A little – A lot – About Me. Hello!

Saturday Story time..

I often get asked “just what *exactly* do you do for a living?”

Legit question. I seem to dabble in a lot of things.

Well, by day, I work at The Skyline Agency in Dallas. It’s a very creative, digitally connected, diverse group of cool people that – somehow – magically mesh together.

I am a Word Wrangler – as I say. Officially, I work in copywriting mostly with the content creation and Marketing team. If it has to do with words, or using words, I’m on the team of folks that does that.

Finding Words (Research), Vetting words (curating for content), Farming Words (SEO, Keyword searching), Trimming words (content creation) – I do a lot of stuff with that medium. I like it. Communication and the science of how people “human” with each other (social psychology) are some all-time favorite topics for me. We’re a fascinating species.

That’s because my nature (INTJ, Type 5, for those who like that sort of stuff) is an info hound. I don’t “human” well, naturally, so I learned from books what it all meant. Mining information is a favorite thing to do.
My background with “professional wording” began oh-so long ago in the early 2000’s with some hyper-local sports writing and blogging. That grew into beat writing and having a bit of a higher level sport to cover.

That was back when Jon Cooper – now coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) was the coach of the Texarkana Bandits. A junior level (NAHL) hockey team who’s home barn was a literal barn. It was the best.

The great thing about radio is no one can see your hair

That same time, Ben Bishop (who is now goaltender with the Dallas Stars) was goalie with the Texas Tornado, also in the NAHL but their home ice was in Frisco, Texas and was neighbor to the ice those very Stars would have been practicing on, had there not been an NHL lockout at the time.

It was a polar opposite scene change when the road schedule required covering those rivals. The juxtaposition of the two scenes…

But, I digress…

I moved through full time broadcast work and morning drive co-host / news director, and then into PR and corporate communications. Blah blah… You get it.

What can I say? I like telling people’s stories.

Things were going along pretty well, back then. I had flipped to freelance and had a few fun things in the hopper. Then, 2011 hit and that whole year was no fun.

From September 2011 – October 2012, I fought Stage 3 Breast Cancer, and life changed. Everything changed. My physical body and my mental outlook on everything permanently flipped. It was a huge shift in every way. Without a doubt.

Don’t get me wrong. My nature is still very present but I utilize it with a different motive. My “why” is different.

I somehow made it through that whole mess, and, with the idea that Knowledge is Power (it is), I increased my education and added a technical degree (cosmetology) to the fold so I could accurately work in the beauty space – an industry that I have a bit of an obsession with. Don’t get me started on my product obsession and shopping at ULTA.

I was gtting back into the swing of things but with a different starting place.

Within that world of content creation, with a journalism background, I tend to like to use those tactics with work and what kind of output I’m producing.

At my agency job, that gives me a chance to get to play on the content team and the creative team, both. It’s a nice use of my diverse experience and I enjoy that they encourage creativity in all of its many outlets.

The best part about agency work is that it’s never just one subject. I love beauty, but I also love writing about the emerging CBD and hemp agribusiness spaces. I also like lifestyle stuff and editorial opportunity. There’s more than one way to approach something and big ideas come from big synergy – and my agency work facilitates that with a really cool group of people that I get to learn from.

Speaking of many outlets…

So, that is where the many extensions and multiple platforms I work with come in.

I’m naturally a very curious person and I have been my entire life. A rather large part of that is in the world of exploring through visual arts and crafts.

It’s a real problem.

I manage the habit by window shopping and adding onto my Amazon wish list. I get the satisfaction of browsing without the broke result. I highly recommend it!

Thankfully my work world encourages this kind of creative exploration and so I can tiptoe through many creative experiments and it’s considered “research”. Well, that’s what I tell myself, anyway.

Some artists specialize in one media – and I really think that’s amazing – but this noggin’ doesn’t work that way. I have to let her be who she is up there and that’s a whirling vortex of “What if?”.

I draw things – Yes, it’s in my Redbubble (shameless plug)
Digital Art by me – Also in Redbubble because “Why not?”

If I had “lottery money”, my YouTube would probably be just an endless sea of “What’s This Do?” and “What’s over Here?” type content. Lately it kinda’ has been, actually…

And why is that?

Truthfully? Because, for 8 years now, I’ve already had a sense of urgency. I’ve had this push as there is so much beauty out there still to be seen that I “best get to it”… there’s so many stories to tell. For all of our missteps as people (we’re a messy species and that’s okay to say), there’s so much magnificence to be shared – and sharing it helps it grow.

Selfishly, there is so much out there to see that I’ve still yet to view – and, I’m hopeful that I’ll get to; but, the fact is: this COVID stuff is scary for folks like me. I’m a healthy lady overall, and I pay close attention to what it needs as best I can, but this virus is something that we cannot see or control. I know it won’t do well if it hits me. I’m hopeful but – whether it’s this, or any of the other insane variables in the society around us all – when my day comes, I can’t control that. Since I can’t control it, I don’t want to let it control me and keep me in fear and keep me from trying things.

Make it. Try it. Learn it.

So, yeah, I’m doing a lot of different things at once – and it can seem confusing. But, while seemingly a complicated creativity buffet, my approach is (to me) quite simple:

“Oh hey, cool.. I’m here today. How can I use it?”

That’s it.

My official work and my side hobbies all merge over each other. I wonder what a Venn diagram of that would look like…

Not mine.

In all sincerity, though… as trite as it sounds: life is truly short. I can’t control a lot of variables. I can only control how I choose to react to it and I will just keep creating, exploring and seeing all that I can, while I can.

So – What do I do? A little bit of everything.

You poor souls just have to endure it all.

(I joke – my ego is plenty healthy. Don’t worry)

Here’s the beauty of it all…

We all have this capability.

We all have the capacity to explore and learn. We all have something in us to share, too. A skill. A story. Our brains can evolve and learn through all kinds of ways – and, boy, do I encourage you to do it.

Go make your own “digichat” type show. Go draw stuff. Go scribble patterns and put them on Redbubble. Who cares if it’s not like those other folks you follow that seem to have it all figured out? They don’t. I promise. None of us do.

Creation, learning, growing – they’re all great coping skills and they’re essential to the thriving of the human mind. Or, at least, what I’ve learned when it comes to my own.

Give it a go. You never know what you’ll find out there.

Learn something. Make something. Share something.

Or, as my brain likes to ask: “Oh, what’s that over there?”

Published by SJohnsonArtist

Dallas-based writer, photographer & visual artist. Breast Cancer Survivor. Cannabis advocate. Middle-aged and riding it out...

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