Winthrop alumnus discusses college lessons and his art

Photo courtesy of DeVon Ford | DeVon Ford pictured in a collage with some of his artwork.Photo courtesy of DeVon Ford | DeVon Ford pictured in a collage with some of his artwork.

Devon Ford discusses his brand and how Winthrop helped him prepare for his future

Photo courtesy of DeVon Ford | DeVon Ford pictured in a collage with some of his artwork.

Photo courtesy of DeVon Ford | DeVon Ford pictured in a collage with some of his artwork.

DeVon Ford is a Winthrop University graduate from Florence, South Carolina who received his degree in fine arts with a minor in visual design studies.

He started his own business by selling his original artwork. Ford spoke about his business, his time at Winthrop and how his artwork has provided him with the means to start a business of his own.

Ford discussed how his life as entrepreneur was a shock at first, but how it eventually allowed him to develop a sense of accomplishment and success.

“I’ve never really considered myself an entrepreneur; I honestly just started selling my work on the side one day and it picked up from there. As far as life being [an entrepreneur], it’s very rewarding, but challenges me to make crucial decisions,” Ford said.

Ford said that he is able to find inspiration in many different forms and it often comes from very random things in his life. He often times finds inspiration in people and things surrounding him.

“The majority of my inspirations come from family, music and things that are happening in the world around me,” Ford said.

Ford said he prefers to create and replicate portraits that challenge him, and to implement styles of realism in his work which help him to create a unique look.

“My favorite style of art is black and white portraits. I mainly strive for realism in my work, but something about the challenge of trying to replicate a photograph is really gratifying. I feel like my artwork is unique because I oftentimes try to add my own flavor to it. My B&W portraits may be standard, but most of my work comes from original concepts that I randomly think of and put to fruition,” Ford said.

Ford spoke about his beginnings with art and how Winthrop better prepared him for his current career.

“I’ve been creating art for literally as long as I can remember; it’s just always been one of those things that has kept my attention and made me want to keep getting better at it. Winthrop has helped me with that by allowing me to develop critical thinking skills, diligence and networking skills,” Ford said.

Ford said he wouldn’t change anything about his college experience because he was able to use his experience to become who he is today.

“I feel like I maximized all opportunities given to me and did all I could have imagined and so much more on campus. I miss it, but I doubt I’d change anything,” Ford said.

Ford said he is still struggling to advertise his artwork and mostly utilizes social media as of right now.

“Advertising is something I have to learn more about. I mainly post my work on social media and people see it there, but setting up a website is definitely something I’m looking forward to invest in,” Ford said.

Ford shares some advice for future entrepreneurs at Winthrop about how to succeed and create a unique brand for themselves.

“I would give to upcoming entrepreneurs currently in college the same advice that was given to me: invest in yourself and perfect your craft. If you don’t take time to sow into what you do, nobody else will, and you’ll never reap the magnificent benefits of what you have to offer. There’s going to be some give and take, but it’s worth it in the end,” Ford said.

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