Life of a Brave: 21 Questions with New Art Teacher Tommy Johnson

by Dominic Ramirez

This year, St. John Bosco welcomes Mr. Tommy Johnson, an accomplished artist and athlete, to the Brave community.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Q. What classes do you teach?

A. I teach art classes and yearbook here at Bosco.

Q. What high school did you attend?

A. I went to Calvert Hall College High School, in Towson Maryland. I received the Princeton award for best high school artist in the country.

Q. Are you from California? If not, where are you from?

A. I am originally from Lutherville, Maryland. I had a fishing pond in my front yard, I miss that.

Q. What college did you attend?

A. I went to Loyola College in Maryland. The mascot is the Greyhounds.

Q. What was your major/minor in college?

A. I majored in arts and teaching. I was the captain of a national championship lacrosse team, and I played professional lacrosse for the Baltimore Thunder. I have been teaching art and coaching lacrosse since I graduated.

Q. Where did you teach before Bosco?

A. Most recently, I taught at Realm Academy.

Q. Why do you want to teach art at Bosco?

A. I love teaching art and it never gets old. I would like to take Bosco’s art program to the next level. I would like for art to not be just a one and done class. I want the students who love art, are passionate about it and have what it takes to put in the hours, time and dedication, to be able to continue into intermediate art onto advanced art programs.

Q. What is your favorite part of teaching art?

A. I tell the boys in my class that this is their class, and that they picked art, so if they waste time, if they don’t work, if they don’t get involved, then they will miss out on an amazing world of art. Art can stimulate, make a statement and inspire others, with no limits. My class offers a bit more freedom, and a place to express yourself, reflect, use your imagination, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, ideas, dreams and your skills, in a visual form.

Q. What is some advice that you have for freshmen who just started at Bosco?

A. I know it can be scary at first, but everyone here at Bosco is here for you, including all the faculty and all of your new brothers, so reach out, join sports, join clubs and get involved. Time goes by too fast, and before you know it you will be a senior and getting ready to start the process all over again, so enjoy every second of every day.

Q. What is some advice that you have for seniors who are leaving Bosco?

A. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help, or to help others. Go for it, shoot for the stars, and if you land in the clouds or even the trees, its ok. Do what you love, take a leap of faith and follow your heart. Finally, never forget where you came from, because the most important thing in life is family and friends, so surround yourself with good people.

Q. How are you enjoying Bosco?

A. I really like the students, its a great class and group of young men.  I’m excited to join the community and to be part of the Brave Nation.

Q. Do you have any advice for any students trying to pursue a career in art?

A. It is not just paper and pencil with some paints, it’s expressing your ideas and your feelings, and creating a different view of the world.

Q. What kind of music do you listen to?

A. I enjoy classic rock, the Stones, U2, Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Beatles but not so much country. I like Tupac and Drake but not music that has a lot of nasty words, it makes it hard for me to get into. It really isn’t so much who I listen to, but the song itself. I also enjoy Michael Jackson, The WHO, Frank Sinatra and JB.

Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?

A. I would like to travel back home where most of my family is, or back to Ireland, a place with a lot of land.

Q. Who are some of your favorite artists?

A. My favorite artists include Warhol, Frankenthaler, Posada and Pollack. Also, I like Stan Lee’s imagination, and the true story behind Spiderman. Again, everything starts with pencil, paper and a simple idea.

Q. What do you do in your free time?

A. I spend time with family, watch sports, go fishing and watch movies.

Q. Do you follow any sports or sports teams?

A. Yes, I like the Baltimore Ravens.

Q. What is your favorite holiday?

A. My favorite holiday is Christmas because I believe in Santa. I also love doing the tree, with all the trimmings.

Q. What is your favorite color and why?

A. My favorite color is aqua blue. I’ve spent a lot of time on the ocean and love the water.

Q. Red Vines or Twizzlers?

A. I like Sweet-Tarts, Swedish Fish and gummy anything, hold the red vines and the Twizzlers.

Q. What is your zodiac sign?

A. My zodiac sign is Cancer, or the crab.

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