We had the good fortune of connecting with Tayllor Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tayllor, why did you pursue a creative career?
Liberation. Plain and simple. Before poetry and performance found me, my world was in black and white, limited to quiet pages. Poetry, performance, and creativity gave me a voice and my world began in technicolor. I had a voice! I had a body that was mine to occupy. I could speak change; I could connect to the world beyond me! It was a truly spiritual intervention. What made me want to pursue it further is that I now had the chance to give this gift of liberation away to others who may have felt the way I felt. I was able to teach and be an example of what is possible when you hear your own voice through art. When I saw young people and even my peers seeing the benefits of giving art, writing, performance a try, I couldn’t stop… and I won’t stop. Liberation is everyone’s right.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What excites me about Sisterhood(verb), Inc. is that my passion for writing, performance, and poetry intersect with my passion for education, healing, and community in sustainable way that honors both my journey and the dynamic communities I want to serve. As I grow so does my service as an artist. What was one T-shirt about sisterhood among Black woman is now an artistic community building resource where my Spoken Word for Empowerment curriculum, Sisterhood is a Verb workshop series, and consultant services can thrive and connect to the people I want to support most.
This work is not easy. As my good friend says, business is personal. So my business only goes as far as my personal work and healing goes and that journey has not been linear or easy, but it has been rewarding and liberating. A few lessons I’ve learned in my continued healing and development of Sisterhood(verb), Inc. brand:
– I am not in control of everything, which is a good thing!
– I am powerful! I am divine!
– I can do difficult/challenging things… Even if I don’t feel like it
– Divine time is kind
– Lessons can be loving
– The one constant in life is change, make friends with it!
I want the world to know that Sisterhood(verb), Inc. is an extension of my mission as an activist, educator, and artist dedicated to curating opportunities for women to come together and grow and heal through education, creativity, and community & find new ways poetry can empower the voiceless, soothe the wounded, and disturb the status quo, setting us all on a path to freedom.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being LA born and raised I would suggest anyone visiting to:
– First, go to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles on Pico and LaBrea and get the #9 with a Arnold Palmer.
– Take a walk from Santa Monica Pier through the Venice Boardwalk, along the ocean. (I use to take this walk with my mom when I was little and I take that walk every time I am in LA.)
– Take a drive up the PCH as far as you want. My favorite stop is Solvang, California. (First place I got a picture of my aura taken)
– Go to the beach in Malibu
– Go to Tacos Por Favor in Santa Monica. It’s delicious!
– Stop by the Griffith Observatory is a great visit for education and great photos
– Go to Leimert Park and catch a drum circle if you can!
– For the love of God get a breakfast burrito
– LACMA and the La Brea tar pits are a fun visit
– Go to https://1iota.com and see if there are any talkshows or concerts that are giving away tickets while you’re there so you can be an extra!
– Go to Randy’s Donuts!
– Catch a sunrise and sunset off the ocean at least once while you’re there.
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?
My mothers, Lisa Collins (entrepreneur, light worker) and Amy Cox (priest and policy scholar). Without them I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to find the arts and the courage to pursue it fearlessly.
Beau Sia, Tony Award winning poet, world-renowned performer, and former mentor taught me early on the discipline, transparency, honesty, and healing necessary to fully dedicate myself to my art form.
Get Lit, a Los Angeles based arts education non-profit, also helped mold me into the poet I am today by showing me the connection in my poetic traditions to so many voices before me.
Shout out to Mount Holyoke College and all the women I get to call my sisters today. They taught me sisterhood, inspired me to plant the seeds of the work I do today, they encouraged me to keep writing, performing, and aspiring to be more and do more.
New York City is a chapter in my journey that is unexpected but also is a gift, motivating me to take my passion and mission to new heights. New York City brought me more community, spiritual growth, love, and I am forever grateful for the energy.
Other: Linktree: https://linktr.ee/tayllorjpoetry
David Anthony Photography Carol Sheridan The Link Collective NYC