We had the good fortune of connecting with Brandon Dean Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brandon Dean, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I grew up loving to draw and I’ve been watching cartoons all my life. I knew at an early age that I wanted to work in animation, but never knew how to get into it. Being a military brat from North Carolina I was never really surrounded by creative people who could put me on the right artistic path, so I had to figure it out on my own.
While attending college at Elizabeth City State in North Carolina, I decided to be an art major. Everyone wanted me to rethink my major but I knew deep down inside I didn’t want to do anything else. I ended up graduating with a Graphic Design and Fine arts degree.
After college I would move to Poland and London to explore the world of street art/ graffiti style of work. There I made a lot of connections and learned tons of skills that I would use later in my career.
In 2014 I would move from London back to North Carolina. After spending 1 month in North Carolina, I decided to pack up everything and move to Los Angeles to seek work in animation. Now, nearly 7 years later, I’m so blessed to have been able to work on all the animated and live action projects that I’ve been a part of.
Now, the next part of my story will consist of me diving in deep with my own art and creative ideas. For this venture I will be focusing on growing and building my own production and development company called BigFooters.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is 100% what my mind is thinking of at times. With my knowledge of fine arts and digital art I am able to do so much. From clothing design to 3d animation, I really can do it all. The way my mind works is if I have an idea I WILL make it come to life through any form of art. My latest art venture consists of characters (The Hoodlins) that I created for The Ratchet Raychel Show, a separate show that I’ve created. This summer I will be presenting a pop-up gallery show in Los Angeles. The show is called 101 Hoodlins, because I have completed 101 pieces. This art show will showcase every form of artistic range that I can deliver.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hmmmm this might be a hard one, LA has so much to offer. So the first thing we would do is go down to Santa Monica pier and enjoy the beach for a while. Next would be to make a trip downtown and check out the Staples center and other attractions. After that we would come back up to North Hollywood and get drinks at Brew Brother (my new favorite bar). The last thing on the list is to get some of the best street tacos in Van Nuys. If they allow me to order I will secretly order them lengua (cow tongue) and cabeza (cow’s head) and convince them it’s just beef. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Many people have helped in the success of my career and future visions. Starting with my family all the way back home in North Carolina. I look to my Dad as a role model, and my Grandparents for advice.
I also owe a lot of my knowledge within the animation industry to Pure Imagination studios, as I’ve been there for 5+ years. Even though I left them recently to pursue my work ventures, they still played a very important role in my career growth.
Create Now is a non profit organization that I’ve been with for 6 years now. I started off as a volunteer and now being a leader and a chair of the board. I’ve learned so much through them and can’t wait to keep growing with them.
Last, but not least, I have to thank my whole BigFooters team. Everyone that has contributed to the projects that we have going on there have really encouraged me to not give up and to keep trying to climb to the top.