Brian Johnson holds an MFA from The University of Texas at Austin (1997) and a BFA from the University of South Dakota (1994). He is a printmaker whose work has been included in over two hundred regional, national, and international exhibitions. His prints are held by several public and private collections. Brian was a Master Printer for the Serie Project, during which time, he collaborated with over forty artists and created several limited-edition screen prints. The Serie prints have been exhibited around the world and have been collected by museums and featured in publications. Brian lives and works in Austin, TX.
Current Courses 2020-2021
ARTS 1316 Drawing I
What is your favorite technique or topic to teach? Is there one lecture or selection that is the most fun for you to teach?
I love the language of graphic arts because I grew up on comic books. I guess that’s partially why I’m a printmaker and enjoy sharing my love of prints and the process of making this type of art. I’m also a formalist, so teaching and talking about composition and color is in my wheelhouse. The communication of ideas and expression of emotion through art is something that I naturally gravitated to when I was a student. Seeing others explore ways of communicating by creating their own art is a gratifying experience to share.
What skills and abilities make a good teacher?
I try to break down complex processes and formal compositional issues to make them easier to understand. I tend to be very organized and to build a course curriculum so that each step of an assignment builds on the last one. By carefully analyzing things myself, I hope to give students a good starting place or entry point into an artistic concept. What they may quickly learn, and I too am constantly reminded of, is that in visual art, you must use your eyes and never assume something is true or that one approach will produce an expected result.
What do you most hope students will take away from your class?
An appreciation for making things with their hands and the satisfaction that it can bring. I hope students see that I have only helped them create a small crack into a much larger world of visual art and creative problem solving.
Name a place that you’ve traveled to, but feel like you need to go back to because you didn’t have enough time there.
Paris. My wife and I only had two days there, but the memory of those two days, 11 years ago, still lingers freshly with me. Travel also inspires me to be less of a homebody, especially when I start to think of that experience. I become so consumed with the day to day, that I neglect planning these types of trips.
What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy playing sand volleyball with a couple of groups each week. This is my primary exercise and I’ve been doing it for 20 years. We play competitive, 2 on 2 or more, with the goal of getting better, but it’s also about playing with people I enjoy being around. The community in Austin is pretty great and I occasionally play in tournaments and leagues as well.