These are the things that I know about Beka ‘Squirt’ Johnson: Born in Dallas, cheerleader in college for Hawaii (yeah, I know), truth teller, tough enough that a broken rib doesn’t stop her, balloon lover, model for Whiskey Vintage, buff enough to not mess with her, hug giver, and a great friend to anyone that knows her.
She recently invited my husband, Paul and I to an art show she was in, at the Wit Gallery. I’ve gotten to know her over the past couple years and she’s one of my favorite artists to support. I started off going to her art shows while she was in school at UTA and admired her work hanging in our friends house at “Lexington Place”. I always had my eye on this piece of hers called Chucks and never thought she would sell it. But, when my husband and I showed up at Wit and saw it hanging on the wall, I knew instantly that it was mine. She then told me that it was her first piece she had ever done. I feel so special to be the owner of Chucks.
I was so excited to interview her to get to know her a little more.
Sarah Beauregard: What kind of “art” do you do?
Beka Johnson: All of my paintings stem from a photograph or object that I manipulate to create a more interesting composition. A lot of these are things that I have an attraction to. Things like popsicles, shoes, balloons, a lot of things kids enjoy, story of my life. My photographs are a little bit of a different story. I work mostly in film and from some of my projects the love I have for people watching is made pretty clear. I also enjoy layering photographs as I take them so the film has a ridiculous amount of images in a row, something like 100 or so. The colors this creates are insane and make my eyes happy.
SB: Where can I find your artwork/photography?
BJ: At the moment: Facebook, Beka Johnson. Currently, there are pieces up at the Wit GaIlery. I am in the process of opening an art gallery/studio on 8th Ave. in Fort Worth in Butler’s Antique Mall which is a great place that has spaces behind to rent.
SB: What is the most influential lesson you learned in your art?
BJ: To always question myself. There are times where I just create and do not ask myself if this is what I really want or should be a totally different color. I have been doing this a lot lately and loving the outcome.
SB: If you could have more of something in your life, what would it be?
BJ: Water time. It is where I belong and where I am the most relaxed. It is probably good that I do not live that close to water or I may be the most unproductive person in the world.
What do you do to get out of your comfort zone?
BJ: Work outside. Reason being is I love the outdoors and attempting to keep focus when there is so much going on around me is so hard but it forces me to focus.
SB: Is taking art classes worth it? Or do you think it ruins natural creativity?
BJ: I LOVE school. If I could be an art student all my life I would but I would also be poor so I learn from the people I surround myself with. I think natural creativity will always be there but knowledge ignites it.
Thank you, Squirt! My eyes and walls can’t wait for you to continue to create!
-Sarah Beauregard is a contributing author for www.youplusdallas.com, focusing primarily on Style and Deep Ellum. Sarah also has her own lifestyle and fashion blog you can find at www.kittensandpitbulls.blogspot.com.