Creative Spotlight: Temi Coker
This week, we had the amazing opportunity to speak with a phenomenal man making waves in his creative field.
Temi is a Photographer, Graphic Designer and an Educator in Texas. He is widely known for his creative approach in photography and design. Being creative is his passion and everyday he gets the opportunity to teach the younger generation the power of creativity and how it can change the world.
Tell me about how you came to be a creative. When did you know that was what you were meant to be or do?
I’ve always been a creative individual ever since I can remember. I would make toy camera, play soccer with bottle caps, make a trumpet sound using only my hands etc. I was always gifted to find the beauty in things people take for granted and it came through in my creativity.
My sophomore year in college was when I knew I was meant to be a creative and embrace my creativity. This was the same year I switched my major from biomedical engineering to digital media. That was the turning point in my life.
What is your day-to-day (job/duties) like?
In the morning I am up around 5:50am. I have to be at my job by 6:45am. I am a Photography / Photoshop high school teacher. I love my job, but it can get very tiring at times because I also have a Photography / Design company that I run by myself. It’s almost as if I work 2 Full time jobs. That’s the best way to describe it. After work, I come home and begin working on Design work or Photography work. I enjoy it!
Did or do you feel supported in your current position or line of work by the people in your life? Tell me about it.
Initially only a few people believed in me; and I mean a few. My sister, a few of my friends and that was it. Everyone else was telling me I needed to study Biomedical Engineering because that was where the money was. Now that I’m where I am today, those same people are glad I followed my passion. Now, they support me after seeing all effort put in towards being my self creatively.
Why do you think what you do is important in Nigeria or for Nigerians?
I think what I do is important for Nigerians because we grow up thinking the only way to be successful is by becoming a doctor, lawyer, accountant etc. But my story is different because I branched out and didn’t want to be a stereotype. I wanted to be different. I wanted to wake up every morning smiling because I know I’m about to create some amazing work and Inspire my students to do the same. Our parents mean the best for us, but sometimes they do not see the full scope of what we are able to achieve in non-conventional fields.
Where do you see you or your work going in the next 10 years or more?
It’s funny that you ask this because this has been something that has been on my mind for a while. I see my work going to different cities, countries, museums, etc. I just want people to see the beauty in my work and the stories I try to tell. I’m hoping that my work can touch someone and also inspire them to work hard in whatever it is they want to do. As for me, I see myself becoming my own boss and working for big and small brands. I’d love to do that and maybe even help younger students by providing scholarships for them to study what they want to study in college.
What advice would you have for someone who aspires to be in your position some day?
My Advice to you will be this. BE YOURSELF. I didn’t get here trying to be like anyone else. Instagram is saturated with a lot of people doing the same thing. Find your style. Be Unapologetic. There’s a girl on Instagram that got 100k followers by smashing her face on bread every day. I’m sure her family thought it was stupid, but here she is making money and doing what she loves. So yeah; Just be yourself. Don’t worry about the numbers. To be honest even though I have 39k followers, probably less than 100 actually pay me to take pictures. Now, of course more of them tell others about me and in return I get other photography work, but yeah. I try not to get wrapped up in numbers. Just be you. Create. Learn, Grow, If you see someone’s work you like, reach out to them. You never know; they might just answer.
Is there anything last words of wisdom?
A professional *Insert occupation here* is a person that never gave up. Keep dreaming big. Learn from your mistakes and Grow! Ask questions.