Tevin Johnson is a senior English major from Charlotte, NC who now resides in Alpharetta, GA. He is a member of the lively community of Wofford artists, and is an extremely talented photographer. He gleans most of his inspiration from the vivacity and energy of cities, particularly Atlanta. His vibrant, metropolitan photos expertly evoke the elegance and motion of city life.
- How/why/ when did you begin to take photographs?
I started taking pictures two years ago. I saw a lot of my friend’s pictures on Tumblr and Flickr and I just thought it was really cool. I didn’t know why I did but I had this strange interest in really well shot pictures but I didn’t know how to get started or who to even tell. So I just signed up for the photography class Wofford had and just went for it.
- What kinds of things inspire you (both in your art and in everyday life)?
As far as inspiration is concerned, I draw a lot of it from the city. I have always had an attraction to big skyscrapers and all the lights and noise from any downtown. Most people hate cities and how busy and overwhelming they are but it attracts me. I enjoy how hectic a city can be and that’s mainly what I like to shoot. I just feel more at home when I’m there and I think it shows in my pictures.
- What do you think the purpose of art is? What has art meant to you?
To me, art is just about just showcasing life. Photography is cool to me because you are literally capturing this moment in time and for people in the future to look at old work to get a true sense of what things were like is a crazy concept. You can see what the style was fashion wise; you can see what places were like before something was built or destroyed. It’s also a way to tell a story of what life is like in other places you might never get to see in your lifetime or that never even knew existed. Art is just another way for us to really learn about each other as humans in a sense
- What do you think about art on Wofford’s campus and community? How do you think it could be improved?
Wofford’s art community is really cool in my opinion. Some of the people who inspired me get started were at Wofford at one point. I think what could make the art community here better is if we weren’t so afraid. Typical Wofford kids have a fear of failure as we all do. But I’ve seen it hold people back from being creative. There are so many times that I’ve been in class and seen people drawing masterpieces on their notes but they don’t want to take an art class because they don’t want to get a bad grade or they don’t think they are good enough. I think if we all just let that fear go and give something new a chance then there would be a bigger art scene on campus. But maybe the new art building will inspire some to give it a shot.
- What do you consider your best piece of art, and how did you get the idea for it?
I think my best picture is one I took is a long exposure shot in Atlanta. I was at a friend’s house downtown and we just roamed a little bit and we hit this bridge that overlooked I-85 and you could see all of the main buildings in Midtown. I put my camera up to the fence and left my shutter open and it came out really well, the timing was right at sunset and there was a lot of traffic on the road so it was just a perfect shot to me.
“I just want people to know that I am humbled and appreciative of any kind of support I’ve been given over these past couple of years with my photography.”
We love your art, Tevin! Keep up the good work; we hope to see more from you soon.