LA Dodger, Art and Stereotypes..
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Micah Johnson, second baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers and I can positively say that he has completely changed my mindset when it comes to stereotypes and defining who you are and who you want to become. For starters, he taught me that…
To truly be the person you want to be, you have to defy any stereotypes about yourself, your upbringing or what is expected of you.
He also taught me that you can be be a lot of things at once. You don’t have to have one passion.. you can have passions. He embodies this thinking.
Micah is a lot of things.
Sure, he’s a professional athlete, but he’s also a talented artist and musician and, along the way, he has become quite the stereotype-defying man. Here is Micah in a nutshell:
Professional athlete + Christian + Artist + Musician(Classical+Future+Crowder Band) + Introvert – on the field + Bilingual + Family = Micah Johnson
My conversation with him has proven to me that personal growth and defining your place in the world revolves around finding your own fire – the things that make you tick – and then adding fire to them.
Below is our conversation.
Here’s how you can be the person you have always wanted to be w/ Micah Johnson.
“All things that I am. All things I’m not supposed to be.”- – what does that mean to you?
To me what that means is that I want to blur the lines of stereotypes in all facets of the word. For me, that’s being a professional athlete from the inner city who has passions ranging from fine art to classical piano and to serving others.
I want to be an example to the kids coming up that just because your job title is this or you grew up here that you don’t have to fit a certain mold.
What does it mean to defy expectations?
You can stay in your lane, work, come home, binge Netflix and repeat your whole life. That’s expected. Defying the expected is challenging yourself to find something that ignites your flame that can then influence people to help them find their igniter. For me that’s using my platform as a professional athlete, to create art and art shows, to influence the kids to defy expectations.
Defying expectations is very simple: challenge yourself to be uncomfortably different.
Baseball was your first love. How did you get into art and music as well?
I got into music through my mom. She grew up practicing her songs everyday for church on Sunday so our small house was full of music.
Art has always piqued my interested but it wasn’t until Dave Roberts, manager for the Dodgers, introduced me to my new team (the Dodgers) and asked me what I enjoyed. I said painting. He then challenged me to make a painting for Dodgers legend Maury Wills which people, to my surprise, loved. That moment was my igniter.
How do you find the time to balance these passions?
By being hopelessly okay with being single! Ha but seriously, it all comes down to simple fact I found what I love to do. Playing baseball is my number one priority. In my spare time after games or during the off-season I spend my time painting and playing music.
Life is all about perspective. What perspectives do your passions offer you?
Mine allow me to appreciate people from all walks of life. I’m hanging out with teammates most of the day, then going to art galleries or studios with artist. I get to see the world through so many lenses.
Why do you think people allow themselves to be defined by questions like: “what do you do?”
I think it makes the person asking the question comfortable. It allows them to immediately classify you and create a reference point of who you are based on your response. However, I can you really sum up a person or a lifetime of experiences in a few sentences? I like doing so many different things. It keeps people on their toes.
Tell me about your art. What messages are you trying to convey?
My art style is evolving. It’s a beautiful process of finding what type of artist I am. I started trying to do realism but didn’t work for me because I don’t see the world that way.
I’m more of contemporary abstract. I want each person to create interpretations of what they see individually. But not entirely abstract where a non art enthusiast wouldn’t be able to tell what the heck it is.
What’s next for you? How will you continue to grow?
By continuing to add wood to my fire. Building my career on the field, pushing myself to be a better player and teammate everyday. Art wise: by creating “What Lines? Art Shows like the one January 26th at Dodger Stadium. Which brings athletes, artist, fans, people from all walks of life together for a fun evening of really cool art.
My plan is to keep working hard, pushing outside of my comfort zone and help as many people as I can along the way.