THE ART OF BASEBALL WITH MICAH JOHNSON

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Micah Johnson may play for the Los Angeles Dodger’s but he’s more than the uniform he wears. In the off season, he plays multiple instruments, creates gorgeous works of art and volunteers for What Lines, a charity which turns the spot light on up and coming artists in here in Chicago and L.A.  Read more about this multi-talented second baseman below.
 

Honestly Unfiltered: You’re talents are very multidimensional. With music, art and baseball all being passions of yours, what made you want to make baseball your career?  

Micah Johnson: To me, there was never a doubt of what I was going to be when I grew up.  It was baseball, baseball, when I retire after 25 years run a baseball team.  Those were my dreams and more so my reality because I love baseball with a sick passion.  People always tell a story who finally made it big through sports or music or whatever that goes as such. My teachers always laughed at me when I told them I wanted to be  the President, a baseball player and singer, but no one I really knew ever laughed at me. They knew I could do whatever I set my mind to, not because I was the best player, but because I knew how to work towards my goal and how to make the sacrifices that were needed. 

HU: Have music and art always been big influences in your life, or were they something you picked up and developed a passion for later on? 

MJ: Music as always been a big influence on my life since day one.  My mom was our church pianist my dad was….yeah scratch that my dad has no rhythm.  But my mom was always playing and listening to music.  I came to use music as a way of getting lost and forgetting everything else that I had going on.  Art on the other hand came to fruition much later on.  

HU: Whats your biggest inspiration when creating art? Or does it vary?

MJ: My inspiration when creating art has transformed over the past 2 years.  At first I created art because I thought it would be cool and I would omit fine details.  Now, as I sit and create art, I envision a group of very diverse, multicultural people all from different backgrounds and income levels  all gathered around being able to appreciate the art in their own way. My main goal is to create a conversation that cohesively merges demographics. 

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HU: I think anyone who goes into sports has to have a high level of dedication, but I’m sure at times it can be difficult in such a physical job.  How do you find the motivation in moments where its not so easy?

MJ: Motivation for baseball is never not there for me.  I see each game of 162 as a new day to start a new hitting streak so I seriously enjoy “the grind”.

 HU: What does a typical off season for you look like? 

MJ: My off season is busy, “Idle hands do the devil’s work”  -you all know the scripture.  I get up early everyday because I hate wasting daylight and honestly I can’t stay awake past 11 p.m. these days. I make sure I get all my baseball work in first, which consists of lifting, running, yoga and hitting – anything that’ll help me perform at my best the coming season. Once I complete that I turn my focus to art and rush home to work on whatever piece or two I have going at the moment. Aside from that, I also love to get involved in the community. Last year I was able to do so much in Chicago and it’s so rewarding to be able to make a difference in someone’s life.  

HU: you’re very involved in the community here in Chicago even though you call LA home now. What’s the biggest reward that comes from your charity work?

MJ: For me I’m not doing it for a reward, I do it because God gave me a platform, financial security that I never had, and freedom for 6 months in the off season so it’s me saying “thank you”.  

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HU: Aside from the weather, what’s the biggest change you had to go through moving from Chicago to LA?

MJ: Knowing when to exactly leave your house. In Chicago you know roughly how long it will take you to Uber from your apartment to where you’re going.  Here (L.A.) 5 miles may take 5 minutes at 1:00 pm or 2 hours at 3:00pm.  Nobody is ever on time out here. 

HU: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

MJ: I saw how much fun it was for the Cubs to win the World Series this year and having played against some of those guys coming up through the minor leagues playing in a World Series is  something I crave more than ever.  I would also love to be in my 5th year of hosting What Lines? Art Experience in Chicago and LA, kicking back to the community and also helping really talented artists shine bright.  

MORE WITH MICAH JOHNSON: Favorite medium to create art with? Resin mixed with a hint of acrylic. Favorite sport aside from baseball? Basketball. A musical instrument you don’t currently play but wish you did? Violin.  Favorite art gallery in Chicago? Never got to go but Intuit looks so incredible! Favorite app on your phone right now? Tinder. Jk(never got into that scene). Postmates. Top three songs on your playlist? 1.) Elegy for the Arctic 2.) Shape by Ed Sheeran 3.) Litty by Meek Mill. Favorite artist? Salvador Dalí . Favorite travel destination? French Lick, IN

interviewsBritt Hinrichs