F5: Temi Coker’s Appreciation of Art Books, His Biggest Supporter + More

05.06.22 | By
F5: Temi Coker’s Appreciation of Art Books, His Biggest Supporter + More

Dallas-based photographer, designer, and educator Temi Coker is a force of creativity. Through his work he depicts layers of his Nigerian culture via color, pattern, dimension, and texture. But Temi doesn’t just create art, he creates powerful experiences that move and challenge beauty standards. His work is a movement that champions the unexpected in bold new styles, creating community along the way. Since beginning his career, Temi has had the chance to work with big name clients within the fashion, music, and sports industries such as Apple, Adobe, the Oscars, HBO, Google, and more. When not creating, he also takes part in leading workshops and giving talks that pass on his knowledge and experience to others.

Today Temi is joining us for Friday Five!

dark-skinned male wearing glasses, yellow hat, brightly colored patterned jacket looking off camera

Temi Coker

stack of four art books with small figurine on top

1. Art Books

I absolutely love art books. As an artist it’s important for me to learn from artist that came before me. Books are sacred and allow me to really dive into some of my favorite artists and their work. I love finding out about new artists and the techniques and mediums that they use to create. It’s also important for me to learn about their lives and how their art has been impacted. Social media has given people so much access to artists, but I still feel like art books have some of the most authentic stories about who created out of joy, pain, and healing. That’s very important to me.

looking over the shoulder of someone working on a laptop and looking at their phone

2. Listening to Music

I cannot create without music. In fact, I started playing the keyboard when I was 10. Music has always be part of my life and I love how each song and groove can in some way affect your mood. I listen to a lot of Jazz and R&B because I really feel these musicians and artists target your emotions in a way that’s authentic and real. Some songs make me feel like I was in the room with the artist because I can feel what they’re playing/singing.

black and white image of dark-skinned woman primping in a bathroom mirror

3. Afritina

I love my wife. She’s my rock, my best friend, and my art director. It’s fun having a companion to share my successes and failures with. It’s also been very important for me to help her grow in the ways she desires. I want to be a supportive husband as she has been such a supportive wife to me. My success is her success and each day I’m grateful to be doing life with her.

brown-skinned person holding up and looking through a 35mm camera

4. Film Camera

Although I’m now heavy into graphic design, photography is still a passion of mine. I bought this film camera from a friend so that I have something I can carry with me everywhere. I love film because you almost have to slow down to capture things with it. Digital cameras, although good, have made people not admire the importance of slowing down and capturing authentic moments. I love that sometimes I can run through a whole film in a month and forget the images I took until I get my scans back. It’s fun and I’m able to keep these images for our future kids, and pass it down while still training my eye to find these peaceful moments in my life to capture.

brown-skinned hand balancing a Nike sneaker on one finger against a white background

5. Air Jordan 1s

Coming to America as an immigrant, we never had money to afford Air Jordan 1s. As I got older, I started to save my money to get this shoe because in some weird way it allows me to heal that part of my childhood. I know it’s strange saying that, but it’s honestly the truth. As we grow up, when we are able to afford those things we wanted as kids, it makes us appreciate it a lot more. I’m slowly now becoming a sneaker head and I love it.


Work by Temi Coker:

brightly colored illustration of a person wearing a hat and jacket

brightly colored illustration of the back of a person's head

brightly colored illustration of a person wearing a turtleneck

brightly colored illustration of a person wearing a hat and earring

illustrated blue vase on red background

Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.