Victoria Johnson is a pop culture journalist with bylines in COMPLEX, Vulture, VIBE, Mashable, Teen Vogue, and more. Victoria also co-hosted Nerds on Hip-Hop, a four-year-long running podcast, and co-moderated panels on anime and hip-hop at San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic Con, and Anime NYC. Last year, she moderated TMS Entertainment’s MEGALOBOX panel with Director Yo Moriyama and Producer Minako Fukiyoshi. She loves writing, Sailor Moon, indie comics, and hip-hop. Follow Victoria/Sailor Moon Fan Club at: @missoldskool @mooniesclub
Black Girls Create: What do you create (in your own words)?
I create content and ideas that primarily focuses on championing Black creatives. I do this by constructing words together through written work, creating ideas for podcast episodes and panel presentations, and graphic design. I’m in no way amazing at everything but I think, at the minimum, I can say I create it.
BGC: Why do you create?
I create because I’m constantly being inspired to create. It’s become second nature and it’s one of my favorite things to do. Whether it’s through writing, graphic design, photography, or even a series of questions for an interview, the gears in my mind are always spinning to a point where I have to make an effort to slow down and tell myself to take a break. But creating fuels me, and it’s what makes me happy so it’s hard to stop. I also love writing about or talking about amazing work by Black creatives and inserting ourselves in spaces where we aren’t typically represented.
BGC: Who is your audience?
My audience is Black women–especially nerds. Black women are my favorite people and as a Black woman I love supporting, writing, and talking to Black women (as you can tell from my podcast)! But after that, it’s Black people and nerds in general.
BGC: Who/what inspired you to create a Sailor Moon podcast?
I originally was going to create a magical girls podcast where I break down and talk about different magical girl series. But, I switched up the idea earlier this year after I realized that the magical girls podcast would take a lot more legwork and I just wasn’t extremely passionate about it. It was hard to come up with ideas for episodes and themes, but when I thought about talking about Sailor Moon with Sailor Moon fans, everything just flowed. I also came across this article “Sailor Moon Fans Are The Best People On Earth” and that really resonated with me because I’ve never met a Sailor Moon fan I didn’t get along with. Then, through researching for the magical girls podcast, I kept finding so many amazing and different Sailor Moon fans like New York Times-bestselling author Morgan Jerkins, WWE wrestler Sasha Banks, rapper Saweetie, and so much more, which hit the nail in the coffin for the idea.
BGC: How did you come to the series, how has it impacted your life until now?
I’ve loved Sailor Moon since I first saw it air on Cartoon Network’s anime lineup, Toonami, in the mid-90s. It’s continued to be one of my favorite shows and it’s the longest fandom I’ve been apart of. It’s been a series I can consistently return to it when I’m looking for familiarity, to re-center my thoughts, or for self-care in general because I’ve enjoyed the series at many different stages of my life (I’m 28-turning-29 this month!) I identify with Usagi/Serena a lot and she’s a hero to me.
BGC: Why do you feature Black creatives on the show?
When I started listing people I wanted to interview, I naturally geared towards people who’ve inspired me, people whose worked I’ve been interested in, people I’m a fan of, and people who are doing dope things. And as a result, most of the people I wanted to talk to were Black creatives. I also think Black creatives are often underrepresented so there will never be enough media that highlight us, especially in nerd communities. So overall, I’m happy to add a dent into more representation in media of Black creatives especially since they’re doing so many amazing things and they deserve to be covered in media.
BGC: Who/what continues to inspire you?
This may sound corny but life? Sometimes it’s listening to a line in a song or looking at art or a photo and it makes me think of an idea for a story or a project. Other times it’s daydreaming which happens a lot. Beyoncé and Ava DuVernay are my biggest inspirations because of their dedication to their craft and projects, creative and amazing work, and big hearts. Also, Michelle Obama because she’s a BOSS.
BGC: Why is it important as a Black person to create?
If it’s what they want to do and it makes them happy, that’s more than enough of a reason to create. On top of that, Black creatives are often the ones who highlight, mentor, and support other Black creatives. Most of the people who’ve supported me are Black creatives, and I try to do the same in return. Plus, we make amazing things.
BGC: How do you balance creating with the rest of your life?
I try to be gentle with myself, practice self-care, and take breaks. I love face masks, watching movies, and just giving myself time to check out — especially from my laptop which I’m always on. I read books, comic books, manga and webtoons (on my phone), listen to audiobooks or podcasts while I go for a walk or while I’m cooking, try new recipes, or just hang out and watch TV/movies. I feed what makes me happy or feel fulfilled. When I’m stressed, I think ‘Does this really need to be done today?’ or ‘If I do this now, will I do it well?’ I also tell myself that I need to actually do things outside of work if I want to stay creative and not burnout.
BGC: Advice for new creators?
Don’t let fear get in the way of something that can make you happy, and try to understand the difference of being afraid of trying something new and when something actually isn’t for you. Try new things, get out of your comfort zone, and even if someone’s done something that’s close to your idea, they’re not you and can’t do it the same way you will/would. Sleeping is okay. Also, most cliché phrases are cliché for a reason—they’re tried and true.
BGC: Future projects?
I’m trying to get back into creative writing and I’m working on a YA fiction novel about a Black girl detective. The idea isn’t fully developed but I’m trying to throw caution to the wind and take the cliché advice to “just write.” I also want to eventually host a podcast on Beyoncé and another where I interview Black creatives in general. But I’m taking it one step at a time 🙂