Updated: Jul 5, 2020
Vivid LIFE Plans is founded and managed by me, Nastaaja Johnson... Hello!
I just wanted to say... well,... "Hello" and welcome you to the website. I am 30 years old at the time of this blog post and currently developing a Non Profit in tangent with this Consultation Business, call Vivid Black Paint.
Vivid Black Paint will be first based in Minneapolis Minnesota and is a vision that I have had and have been developing for about 4 years, originally known as UNCAAGED, and was in the midst of a new successful branding I was developing... Vivid Black Paint.
Originally Vivid Black Paint was only meant to be the instagram name of a new Instagram page to show off my paintings a year prior. I still have the list I of names as I was creating a name for it. I'd come up with names such as "Black Reflective Joy," "Black Paint Joy," "New black Shine," "Vivid Black Joys," "Sum of Black Joy," and many other combinations of brightness in contract to blackness.
I obviously landed on Vivid Black Paint and I have no regrets. It really encompassed what I was doing with my paintings. I was using spray paint on canvas and created 3 dimensional pieces and some even glowed in the dark.
I am also a professional Circus artist and Circus Coach and I did not want to flood my circus focused instagram with my new painting style and I figured it would be a "Rise" as I was satisfying a creative itch!
I get it every year between mid summer to late fall. This is my "Rise" season where inspiration and opportunity seems to rise to a new vertical level or expand to a new horizontal area.
It wasn't until months later that Vivid Black Paint really started to form into a branding where I began to curate and personally fund a BIPOC focused Circus and Paint Experience. I was working to book circus artists from all over the US, New York, Vegas, New Orleans, etc. I was so very excited that this dream, of my many "Vivid Dreams," was finally becoming a reality. As we were starting to sell tickets and everything was pretty much booked and set in place to be a great and successful event... COVID came in "Like a Wrecking Ball."
That was cancelled, of course, to be re-scheduled, and I am now working with that group of performers and the theater to re-envision what the event can be in this age of teleworking and physical distancing.
So where does Vivid LIFE Plans fit in...I am getting there. Bare with me as they say. ^_^
So as the entire world likely is aware, George Floyd was callously murdered on 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis Minnesota. I live in Minneapolis Minnesota.
I was and am still, working a full time supervisory position with the school district and was actually completely unaware until 2 days later due to my choosing to tune out of news a fews day a week to lessen the overwhelm of COVID updates. I have anxiety and it was getting to be bit much, and, was no longer required of my position to keep up with minute by minute updates. Especially as we'd finally received final word that we could move forward with providing in person child care for summer.
Once I found out, the protest had begun and our cities had started being burned down. Over the weekend I went out to the worst area closest to me and helped distribute some resources. Another day I went driving all around the surrounding suburbs to buy a few supplies and food items to donate, because our main grocery store had been looted and burned.
(Side note: I also went to my mothers, who I am very close to, and had to do my hair for the first time in almost 10 years as that is when I "went natural" not because ei knew what that was per say but because I'd never like straight hair. However, she of course remained relaxed for many years and finally listened to me and went natural as well just over a year ago, woo woo #teamnatural.
She had been experiencing extreme shedding, breakage, and even areas where her hair simply would not grow, so she gave it a shot. With her being relaxed and already heavy handed, I of course just did not really trust her to be able to manage my hair as she complained it was too much even when it was still relaxed and now it's thicker and highly textured.
Anyhoo, this was great and we got to talk about what was going on and overall it calmed my soul... Sometimes you just really need your mom right?)
While waiting and handing those items over to the volunteers, I finally fully received that children were there. I had a moment of what do they think? how are they feeling?
I mean at this point they'd been in the house for the last several months and they are finally allowed out and it is because the city is in mass despair.
As I have hinted, I have worked with young people for most of my career and wanted to do something.
That moment, that flicker of what can I do to serve my
community, turned into a summer long Pop Up Circus. When I started moving forward with this plan, people were messaging me wanting to donate. However, at that point I was not a 501c3 and recommend that they donate to one of the many different causes going on that were supporting the communities, as me and the small group of circus folks that agreed to pop up with me, were all prepared to do the pop ups for free.
That is when I was finally flooded with my original vision of a non profit program in UNCAAGED and how the time and my experience and my current branding of Vivid Black Paint seemed to be finally aligning.
I had run UNCAAGED as a sort of cohort style program once a year with a different groups of youth and in collaboration with various organizations, studios, and schools to provide free circus, with the focus being on youth of color, and most specifically fem and fem identifying youth. I had never moved it forward towards it's full realization of having a house built or renovated to provide a few different programs and housing for participants or forming a 501c3.
I really never felt it was the right time and wanted to develop more general experiences and presence in the various communities I was a part of. I also was not married to only providing programming to fem and fem identifying or only having it focused through circus, as I am a visionary of many talents and a Creative Artrepreneur as my Sis-Star Felicia Perry calls it. By the way, check out DesignHerLife on Facebook and Instagram!
As you can likely tell, I decided at this time that I moved forward with forming Vivid Black Paint non profit organization. In the midst of developing several program concepts that originated with UNCAAGED, I also revamped and further developed my concept for the LIFE Plan Program and built a workbook. I will at some point create a blog about UNCAAGED as I think it is interesting and I want to write about it and it's my website so I'll do what I want to 😏😌.
LIFE... Learn, Implement, Finance, and Enrich. Check out the next Blog Post to see more about the LIFE Planning workbooks and what the acronym means.
As I was showing this workbook to get feedback, I was advised to make the workbook "it's own thing" and they pointed out that I had just developed an entire curriculum and that it was modifiable.
And we also talked a lot about the many lives I have lived and how I have never let the result of a venture or vision ending or even failing stop me from dreaming. I have built many websites and brands, held many different careers in non profit, for profit and "me" profit and am really, really good at planning and developing plans.
With thinking about these pieces, I figured that I may actually have a unique niche to offer others to help them also "Dream a Vivid Dream to then Live a Vivid Life."
There was born Vivid LIFE Plans!
There you have the original story ^_^
Be sure to sign up for the Newsletter and become a member of this website to follow my ongoing blog! I may even ask you to post ☺️