Ojeda art teacher posing with piece of potteryDuring these uncertain times, Ojeda Middle School art teacher Sequoyah Johnson shared her passion for creativity through virtual art lessons with her students and gained a following for her ceramics art through her online store The Coy Collection. 

After her Instagram followers started tagging her on lists promoting support for black-owned businesses, Johnson’s store experienced a significant increase amounting to more than 350 orders in just seven days. While most of the orders are from the U.S., a few have popped up internationally, including one from Germany. “Having attention worldwide has been completely overwhelming and shocking,” she shared while explaining she was working to fulfill the large number of orders, each created to order.

Johnson wants to communicate that message of hard work and determination as a learning tool for students. “I share that this is about pursuing your dreams, no matter what they are,” she said. “If you are pursuing them and being true to yourself there will be a positive outcome.”

With students experiencing a variety of feelings over the past few months, she also is prompting students to use them in their work. “I appreciate student ideas and ask them to express themselves; take that emotion they feel right now, and put it into the art.”