We had the good fortune of connecting with Johanna Desrosiers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Johanna, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I don’t want to sound cheesy but I am inspired everyday by life and just everything that I see but I am most inspired by my parents. They came to the US chasing opportunities. And they created their own lane. Being a first generation Haitian American is a big factor in my life, I understand why my parents came here and seen the sacrifices and struggles we had to face as a family. To see how my parents pushed through no matter what, learned a new language, adjusted to a new culture, and created their own salaries. I am inspired watching them living the life they manifested, prayed and worked hard for. They created the life they always wanted and that inspires me everyday. Their life story taught me to use my resources, to always keep learning and there is nothing I can’t do. My parents’ life taught me that you will face obstacles and hear many No’s but trust in God and he will show you the shortcut.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As creative our minds work 24/7 we are always busy. Haha, but yes as a freelance photographer and digital artist, there are some days where you don’t have any clients or any specific project you have to work on at that moment. I use my down time to work on some of my own passion projects. I have my own business(es) that keeps me creatively crazy. And sometimes i’ll do something just for fun and to pass the time, that’s usually when I’m on TIK TOK scrolling through and favoriting everything I see but will forget later to go back to. Lol or I will use that time to do research and educate myself, Youtube University is real guys. I learn so much there. My dad attended Youtube University too and he learned about hydroponics and aquaponics and built himself a greenhouse and he grows fruits and vegetables in the comfort of his home. I recently traveled to visit him and picked up the hobby of gardening and farming.
That actually inspires me and keeps my mind busy just talking to my family or friends and seeing what they are working on and how they are doing things that they love. I love to see the passion, it gives me a boost to go back to my passion and create more and more. It’s all about doing things you love. You don’t have to stay “busy” because that’s how most creatives get burned out or get a creative block because we are staring at your computer or iPad all day. Project to project and just getting caught up on routine. Sometimes keeping busy looks like just sitting at the beach and watching the waves. Doing nothing at all. There is such a thing as working too much. I have been there and I never want to feel that again. It sucked the life out of me.
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.
So if my best friend is coming to visit…..Well first off I just moved to LA and I moved during a pandemic so I am still very much learning places, getting to know the me after the pandemic vs before the pandemic etc. but I am very much an entertainer type of friend so I would want to make sure she has a good time. Also my friend is like my twin so it’s not a lot of work to keep her happy as long as we together, its creative vibes and laughs all day.
First stop would be the beach, even if the water is cold (LA weather is nice but their water is an icebox) we will be out there trying to get a little Vitamin D. I know I just said that the beach is a good time for off time but I’m a working progress… I usually would bring my iPad or notebook because when we get together there is always this crazy idea we get and need to write down at that very moment. Second thing that is a must is restaurant research and bar hopping, we love trying new things together and judging inter design at restaurants. My best friend and I are single ladies so of course we would be hitting the streets for some nightlife. Nothing like good music, good looking black men, and yummy cocktails. I lived my entire life on the east coast so being here in the West Coast I love meeting new people and seeing how different their culture, their pace of life is etc. It makes you feel the world isn’t so small after all.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout out all black women who are out here killing it, taking stands and bossing up. I love seeing other women in their element and not being afraid to shine bright and most of all the ones not afraid to let someone else shine their light beside them. Black Women Photographers is one of the organizations I recently joined during the pandemic, and it has shown me the beauty in having a community vs the competition. This organization has opened doors for me and provided education in my industry to help me build and improve my craft. I want to shine some light on Polly Irungu, the founder of BWP, thank you for creating a platform that we didn’t know we needed.
Yellow background photo (photo credit: breyona holy @exquiste_eye