” Josiah said.

As the concepts of the game became more solid, his dad contacted and hired developers overseas to write the coding for the app. They worked on it endlessly and never truly felt ready to put the app onto the App Store.

“We had set a date for it but it kept on being pushed and pushed because we kept on wanting to add more and more,” Josiah commented.

The app was finally launched to the App Store in late May 2014. Creating an app from scratch is amazing enough, but that’s not all Josiah can do. Following in his father’s footsteps, he is also a talented artist.

Freshman year he was not even in the art program, but Mr. Novinsky saw some of Josiah’s work when at their first meeting and recommended the Crocker Art Showcase to him. The piece Josiah decided to put into the show was a dry pastel self-portrait showing him smashing his face. He had initially started the piece some time in December 2013, but one night he decided to bring it home and work on it more.  The task took him 4 consecutive hours, but the portrait was finally completed that night and put in the Crocker Art Showcase, winning Best in Show.

Josiah Davis’ dedication to put his best foot forward has allowed him to succeed in creating an app and in the Crocker Art Showcase. He continues to look for the next great idea to help him exercise his creativity.