Creative Inspiration: An Artist Q&A With JaVaris Johnson

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The picturesque mountains, lush forests, and breathtaking landscapes of the Pacific Northwest have served as inspiration to many, including JaVaris Johnson, a talented photographer whose work encapsulates the beauty of nature. JaVaris provided the photography for our new “Wash your spirit clean” Write Now Journal. Compendium’s in-house designer Justine Edge then layered the images with hand lettering and design to create a unique look that invites reflection. We asked JaVaris to share a bit about his experience working on this journal and his inspirations as a photographer.

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What originally sparked your interest in photography?

I spent much of my 20s skateboarding. I met a fellow skater whose hobby was photography, and I really admired his talent. He focused mostly on night and city photography, so that is the direction I went in at first. I bought my very first camera, a Canon T3i, and began shooting similar content for practice. My passion took hold and it’s still going, though it has morphed to focus more on nature photography.

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Which of your images in this journal is your favorite?

My favorite photo is of the tent under the stars at Mount Shuksan. I can’t imagine a more peaceful way to sleep than under a night sky in nature, so I think that’s why that particular image resonates so much.

What lasting impression do you hope your work will have on other people?

Nature provides so much peace, and I want people to feel some of that through my work. I hope people feel encouraged to get outside and explore for themselves. If you can’t be outdoors yourself, I hope my photos bring about similar awe-inspired feelings. My editing style is such that it represents very accurately the mood of the experience.

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What subject matter most influences your work?

I’d have to say mountains. We have so many beautiful mountains here in the Pacific Northwest, so those are the places I return to again and again. They seem grand and untouchable, yet being a small human among them is so rejuvenating and healing.

Who has been your biggest creative inspiration?

Andrew Kearns is an adventure photographer who has inspired me over the years. The idea of being on the open road, freely exploring, with all the surprises and unknowns that come with that is motivating to me. And the excitement of nature is that it’s always changing—the seasons, weather, lighting—they keep me challenged to find beauty in all types of conditions. Rainy, foggy moods happen to be my favorite conditions to capture. My creativity has always been there, but encouragement from my mom and family to follow my dreams is what keeps me going as a photographer.

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You can find JaVaris’s stunning journal and the entire collection of Write Now Journals here.