About Fruit in the Desert

Fruit in the Desert is a site that has been created to spread the Good News, specifically in Redemptive Media and Movies. It provides three areas of stories:  Exclusive Interviews, Redemptive Movies, and Faith of Moviemakers and is a joint effort between journalist/actor /consultant Diane Howard and designer/illustrator David Ray Skinner. Our goal is to shine a spotlight on the faith and goodness that is currently being woven into the movies and entertainment being produced today.

Dr. Diane Howard is a frontline journalist of depth and breadth, known for live, exclusive interviews with leading figures in redemptive movies and other performance media. In her journalism for many publications, she focuses on the Good News for the best redemptive, inspirational, and hopeful movies, dramatic TV series, and live and filmed performance streaming. She is also a published scholar, author.

Further, she serves as talent and as a dialogue, dialect, voice-over coach. A former Professor of Performance, Media, and Film Studies with a Ph.D. in Performance Studies (College of Communication, University of Texas, Austin), she has been involved in all aspects of redemptive filmmaking, regionally to internationally. She is a journalist, performer, consultant and more for the following: feature films, television, radio, videoconferences, web casts, educational organizations, performing arts facilities and more.

David Ray Skinner studied art and journalism at Carson-Newman College and began his career as writer, reporter, and artist for The Sevier County Times, a weekly paper in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. In 1977, he landed in New York City, where he became the cartoonist and paste-up artist, and, eventually, the Art Director, for the nternational music trade magazine, Record World. During his tenure at RW, he did 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 prestigious 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, Skinner relocated to Atlanta, where he co-founded Indelible Inc., a print, design and advertising agency and reunited his college band, Dog & Pony. In the early 90’s, Skinner 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 and has recently started producing an online Christian magazine called FaithLines. In 2005, he founded Bridgital, an advertising and design agency for which he has created advertising, marketing, illustration and design for a number of clients, including Home Depot, Target, HanesBrands and Citibank, as well as colleges such as Bluefield College, Truett-McConnell, GBCN at Mercer University and his alma mater, Carson-Newman. His projects include the concept and illustration of a 20-foot, 3-dimensional bronze bas-relief for the University of West Georgia’s new football stadium; jingles for the Grand Ole Opry; and a watercolor painting commissioned for Justice Clarence Thomas, which now hangs in his chambers at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.