While still in college at age 21, David had entered his first art fair in Oak Park Illinois. His professional art career selling watercolor paintings on the streets had begun and continued around Chicago and Northwestern Indiana for several years. This experience allowed him to create and market sellable work, but the income did not permit him to make a living. His degree in art education allowed him to teach visual art, and that seemed to work as he supported his family.
He returned to college to pursue his MA in studio art at Ball State University. As a graduate assistant, he worked with classes in drawing, painting and art education. He worked in his studio space at Ball State and began to express his own “life journey” through large acrylic paintings. He did this by creating an anthropomorphic character named Quest to represent himself. This work was the first body of work that he created without selling art as his immediate goal. He was awarded a grant from Ball State University to create an art installation of a larger than life, polychrome sculptural environment using characters from these works. This installation was created to impact literacy in the school systems. It ended up being a big reason for pursuing more large sculptural works. He also created a new way of expressing himself that hovered between painting and sculpture and found the artist, Red Grooms and his "Stickouts" very inspirational.