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Digging Through the Greats: Tyler Mitchell

Each week, Green Label invites a visionary photographer, filmmaker, designer or artist to dig through their folios and tell the story of their favorite works. This is: Tyler Mitchell.

When I was 14 or 15 I used to skateboard from sun up to sun down. My friend Mike from high school had bought a DSLR, and I was like, “Wow this is the nicest thing I've ever seen.” From there I became obsessed with filming my friends while we were skating and stuff.

I got into all this by creating and collaborating with people whom I see as unique and cool. I met Lucid FC, two twins from Atlanta, who were collecting sneakers and I started filming their shoe reviews. I made a documentary about them, since they started a clothing company when they were 16. Since then, I moved to New York and have been collaborating with a bunch of people, like my friend Jonah [Levine], who’s always been into fashion and design, Austin [Butts], and just a bunch of really creative and interesting people.

I’m always trying to portray modernity through my style of shooting. This year has been crazy in terms of the accomplishments of my friends. Right now I’m trying to document all of the awesome stuff they’re doing while still adding my own twist and style. I'm also throwing a gallery with some really great photographers at SXSW this month.

One time a friend and I were watching some music video, and he was like, “This was clearly made by a videographer.” I don’t even remember what it was—some bad August Alsina or Chris Brown video or something—but there was very little artistic vision from the director. There’s this one director I like, Hiro Murai, who has worked with artists like Childish Gambino. All of his videos showcase his own trademark, but he matches his style with the style of the artists. That’s what I want.

I’m working on starting a magazine with my roommate called 1127, which is the number of dorm room. It's profiling young people who create from their bedroom. Me and Kevin [Abstract] have been working on videos. I’ve also been writing a script to my first short film.

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