Devon Ford Paves His Way Through Art

Devon Ford Paves His Way Through Art

Winthrop's very own
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A native of Florence, SC he is known for his unique cool fashion sense his laid back personality but most importantly his art. To say the least the brother is talented. He hopes to further his education at the Savannah College of Art and Design for Animation.

Check out his Q/A below:

Shakora Bamberg: Tell me a little about yourself and about your role at Winthrop including any leadership roles you have held thus far as a student at WU

Devon Ford: I am a visual artist, mostly known for my drawings and paintings. I have been drawing since second grade and have been accepted to numerous collegiate art programs across the South.

I am currently the President of the Gentlemen's League (was formerly the Development committee co-chair and secretary for GENTS and formerly the chair of Press & Publicity for Winthrop's chapter of NAACP). I was also a member of A. Bevy, Def Poet's Society, intramural dodgeball (Fall '13).

SB: Of, all the roles what has shaped you into a better young artist?

DF: Being PR for the Winthrop chapter of NAACP really challenged me artistically. It helped me step into a new realm of art that I wasn’t really comfortable with: digital art. I used that opportunity to learn and I thrived in that position and still use those skills today.

SB: When did you realize you wanted to go into this field of study where did this passion come from?

DF: Probably around 10th grade. I have been drawing my whole life, but I really began taking the craft seriously around this time.

SB: Tell me about the inspiration that comes with creating your paintings what have customers said about your work?

DF: Honestly, just situations of everyday life. I just take chunks of inspiration from all aspects of my life: my family, friends, music, politics, culture, etc.

SB: Social media accounts for potential customers to purchase or view your work?

DF: @builtfordtuff94 on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. I frequently post in progress shots of my work as well

SB: What opportunities has your skill afforded you? What was it like painting and meeting singer Anthony Hamilton?

DF: It’s honestly a blessing that I never take for granted. My gift has opened many doors and allowed me to interact with many people, even people I look up to. Jodeci, OutKast, Martin Lawrence, and so many other celebrities I admire have seen my work. Meeting and showing Anthony Hamilton my work was really cool. He was very appreciative and gave off that “cool/funny uncle at the cookout” vibe. It honestly didn’t feel like I was meeting a celebrity.

SB: Basic prices for your art?

DF: They vary. I wouldn’t say I have specific prices, it all boils down to what exactly a person wants (size, color, medium, time, etc.). I will say I’m reasonable and negotiable. My usual price ranges go from about $20-$100, again depending on the factors above.

SB: Favorite quote by your favorite artist?

DF: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” – Pablo Picasso

SB: Who has been your biggest influence?

DF: Andre 3000. He’s humble, stylish, and artsy. Not to mention he’s a pretty talented musician. Just an all-around renaissance man, something I aspire to be like.

SB: Has this business venture paid off thus far?

DF: Definitely. Not even just monetarily. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s opened so many doors for me and allowed me to elevate to realms I never even thought were possible. I’m so grateful that God chose me to have this talent

SB: What is one piece of advice you can give to college s

tudents who are interested in starting a small business:

DF: One of my good friends, Ismail Lee, always instilled in me: “invest in yourself and perfect your craft”. Essentially that means realize who you are and what you have to offer the world, then keep building on that. Stay true to what your calling is and never sell yourself short!

SB: What advice do you have for men who are entering the same work profession as you?

DF: Again, stay true to the craft, don’t try to be something you’re not. Don’t let the notion that we live in a patriarchal society hinder you from expressing yourself and creating the art that you want to see.

SB: What are your long-term career goals?

DF: I’ve always wanted to go into 2D animation. Another one of my inspirations is cartoons, so I always thought it’d be cool to go in and create one of my own. If for some reason that doesn’t fall through, I’ve always wanted to teach art on any level. It’d be a great opportunity to use my gift to inspire children/teens to unlock their own artistic talents.

SB: When do you do your best work as it relates to your business? How do you get better at your craft?

DF: I do my best work in solitude, listening to music with no distractions. I get better by practice practice practice! It is imperative to continue to work on any craft you try your hand at by continuously working on it.

SB: Who is your favorite artist?

DF: I honestly never studied many artists, but I do enjoy Jackson Pollock, William H Johnson, and of course, Pablo Picasso.

My favorite visual artist is Ernie Barnes. His style is so unique, fun, and eccentric, and he really captures a mood or sense of culture in all of his work. As for musical artists, Outkast and Stevie Wonder.

SB: What advice would you give to the freshman class especially the young men who are preserving and beating the odds in terms of focusing on earning their degrees?

DF: Stay focused, go to class, and read all syllabi. Seriously, when you come to college, you're on your own for practically the first time. You're exposed to a lot that you weren't previously exposed to, so it's easy to get distracted. Have fun and enjoy your college experience, but don't forget the essence of why you're here and working so hard to achieve.

Also, I highly stress getting involved. Don't be a dorm rat; get out, meet people, join organizations, participate in events.

There are a plethora of ways to fit in, you just have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and find what works for you.

SB: What is an interesting thing that you have been able to do?

DF: I have done a few live paintings at events on campus and in my community. Those were pretty fun.

Also, I once got slimed on Nickelodeon's Double Dare 2000.

SB: What is one thing that you love about Winthrop and why did you choose Winthrop?

DF: I love the community-like feeling here. Even though everyone comes from all different walks of life, there’s always this sense of oneness within the campus through both staff and students. I chose Winthrop because it’s away from home, but not terribly far. Plus, I had read that they have the top Fine Art and Education programs in the state; I was sold from that point.

I love the people. Winthrop often touts diversity, and when you get here, you really do meet people from all walks of life. With the people we have here, we can exchange knowledge and help each other grow, while also managing to make countless memories with them. That's the beauty that I cherish of this campus.

Ford's lighthearted personality and artistic ability speak on his behalf. If you are interested in viewing/purchasing some of his work contact him via email or social media above.

Cover Image Credit: Claverham VLE

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To The Headmistress Who Let My Bullying Continue, I Finally Bleached The Hair They Hated

If it wasn't "that bad," then why did I dye away my innocence after all these years?
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It has always stunned me that a teacher/principal, someone who is meant to be caring and loving towards children, can sit back and let torment continue. That an authority figure, who is meant to make school a safe environment, can allow an innocent child be the victim of cruelty and mistreatment.

I remember starting off the school year wanting nothing more than to learn for six hours a day, five days a week. But boy, you let that perfect image my innocent self-had get shut down very quickly, didn't you?

I still feel sick thinking of those awful children who made my life miserable, just because of my hair color.

Now, why on earth was 10-year-old Amber Armstrong a target you let receive verbal attacks?

Why did you let my tears drop when you should've offered me a tissue?

How could you look me in the eyes while making me feel as though I wasn't good enough for your intervention?

How in the world did you stand by and watch nine months of me, and my mother, continuously ask you to address this issue and not bat an eyelid? You eventually stopped letting my mum schedule time to discuss this with you because I'm guessing you were "over it."

You knew damn well I received comments such as "ginger piss" and "ugly, ginger ninja" at least multiple times a day. When I realized the only adult I knew who could help my struggle wouldn't even give me the time of day, I admitted defeat.

I came home and wanted to dye my red hair. This was the only control I had over the situation, to change the "flaw" that was the root of the issue. Just because YOU wouldn't intervene. YOU refused to see the problem, even though my mother had stared you in the eye and expressed the trouble I was having.

How DARE you let my mother watch me go through something she couldn't control, but you had the power to. How can anyone in the education system not feel empathy for a mother who is begging them for help?

You changed the perception I had of teachers and higher authority figures in the education system. You hurt the trust and confidence I once possessed in this section of my life. I tried not to show emotions or ask for help in class. I always had a voice in the back of my head explaining "they don't care about your well-being, put your hand down before you embarrass yourself."

I wanted to change something so gorgeous just because "there was nothing" you could do while constantly reassuring yourself, "it really isn't that bad."

You're probably wondering how in the world this still affects me today. Well, a year ago, I dyed my hair blonde because I still felt the "ugly" color defined me as "soulless" and reminded people of "orange piss." Your prayers have been answered, bullies from my year four, my hair is no longer the disgusting red you once remembered it as!

If it wasn’t “that bad,” then why did I bleach away the pain after all these years?

The beautiful red has stopped growing in and a dark, brown color has taken its place. All because I let those childish boys, and yourself, force me to believe I was the issue. That I had to put up with psychologically being attacked because something I couldn't control became my fault.

I hope when you talk to the next victimized child that stumbles into your office who "you can't help," think of me, the ten-year-old who could "handle it." Don't ignore this individual, don't add gasoline to their fire because you know damn well they deserve what you never gave me.

I guess after the conversation that went a little like “he didn't mean it, did you, Cain?" YOU decided my pain was "fixed," right?

If it was “fixed,” my hair would still be natural and you wouldn't be stuck reading this.

Sincerely,

"Ginger Piss"

Cover Image Credit: Alice Fowle

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How To Conquer Your Finals

You got this!
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The last few weeks of the semester are always the worst. It feels like everything is being thrown at you at once. Everyone is in a high stress mode at the end of the semester, due to the stress of finals, final projects, final papers, presentations and the list goes on.. Here are some tips that can help you conquer your finals.


#1 Make flash cards.


Making flashcards are the best, because you can bring them anywhere and study them anytime. For me this includes, on the train while I commute to school. Also, if you're more into flashcards online, Quizlet is great for this!


#2 Create your own study guide.


Making your own study guides is super helpful because you're putting the material into your own words. As a result, you were be able to memorize everything easier.


#3 Caffeine.


Whether it’s coffee or red bull, in my case it’s both, caffeine helps you go through the long days and nights of studying and preparing for finals.


#4 Sleep.


Because it’s so necessary. You need your rest, so you can perform best on your finals.


#5 Study breaks.

Have a snack. Breathe. Stretch. Take a break. Don’t study for too long. Always take 10-15 minute breaks to let yourself relax, then get back to it!


#6 Prioritize & plan.


Organization is key! This includes organizing your time to study. Set aside specific times on specific days to study for each of your individual finals. Make more time for the finals that you know will be harder for you.


#7 Teach the material you need to know.


By teaching someone else the material that will be on your final, you will be studying. For instance, you and a classmate could take turns teaching each other about what is on the final and it will be a win, win for both of you!


#8 Reorganize your notes.


Make sure all your notes are in order. Again, organization is key here! You will feel more prepared for your finals, if you organize your notes in order to help you study.


#9 Snacks.


Don't forget, food will help you survive finals! Make sure you get your favorite snacks for studying. Try to even sneak some healthy snacks in there. Specifically, ones that will help you get some energy.


#10 Pat yourself on the back!


Lastly, pat yourself on the back. Enjoy some well deserved me time, and be proud of yourself for making it through this semester!

Cover Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/adult-laptop-computer-human-paper-3052244/

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