David Skinner

David Skinner first showed up at Carson-Newman in September of 1970 with his high school friend and roommate (and future Philo brother) Mike Murphy. In addition to pledging Philos his freshman year, he also co-founded Contents Under Pressure with his Philo brothers, Filmore Strunk, Paul Dunlap and Dan Schlafer. Throughout his college years, he wrote and drew cartoons for The Orange and Blue, including a regular comic strip called “Owen Bee.” He served as editor-in-chief his junior and senior years, and the paper won two Southeastern College Newspaper Competition awards his senior year. In addition to his cartoons for the O&B, he also drew editorial cartoons for the Morristown Citizen-Tribune.  After graduating from Carson-Newman, Skinner wrote, reported and contributed illustrations and cartoons for The Sevier County Times, a weekly paper in Sevierville/Gatlinburg.

In 1977, he relocated to New York City, where he became the cartoonist and paste-up artist, and, eventually, the Art Director, for the music trade magazine, Record World  and created custom illustrations and caricatures for such notables as Elton John, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Led Zeppelin, Kenny Rogers and Billy Joel. After five years at Record World, Skinner went to work for Doubleday, art directing their Literary Guild Magazine. At Doubleday, he created marketing treatments for books by writers such as James Michener, Peter Maas, Stephen King, and celebrities such as Candice Bergen, Dinah Shore and Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

In 1984, he moved back south, this time to Atlanta, where he co-founded Indelible Inc., a print, design and advertising agency. One of Indelible’s first clients was Glock firearms, and Skinner created their first major advertising and marketing campaigns. In the early 90’s, he also became involved in various music projects, including Johnny Cash’s gospel video and CD, “Return to the Promised Land”, for which he designed the logo and co-wrote the title track with Cash and Cash’s manager, Hugh Waddell.

Since 2001, Skinner has produced an online literary magazine called SouthernReader.com, and in 2019, he released his first novel, Rubine River. He has also continued to do advertising, marketing, illustration and design for a number of clients, including Home Depot, Target, Glock, HanesBrands and Citibank, as well as colleges such as Bluefield College, Truett-McConnell, GBCN at Mercer University and for CN. His recent projects include the concept and illustration of an 20-foot, 3-dimensional bronze bas-relief for the University of West Georgia’s new football stadium; a radio jingle (“Shoo Fly Pie”) that ran on the Grand Ole Opry for several months; and a watercolor painting commissioned for Justice Clarence Thomas that is currently on the wall in his chambers at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

In November 2022, Skinner was presented with the 2022 Carson-Newman Triumph Award for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.