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Rising Stars: Meet Erika Johnson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika Johnson.

Hi Erika, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I was raised by my Grandparents in a small town down in Arkansas. We had a natural artesian spring in the front yard and a frog pond where we raised hundreds of frogs from tadpoles every year. My Grandparents and I were incredibly close and they taught me to love and appreciate nature and all of its beautiful qualities. Along with frogs, we had many types of Koi, Crawdads, plants, a garden and so much more. It was really a special little oasis I was proud to call my home. They always inspired me to achieve and go above and beyond to reach my dreams. So, in 2013 I took a leap of faith and moved here to St. Louis to pursue an art career. It was scary being young and not knowing what to expect moving from a small town to a big city, but I did it and have worked towards my dreams and goals ever since. I went to art school and met a lot of amazing people over the years I’ve been here. I’ve worked hard to find exactly what I want to do with my artistic talents. That’s when I decided to start my own business Frog’s Breath Oddities and dedicate it to my Grandparents who are the people that have always inspired me the most and have impacted my life in so many positive ways with their love and encouragement. My Grandmother passed in September of 2017 and my Grandfather followed last November of 2020. I miss them dearly and continue to work hard to accomplish my dreams, continuing to make them proud. Everything I do is in honor of their loving memory.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Honestly, it hasn’t been easy. I have worked full time while doing art at the same time and it’s been challenging in many ways doing everything mostly on my own to make it. Along with trying to cope with grief, financial stability and other obstacles, I’ve really struggled to balance everything that life has continued to throw at me. However, I don’t ever let it get me down. I get back up on my feet and keep going. I am determined to be successful at what I do and one day reach my goal to be a full-time artist/creator.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’ve been an artist my entire life. Ever since I could pick up a pencil, I’ve been drawing. My Great Grandfather was a very talented artist and he is the one who taught me how to draw my very first stick figure. Since then, I’ve had hundreds of notebooks as a child creating these stories that would be several pages long. All I wanted was art supplies on holidays. My Grandparents said that I never was that interested in toys. All I wanted to do was sit by the pond and draw. As an adult, I work with several different mediums including face and body painting artistry which I do a lot of on social media, makeup art, mural art, window art, digital art, pencil, colored pencil, acrylic, woodworking, jewelry art/crafting and ceramics. I am passionate about so many forms of art and once I have the time, I look forward to contributing all of my talents to my business and offering more products with my work. At the moment, I primarily create jewelry with wood pieces containing graphics and natural stones/crystals. The love and support I’ve received from my jewelry has been incredible and I’m looking forward to seeing where my future takes me with my art career.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
My big dream in the next five years is to have my art and jewelry in many stores in the St. Louis area and beyond and also to be in many festivals eventually being able to travel around the country to sell my artwork as my full-time income.

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1 Comment

  1. Marty

    July 8, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    What a gem of an addition St. Louis has! Not only is she very gifted with her uniquely designed jewelry, she’s beautiful to the core! Good luck to her!

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