Kid at the Edge of Everything Rocket Design

In Their Own Words: An Interview with Tyson Johnson, Projections Designer

Tyson Johnson Headshot

Tyson Johnson, Projections Designer for COCA’s production of The Kid at the Edge of Everything, has been involved with COCA for more than four years. Tyson originally started as an intern through the Regional Arts Commission and became a Teaching Assistant for the following two summers. He has taught visual and illustration art classes and is now doing projection design with COCA. We’re thrilled to have Tyson as part of our Creative Team for The Kid at the Edge of Everything! Below, Tyson shares insights into his work for the production.

Tyson: I created the background imagery that will be displayed from the projector. This includes the neighborhood, the space, and any slight animations in the background. I made a few assets that even became 3-Dimensional props‚ such as the planets that will hang above the stage!

Tyson: This is my first role as a projections designer. Up to this point, I had not necessarily “trained” for it. However, because I work so much with digital media and illustration, it was a pretty smooth transition from my usual work in Procreate and Photoshop. I’m an artist, so as long as I have a prompt I can draw what is needed in my style! 

Tyson: The projections add life to the storytelling in the background. To truly feel lost in the world, there must be scenes behind the cast to display a setting. The neighborhood they walk in. The park they play at. The outer space they travel in. What better way to convey that than through an illustration behind a play? It feels almost as if the actors are in an animated children’s book.

Tyson: The one thing that excites me most about this production is how much creativity is involved and how much I am involved. I haven’t been on the production of a play since high school when I was in stagecraft classes. So it feels really full circle for me! I am heavily inspired by children’s books. The painterly and crayon look of my past students’ artwork also inspired the designs for this production.

Tyson: For my first time doing projections design, it has been extremely creative. The crew is very skillful and offers amazing feedback. I appreciate the collaborative effort and hope to work on more in the future!

View Tyson’s Portfolio