09 Oct 2019
Interview: In Conversation with Temi Coker
Featured artwork by Temi Coker
We chatted with Dallas-based photographer and graphic designer Temi Coker about the advantages of being a multidisciplinary artist, the top tools to work with and how he gives his work a creative edge:
Tell us a bit about your work and what you do:
I am a photographer & graphic designer based in Dallas, Texas. I run COKER STUDIO with my wife, Afritina Coker. Coker Studio is a multidisciplinary creative house specializing in photography, design and art direction. I’m a teacher at heart and love showing the creative community how I work and how they can find their voice through the work they do. I also run a shop filled with posters I make for my “A POSTER A DAY” series.
From starting out as a photographer, to eventually working with graphic design as well, can you tell us a bit about what prompted you to explore this other creative field?
I’m very observant and back in college I’d see Ads and was always curious how they were made. I remember seeing an Ad where the text was behind the subject and I was so intrigued by that as well as their play with colors and placement. I felt if I had graphic design in my arsenal it’d help me have a better chance of getting work or negotiating salary when talking with companies. I wanted to be the person that’d tell the employer “I can do photography and design. I’m a multidisciplinary creative. You should hire me.”
Contrast seems to be a recurring theme in your work: from black and white tones paired with bright colors, to photographed portraits surrounded by surreal illustrations. Is there a reason you’re drawn to these juxtapositions?
As a digital artist, is there a software or tool that you always rely on, or one that you’re eager to try out?
I’m a big fan of Photoshop and Illustrator. I don’t go a day without opening or using either software. Adobe products have played a huge part in my growth as a creative. They give us the tools and it’s up to us to learn how to use it in conventional and unconventional ways to creative unique work.
Is there a particular artist who inspires you, or whose work you’re excited about?
I’m inspired by Magdiel Lopez, Joshua Kissi, Ray Neutron, Slimsunday, PosterLad, Rob Bailey, Pavlov visuals, and many others.