Born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, Downs works in a range of mediums, but focuses primarily on drawing. He received a Multidisciplinary MFA from the Mount. Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore and a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Atlanta College of Art and Design. Downs taught Foundation Drawing at the Maryland Institute College of Art from 2003 through 2010. He taught Drawing III at Parsons The New School for Design, Foundation Drawing at The Cooper Union and Tulane University. His work has been presented at numerous venues in the United States and abroad. He lives and works in Atlanta.