Art Center College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.

Jedediah Johnson


9th Term

What has been your favorite Art Center experience?
The best experience was definitely performing at the Gong Show talent competition in my 3rd term. It was the biggest audience I've ever played music in front of, and the best crowd ever. Also, I won the audience favorite.

In what ways has Art Center helped you grow as an artist/designer?
That's a difficult question. Growing as an artist is similar to getting older. You don't really notice it happening. You just wake up one morning and ask yourself, “When did I get so old?” I look forward to the day I wake up and wonder when I started getting perfect results from every photo shoot. That might not happen.

I think the best things my instructors have given me are the tools to find my own way to artistic growth. Trying to find your photographic style is difficult. There are times when you just want your instructors to tell you what to do. But they understand that you have to make your own way in order to truly develop your own style.

What has surprised you the most during your time here?
When I started to realize that I wasn't learning how to accomplish specific photographic goals, but instead I was accumulating tools that would allow me to achieve any photographic goal. For example, product lighting class doesn't just teach you how to shoot bottles of perfume and watches. The tricks I've learned there easily translate to portrait and event photography as well.

Tell us something about yourself and/or your work that people would find surprising.
People might be surprised to know that I am almost never completely satisfied with the results upon the completion of a project. But if they know artists, they wouldn't find that so surprising.

Have you found any faculty members zzzparticularly inspirational or thought-provoking?
Dennis Keeley, Steve LaVoie, Pato Hebert, Ken Merfeld, Sam Davis, Pete McAurthur all contributed to my education. Everybody does. But no one person is a primary influence. I see my education as aiming a laser at a star: in order to line it up perfectly it takes very small and precise movements. All my instructors contribute to that.

Have you joined any student organizations or taken part in campus activities since becoming an Art Center student?
I mentioned I won the Gong Show—that was amazing. Summer Sizzle was really good too. Especially when the photo department won the pie-eating contest. Midnight Breakfast is cool, too—I played music there a few times. Basically, anytime you get a lot of Art Center students together in a social setting, it is really amazing. Even the “too cool” students will show up to the right kinds of events.

Johnson graduated from Art Center in 2009.

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