December 21, 2012
Every week I write a column called BE YOU for one of the local papers (The Times of Acadiana) – Each week someone different answers the questionnaire – the paper often has to edit them, so here are all the answers, unedited (the whole truth.) This week is Jillian Johnson
Jillian Johnson an Art Director of many things and the co-owner of Red Arrow Workshop, Parish Ink and WORKagencies. I happen to think she is one of the coolest people around, and is definitely at the forefront of showcasing Acadiana cool to the world. If you still need a Christmas gift for anyone in your life (or yourself) then run to the Red Arrow Workshop store in RiverRanch as quickly as you can – it has an eclectic and creative selection of beautiful and hip things created and selected to make you happy. Jillian is that wonderful combination of sassy creative and business woman that is rare and delightful.
What was your first job?
I worked all summer at a family-owed bagel shop in Nashville, TN, and saved money for my first car. It was a Ford Taurus, which was about as rock and roll as my first job.
Describe a typical day in your life.
Wake. Work. Talk. Sing. Create. Work. Play. Eat Popcorn. Sleep. Repeat.
What advice would you give the younger you?
Relax. Please, please, please. Relax.
What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
I have had far too many character building experiences to credit just one with who I am today, though I am grateful for every friend, challenge, victory, and disappointment that has brought me to this point.
What values do you live by?
Be nice. Do good work. Try hard. Listen. Love.
What do you most appreciate?
Kindness and a good sense of humor.
What is your favorite journey?
I have so many favorite places from the limited travel I have experienced. France, Northern California and Alaska would have to top my list in terms of beautiful places that have such a rich story to tell.
Where is your favorite place to be alone?
I really like to have my two standard poodles, Knives and Vega, around at all times. I actually miss them when I’m working during the day. They are the most amazing companions, so anywhere with them would be a nice retreat for some alone time.
What living figure most inspires you?
I don’t think I could choose among all of the amazing people and projects that inspire me every day when I read the news, read a book, hear a great story or meet someone new.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
“Do good work” My dad used to say that to me before I left for school in the morning. I didn’t realize it was totally my life-long mantra until I was in my 20s.
What book would you tell everyone to read? Anything by Steinbeck. His stories are powerful depictions of the early 1900s in America, with such vivid and rich characters. I love that period in American History, so Steinbeck is the ultimate escape to that era for a reader. East of Eden and Grapes of Wrath are both incredible.
What is the best thing about where you live?
There is something in the air, or something in the water in south Louisiana. It is such a special place, with such amazing people and an incredible sense of self. Being from here, but growing up in Nashville, I feel like I can really appreciate it from both the inside and outside.
How do you “let the good times roll” ?
My fiancé and stepdaughter, our two standard poodles and a giant bowl of homemade popcorn. On the couch, all at the same time.
What did u want to be when you grew up?
An architect. And I still want to be that when I grow up!
What is your motto?
Do good work.
How would you like to be remembered?
A little bit country and a little bit rock-n-roll.
What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
Maybe I’m actually crazy.
What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
My family, my friends the great state of Louisiana.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I want popcorn.
What is your favorite word?
What do you collect? I have dozens of tiny collections.
My favorite might be my collection of colored glass bottles with US Presidents on them. I have one shaped like the liberty bell and one shaped like George Washington’s head, too!
What food could you live on for a month?
Grilled Asparagus..you thought I was going to say “popcorn”, didn’t you?
What would you change about yourself?
I wish I was capable of truly relaxing. I have a hard time treating myself to just doing nothing.
What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter…of coarse…
Describe yourself in five words.
Well-meaning but generally crazy.
What is your idea of happiness?
To love and be loved.
What is your favorite movie?
With no hesitation, I can absolutely tell you it’s Coal Miner’s Daughter.
What music defines who you are?
1920s-1940s Jazz and 1940s-1960s Country.
What do you most regret?
I regret not taking my time around my college years to enjoy and participate in a number of things, like joining AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps or generally doing more traveling when I was unattached to my home and job and family.
What question do you wish I’d asked?
Obviously, I wish you had asked my favorite color…
What would the answer be?
All of them.