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Story by Christoper Cason

A creative is molded by their environment, upbringing and the experiences delivered from both. The inspirations of Portland-based director, Tevin Tavares, are many – Ryan Coogler, Hiro Murai, Donald Glover, Kobe Bryant, Kendrick Lamar and several others.

But none of those are as vital to him and his work than his hometown in the Bay Area.

Through the formation of a collective called “Combined Culture,” Tavares and a group of his closest friends have released several viral shorts that showcase a diversity that’s reflective of the makeup of his upbringing. In getting the opportunity to do films for Nike, his eye and gift for storytelling reached national audiences.


One central theme is prevalent in any project he has touched and that’s the emotions they elicit. He says that feeling is one of the first steps in his process of creating and that has to align with the core purpose of the film.

“Everything starts at a core reason, so I can refer back to it. I want the audience to feel how I’m feeling when I go through my initial thought process. Here’s why I’m making this film and here’s why you should feel inspired after watching. From the sound, to the edit, to the color, I want people to be able to reach out and grab it.”

As with any creative, there are periods of doubt and overthinking. Tavares has learned to power through that by holding strong to his faith and his work ethic. “At the end of the day, if I know I put my all into it, the universe is going to help and good things will come out of it.”

“You almost have to have that Kobe mentality,” he says. “You have to take your shot and not be afraid because if you fear failure, you might as well not try.”
You can discover his work at and give him a follow at @Tevin.Jordan.

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