Campus Celebrity: Johnny Fan

Name: Johnny Fan

Age: 19

Year: Sophomore

Major: Business Marketing/Advertising

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois (South Side)

Dream Career: Creative Director / Branding Strategist

HC: What does visual art entail?

JF: Visual Artistry is how I define my work since I do not want to be categorized by my skill sets. I combine both of my works as a photographer and cinematographer in order to create visual art. It involves being able to create innovative work that is visually appealing. So instead of calling myself just a photographer or just a filmmaker, I combine those two to the best of my ability.

HC: How did you get involved? What inspired you to pick up this hobby?

JF: Man, believe it or not a little backstory on how I picked up this hobby was completely random! It was my sophomore year in high school and I got thrown into a class called Radio and Television Broadcasting to fill up my schedule as an elective. I had no clue what this class had in store for me. Throughout that year, I learned how to operate cameras, film shows, broadcast live events, pre-production, post production, audio work, and the ins and outs of broadcasting in general. I started doing broadcasting/filmmaking/video work before I started my photography work. Shameless plug, I joined an internship called Focus on Tomorrow my junior year in High School to learn more about video production. Since then, I’ve become the Marketing/Social Coordinator/Mentor for them. Focus on Tomorrow helps the youth in Chicago who are usually at risk to learn a skillset of the ins and outs of video production and broadcasting. The Executive Director previously worked at ABC. If you know of any high school students that are interested, you can contact me and I can get you in touch! Oh, you get paid too!

HC: How does your major tie into this? Would you want to be behind the scenes of Advertising, or maybe an art director?

JF: Absolutely. It ties in 100 percent. My creative and artistic side combined with a business standpoint is killer. Being able to correctly market and advertise yourself and your work is huge.

HC: What accomplishments/achievements have you made being a visual artist?

JF: The thing about being a visual artist, in my opinion, is that accomplishments and achievements are made daily. Usually those two words are tied in with something huge, but I see everything thing I’ve shot, big or small, an accomplishment. But if you really want to know, I’ll be shooting with an all access pass at AAAH Fest by Common next year. I’ll be grabbing photos of artists (Common, Twista, Jay Electronica MC Lyte, De La Soul, and hopefully Kanye, Vic, or Chance as the special guest) and most likely some interviews. I’m so excited!

HC: Where do you see visual art taking you, in the long run?

JF: Honestly, it's a huge passion of mine. I’m just glad I can see the beauty in art and appreciate it. The biggest thing about visual art in the long run for me is that it keeps me inspired and motivated in my daily life. It keeps me going and the fire inside me burning. When life feels burnt out, I turn to my hobbies and passions to keep my afloat. It’s pretty much my lifesaver when my back is against the wall. But on a realistic standpoint, I hope to tie it in with my career one day.

HC: Outside of Visual Art, photography, and filmmaking, what other activities do you do?

JF: I dance hip-hop choreography! That pretty much sums up my life because all those activities are super time consuming.

HC: What is the most interesting project you’ve done?

JF: I feel every project I take on is very interesting. I’m able to put my own taste and creative twist on everything hopefully keeping it fresh. I think one that stands out to me though is one I’ve worked on with Donda’s House (Kanye West’s Foundation) where I worked with their music artists. It’s great to see other people who are just as passionate in a different field of work. It inspires my work as well.

HC: What other types of works do you do besides photoshoots, look books, portfolios, and album shots?

JF: Dang, called out all my work. I guess in a more formal setting, I shoot weddings, engagements, and also events. Yes, I can make you both look stunning. I also sell my work in print form via art galleries and my website. So if you’re interested in a print, get at me! 

HC: If you could choose one celebrity to do a photoshoot of, who would it be?

JF: Pharrell or Kanye. I can’t choose. Sorry!

HC: Where would people be able to see your work and contact you for business?

JF: My website is currently being revamped right now as I am updating it! Hopefully it is up and running by the time this interview is done! But for now, my work can be found on my instagram (@johnnyfan) or my tumblr.

HC: Favorite place to hang out on campus?

JF: Lower Monty Lounge or Subway.

HC: What’s one thing you would like to achieve being a visual artist?

JF: To keep going and to never stop. Believe it or not, it’s very creatively exhausting to work on projects and shoots over and over again. Basically, you can feel burnt out sometimes or uninspired. But that’s okay because rock bottom is just a place and the sky's the limit!

HC: Thank you for allowing us to interview you and sharing your story with our audience!

JF: Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. If you’re interested in any work, inquiries, prints, etc please contact me at [email protected]!