We had the good fortune of connecting with Mari Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mari, why did you pursue a creative career?
The reason I pursued an artistic outlet was due to be shy and feeling like I had no having a voice growing up. It’s hard for the world to ignore you when you’re creating loud and out there work. The creative side of me is bold, loud and isn’t quiet nor shy. When that side of me comes out there is no stopping her. She says what I always was afraid to say, does what I was afraid to do and has taught me that actions speak louder than words anyways. Creativity is me and I am creativity. The beauty of art is saying what you want without having to find the words to say it because it speaks for its self.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started off as a makeup artist and spoken word artist. However my calling is the medical field. Currently I am a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator and part of leadership program for black women in this field. It’s not an easy field but, I was told I would always have to work twice as hard being female and black. So that’s what I do. I do need to learn not to overextend myself but that won’t happen over night having my creative outlet keeps me sane and grounded. At the end of the day doing what I do in the medical field or art I paint on peoples faces does not compare to motherhood as long as I am putting in effort, being an example, and being honest with my daughters these daily challenges of my professional life are small because living is the family that’s at home. Jobs constantly change I work to live not live to work.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In the Phoenix area we have been quiet due to quarantine, but hiking trials, escape rooms, or even bar hopping are always fun. Once things get back to normal I can’t wait to go to Phoenix Soul, plays, or really anywhere without a mask.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe my creativity to all the little black girls including my daughters who are often told that we have to water our self down to fit into society because society is ready for strong black women. If we have to be quiet we will find creative ways for speak and it’s not “our” problem that some don’t feel comfortable in “our” presence. We are coming to conquer and cast a spell on society with our black girl magic. Some may not like it but all we ask or should I say demand is that you respect it.