We had the good fortune of connecting with Russell Mariano and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Russell, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
A graduate of Art Center College of Design, my background is in graphic design and packaging. I grew to the level of creative director in the beauty industry. At the corporate level, art and design becomes the management of many decision makers. The artist becomes the creator of compromise. The final piece is the marriage of ideas and marketing goals. As a fine artist, my goal is create a concept that is relevant, true to meaning and entirely my own decision.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Professionally, following my rebranding of Alterna Professional Haircare, I made the decision to pursue my fine art.

In the beginning I was involved with APLA Aids Project Los Angeles. In support of those stricken by such devastating circumstances, I created an icon that both represented the love, care and compassion yet identifies with the core of what this disease is about. The solution is the “Magic Bug”.

The Magic Bug is a molecule of love. It’s found in the midst of tragedy, distress and sorrow. But also in the best of times. Everyone has their own brand of love and is uniquely different. This idea is conveyed in the various color patterns. All of my compositions show an interconnection of Magic Bugs which states the fact that we are all in this together. Love is diverse.

In the midst of COVID, the Magic Bug has become even more relevant. The sentiment hasn’t changed. Love is found in the bravery of first responders and nurses. Also for families that had to deal with it’s aftermath.

Love is found in politics. People can love an ideal so much that they’re blind to anything else.

I’d like the world to know that everyone has their own Magic Bug.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would invite my friends to join me on some rides exploring from Malibu to Palos Verdes. There are also social rides with Rapha cycling club. We would dine at any beach city along the way.

If hiking/backpacking is your interest, Mount Baldy, San Jacinto and San Gorgonio is awesome!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Danielle Mariano, my partner in life, gives me the courage to step forward.

Website: www.manjaman.com

Instagram: @wannamanja

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/manjaman/

Twitter: @manjawanna

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/russsmariano

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