Tobias Tyler

Tobias has always called Des Moines home because he's lived in the same neighborhood as a kid. He knows who he is. This is Tobias.


Take us back to you as a kid.

Man, I grew up in Des Moines my whole life. Right on the Eastside. I live in the Union Park area, I always have.  A lot of things have changed since this then.. a lot of good. 

Me as a kid I was always getting into something, whether it be me riding my bike with the squad through the neighborhood or me at home playing video games and hanging out on the internet with people I've never meet in person before. Actually crazy, some of the people that I have played video games with and met online, we actually still talk and have met in person and send gifts like every holiday. 

Who did you want to be?

There were SO many things that I wanted to be growing up. I wanted to be a Youtuber that created video game content, like a TmarTn or a SeaNanners or a RadBrad, an architect (until I realized that math is hard), a manga/comic book artist or some type of professional athlete.  I never thought I would pick up a camera and love it like I do now.  Life is crazy. I didn't know who I wanted to be but with any of those things I knew I was gonna do it my way. 

What was last Monday like for you?

Last Monday was my final week as a full-time college student. So surreal. It was filled with a lot of mixed emotions. I walked across the stage Saturday. It's still so wild to me, so many hours that I spent and I wouldn't change it at all. This Monday was my first day as Grand View University Alumni and it was filled with a lot of relaxation and self-reflection. I've been thinking about a lot lately. 

"I didn't know who I wanted to be but with any of those things I knew I was gonna do it my way."

Walk us through the days leading up to you doing your own thing?

So many things led up to me actually trying to pursue this whole creativity thing full on. At the time I was just finishing up my sports career at Grand View. I was a four-year starter at Tight End at GV and I also Bowled. There was just this weird transition realm where I didn't know where I was going, What I was gonna do. I was leaving my sports behind and at the time I was doing a lot more graphic design stuff and only took photos every now and then, never even touched video. One day in that weird realm I just thought to myself. "Yeah... I really think I can do this for real." So I started designing things more and more, Then I started taking photos and starting to take the time and learn more and then I got into video and it just jumped off from there. 

Describe your style of photography and videography.

AHHHH bruv, this is tough. I derive a lot of my style from the internet, a lot of things I pull from are not from looking at different photos or different videos. It's looking at like things in an Anime or something that I hear in the song and its like how can I re-create this sound or this drawn animation with a photo or a video. I let everything on the internet I see kinda influence my style, whether it be how I color something to how I take a photo. My style is very internet driven. 

What keeps you busy?

If I'm not working on my own video projects and photo sets I'm always helping others with their creative projects. I love it. I love being surrounded by so much creativity. That's what really keeps me busy. But if I'm not doing anything like that. you can catch me watching anime or playing video games.

"Sometimes the best thing for me to stay focused on my goals is just being alone and doing things by myself."

How do you stay focused?

Staying focused is really hard for me sometimes because my mind likes to wander around and get really off topic. Sometimes the best thing for me to stay focused on my goals is just being alone and doing things by myself. I'm surrounded by an amazing group of talented people but sometimes a disconnect from them and a reconnect with myself is the best way to stay focused for me. 

What’s been the biggest challenge?

My transition from college student-athlete to creative. 

How did you overcome it?

I created something each and every day so that i can get it into my head that I can create something unique and interesting every day. My thing has been "Just F****** Create" 

You get to redo something you’ve done. What would that be and why?

Hmm, i think that everything that I have done thus far has been something has gained more knowledge. Knowledge about the situation, knowledge about the people and knowledge about myself. I don't think I would redo much. I would re-do some photo shoots from my early days of photography because I was just a noob. lol 

"Don't talk about it. Be about it."

Someone is starting their own thing. What would you say to them if they came to you for advice?

The first step is always the hardest and that you're only as good as the last step you took. Go all out on everything you do, if you really want it. You push as hard as you can for it. A lot of people talk about things they want to do but never act on them. "Don't talk about it. Be about it."

Why Des Moines?

Ever since I was in high school and even in college people always say Des Moines is lame, there is nothing do here, its boring. I've always wanted and still do want to prove everyone that has said that wrong. Since I've grown up here I have seen the growth that Des Moines has made. It's only gonna get better and I want to be apart of that growth. 

What’s one new thing that has caught your eye?

One new thing to me that I have been looking at is a lot of photography based magazines. Like Street Dreams or Inspiration Cult Mag and even Luck. Those magazines are TOUGH! I'm gonna make my own. But some new music that I found the other day was from Childish Major - Woo$ah and the whole premise of the song is like taking a step back and just chill out, see what you need to work on and go get it. 

"Since I've grown up here I have seen the growth that Des Moines has made. It's only gonna get better and I want to be apart of that growth."

You can grant Des Moines one wish. What’s that wish?

Creative Presence. When you think of Des Moines you don't think of it as a creative place. There are a lot of dope creators here, amazing artists here but because Des Moines really isn't really known for its creativity many people from here tend to get overlooked. That's dead. 

For someone new to DSM where do you suggest they go?

The Farmers Market, its such a vibe. I love going in the morning and just being out there. eating breakfast, buying cacti and listening to the music. 

The most underrated thing in DSM is ________. Why?

THE FOOD,  we got a grip of fire food spots in the East Village and Downtown DSM. everyone that's not from here I talk to thinks that we eat corn for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

What are you most proud of and why?

I'm just proud of who I am. There have been many situations where I wasn't making decisions from what I thought but what someone else thought. Being able to have my own opinion about things. I'm proud of being able to express myself through these creative outlets. But if it was one thing, it's probably my college degree, a lot of sleepless nights for that piece of paper. Sheesh! 

"I'm proud of being able to express myself through these creative outlets."

It’s been six months, what do you hope to have accomplished?

I wanna do it all lol. I wanna travel and just create dope s***! there isn't one thing that I want to accomplish but I want to be more knowledgable that I am today. I wanna learn more. 

One thing that matters most to you is what?

I CANT PICK ONE THING UGGHHHHHH..... My family and my friends and my camera. Without those idk where I would be. 

Derek Jensen