Maya Johnston Design

Entry Three, EXPLOSION! DISARRAY! CHAOS! October 2018.

Have I said it enough? What a time to be alive, and a YOUTH no less! Hehe. Just kidding. I do slightly feel like I'm riding my bike at 60mph and just crashing into signposts left and right and for some reason I'm just sticking with this totally ridiculous speed that will ultimately end in injury. And (non-metaphorically) it has. I've been on and off sick for the past two weeks and have this totally bizarre stress knot on my back that looks like it could initiate a plot to a really bad science fiction movie (oh and also I actually crashed my bike in real life).

That being said, life at this speed is pretty fun. You see more, you do more. Maybe this desire is fueled by my latest inspirations, fast moving, energetic artists like Ralph SteadmanRaymond Pettibon and Molly Crabapple, and also music like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Joy Again. Art and music that feels improvised in form, and often the results are surprisingly bizarre and beautiful.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Sykora
Photo courtesy of Sarah Sykora
UMD's ~secret~ dark room
UMD's ~secret~ dark room
gloves
gloves
At work! hehe
At work! hehe

Despite the chaotic state of the work/play environment, there are times for true and honest relaxation, running has become a good friend to me and I hope once this illness is gone for good I can get back to where I once was. There is also great nurture in my College Park home, which I feel I've mentioned before but I can't express enough how lucky I feel. This weekend we hosted an improv show and somehow crowded 40+ people into our living room to watch college kids play make pretend on a Saturday night. I was reminded of how people just want to be entertained, to be told a story.

Whatever I look for in a career it will be something along these lines, of communicating good design yes but most importantly to tell a story.

When going down a pinterest worm hole this month I found this old travel journal that communicated just in small hieroglyphs. I think artists, designers and writers, myself especially, focus too much on what is there than what isn't, which is usually more interesting, that negative space.

 

On the press, the top 2 layers of my first print.
On the press, the top 2 layers of my first print.

I don't remember this improv scene but I did fall off my bike one hour before these were taken, and it looks like I'm dealing with the ptsd from that accident onstage. Hey man we all cope differently. Photos courtesy of Sarah Sykora

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Entry Two, jumping the ship. September 2018.

Fall came with a crash and a bang! The past few weeks I’ve had trouble sleeping because I’m afraid I’ll miss something if I close my eyes even for a second. I’m trying to battle the oncoming grey hues of winter with bright colors in my work and in the music I’ve been listening to, but I’m afraid the dullness is inevitable.

Despite the busyness of this semester I’ve found comfort in doing improv, cooking with my roommates, and finding movies and illustrations that make my heart skip. Lille Carré is a great influence, her work is bright and sort of unhinged, sort of like the music of The Go! Team.

Though I love working with motion graphics I can’t deny the debilitating energy looking at a screen for 6 plus hours takes out of me, so as always, I’m really grateful for the time I spend away from the screen, whether it’s in screen printing class or running around the lake. I’m trying to pay attention to what my mind and body needs. 

Mustardseed; from a midsummers night's dream party
Mustardseed; from a midsummers night's dream party
Community Forklift in Edmonston
Community Forklift in Edmonston
Maintaining focus in a sea of disorder
Gif by Lilli Carré
Gif by Lilli Carré
From a house in Berwyn earlier this month.
From a house in Berwyn earlier this month.
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Entry One, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. August 2018.

Hoping this space will be an all-inclusive space, maybe for my process sketches and illustration or other self-promotional stuff; or maybe a space to notice progress as an artist, seasonal change, etc. Ah, whatever works.

Part of the reason I want to start this portion of the site was to have some sort of blog/writing space (ehem, without having any audience interaction). I've wanted to give myself the opportunity to write publicly for a while now, even if it's just speaking into the void, it's vital to participate in the digital age.

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This is an old, old sculpture, from Spring 2016 I think. Right now it's getting broken down by the elements in my Dad's backyard.

I was also hoping to have some way to document, to collect in a way of hyperlinking instead of clipping cool typography out of a newspaper [Not that these methods are lesser than].

In the past month or so I've been scanning different artists all over digital forums like Awwwards to Instagram, from designers, tattoo artists Julio Betancourt to painters Zio Ziegler, Kylie Akia to cartoonists Dylan BallietPolly Nor.

I've really been into looking for artists who sample, whether that be in music or visual collage, layering elements seems to be the most powerful form of narrative. I'm optimistic for the fall; getting back to some sort of work ethic again after a summer of indulgences.