Ervin A. Johnson was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from the University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign with a bachelor's in Rhetoric he began work on his second bachelor's at Columbia College Chicago in photography. Although he has many photographic interests, portraiture that describes what it means to exist as a gay Black man in America is exhibited in his past and current projects. In his most current work, Ervin re-imagines his cultural and racial identity through mixed media photography and video. Currently he is pursuing his MFA at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta.