Where are they now?

Justin Baird, Staff Writer

One FMU alumnus now wears several hats in the career world since his graduation in 2009.

James McCoy, a S.C. native from Lake City, graduated from Lake City High School and is now married and has one son.

From a young age McCoy thought he would make surfboards, a high school dream, as his career. McCoy began making boards at 16 and continued to do so as a side job throughout his college career.

After some thinking, McCoy decided he was not the most business savvy at 16-years-old and made nowhere near the overhead he needed to start a business, but McCoy knew he had a creative side and loved working with his hands or even with conceptual planning.

McCoy first attended Clemson University majoring in engineering, which McCoy said was not his strong point.

“I loved the creative side of designing and problem solving, but didn’t care for the rest which is about 85 percent of the actual structural engineer’s job,” McCoy said.

McCoy said after his decision to change majors he realized Clemson was not the best option for a visual arts degree and found himself at FMU.

McCoy graduated from FMU in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts-visual arts with a concentration in painting.

The decision for McCoy was not all that simple though. McCoy said that for a while he struggled with what would be his career after graduation. For McCoy, it was a mentor that helped him with the decision.

“I had a good friend or mentor who basically made the point that you don’t always need to do the sensible thing but do what gets you going—what drives you and challenges you,” McCoy said.

McCoy said creativeness is what gets him going. From manual labor or conceptual drawings, even the idea of a new project is exciting is McCoy’s forte. Today, McCoy is not a professional painter but says his time at FMU has really paid off.

“The fact that I spent my time really learning about how I’m wired in the creative field pays off now more than the techniques themselves,” McCoy said.

McCoy now is a professional wedding photographer, located in Charleston, S.C., specializing in local and worldwide destination weddings.

While photography is McCoy’s primary job, he has several other jobs he enjoys. McCoy said life is a bit crazy right now, but it is crazy in a good way.

“I also head up the music ministry for the youth program at St Andrew’s Church in Mt Pleasant.

“[I also] act as a grip and camera operator for Media Video Productions on occasion and I am currently working on a large multimedia project involving web design, still photography, DSLR video,” McCoy said.

McCoy offered some advice to college students: “I would highly encourage anyone considering a creative field to seek out a mentor, regardless if they’re in that field or not, to really just be poured in to and encouraged as it can be very tough to commit yourself to what you really know and love.”

For more information on McCoy’s wedding photography services, check out his website at www.jamesmccoyphotography.com.