The Way We Play
Johanna Dauphin´s  Los Angeles

Johanna Dauphin´s Los Angeles


Meet LA-based creative director, designer and photographer Johanna Dauphin and her son Francis.

– I have been back and forth to LA since 2008. I simply fell in love with the blue sky, palm trees, vintage cars, the pacific, the open minded people, all the manufacturing possibilities and the diversity you find in one city. I felt this was the city of my dreams unconsciously all my life. A match made in heaven! The question was, how to make it possible? It was really on the other side of the world for me and I didn’t know anyone here, except my agent and my clients.

LA is a fantastic place, hard to say negative things about it. I love everything, even what people hate for example the distances, that you have to go by car everywhere… well I love cars and I love to drive and listen to my audio tapes. Quality time with yourself! Sun every day and when the rain finally falls you are equally happy.

The people are amazing; happy, smiling, interested in you not only for what you do and the success you have. Actually they are interested in you for your values and your life philosophy, well perhaps they care about who you really are rather than what you do? Superficial?… definitely not, that is a myth created by jealous Europeans. Ha! yes that is right. What is superficial about being happy, interested and curious?

Who asked for a lifelong commitment with the person you meet a the grocery store? Smiling people today just make the life much more pleasant, what happens tomorrow is another story.

– LA has so much to offer, so much diversity in all fields, nature, sports, sub cultures, kitchen and all that diversity is what I love. You’ ll never get tired.

Perhaps what I miss most is Europe, the things you do but not really appreciate until you can’t do them, breathing in the Paris fog while walking along the Seine, the sunday brunches in Marais with your friends, the wet leaves on the streets that almost make you slip, looking at grey people in trenchcoats, the french bars with people that smoke way to much and drink red wine, the small streets of Italy with slippery sanpietrini stones when your driving on your vespa heading for an aperitivo with friends… of course the list is never ending.

– I miss my family, my mom and my dad, my brother and his family, they live in Sweden. But for me home is not only Sweden, its where I have my family, and that is equally in Paris and Monaco where I have my sister.

A typical day for me and my son; we wake up early, oatmeal or buckwheat pancakes and kale juice is on the menu, rise and shine! Francis’s lunch box has to be made. We park the car a bit away from school and walk the rest… which is a wonderful moment together.

I often do kundalini yoga or acupuncture in the morning, or when I have time a hike around my hood.

– I work with many different projects, so all my days are different. One day I work as a creative, another as photographer or a designer, can’t dream of any other way of feeling more complete than to do everything that I really love. It all connects well together, different things that are totally related connect to make me me.

So, depending on what is on my schedule, one day may look totally different from another, and I love that. I love change and need a high level of stimulation every day, when I start to repeat the same things I easily get bored.

– I also love my down time, to squeeze in days in between where I am just working from home, not talking to anyone. LA is a place where you need to organize yourself to meet people and friends, so I try to go out for dinner with friends or have business dinners at least 3-4 times a week. I push myself to do it, its crucial for my well being and for staying connected. After school francis and I might go to a park, skate, or just straight home for some drawing and painting, always listening to music. Other than our creative interests we do spiritual things, kundalini yoga in the backyard, reading spiritual books.

We have so much fun together and I am a real ”boy mom”.  Francis is very spiritual for his age which makes us connect in a special way.  I cook every night, if I am going out I still cook for Francis.  I’m super passionate about being healthy and good food.  Macrobiotic thinking meets a Japanese and Italian kitchen.

We also love to go to Wholefoods or Erewhon together, which are the best supermarkets nearby.

Francis asks me if we can go together and gets annoyed when I go without him. Its really interesting how young kids can be so passionate about getting the right groceries. Before we go to sleep we read books, practice some French … but mostly we read English and Swedish books.

– My home is where my son is, I am connected to so many different places. I am a world citizen, which can be good and bad. My home is LA, NY, Stockholm, Paris, Rome
and Monaco and perhaps I should say my hometown
Eskilstuna?

I love LA, I feel my energy fits with the energy of this city. It’s a place where individuality has a home. Everything is ok, as long as you are a kind and a loving being. No one from LA will bother you about being who you are, and that is magic. LA is the place where my son was born, so this is his home, no matter how much time we spend in Sweden, California is his state. But you never know, things changes with time, don’t know what the future will bring.

– Philosophy in life? Thats a huge question! Well this is what comes first… Save the nature, global warming is real!

Be honest, be kind, help others!

Fight your ego, that is the biggest threat to this world. We can all make a difference, we are all unique born with a proper mission to make this world a better place. It all starts with love, yes LOVE, love your neighbor and love yourself. Respect others and do what you want others to do to you. It all comes back! Pray! Eat organic and think of the animals, do you really need that piece of meat every day?

Everything happens for a reason, the world just didn’t pop up. God exists, in you in me in all of us. We are all connected and belong together. When you hurt others you hurt yourself. So stop fighting and start loving! Peace.

Johanna Dauphin´s  Los Angeles

BEST IN SHOW
Best restaurants: Pace in Laurel Canyon is super cosy, a place where you bring the whole family. Gracias Madre for lunch and when in Malibu Cafe Habana. But I also love the old traditional style such as Beverly Hills hotelBel Air hotel or Sunset Tower, they also have the best bar!

Best places to go with kids: I love the beach, and I always go to Malibu or Topanga. There are some few, well kept secret beaches which seems to be private but are actually public. The ones who finds them are lucky! Another nice thing is to rent bicycles in Venice and bike along the boardwalk. Forget about Disneyland but visit any of the museums of LA, they are great!

Best Saturday hangout: Malibu or Venice, you are either a west or east person, and I am definitely a west girl. So usually we hang out west. Even Venice is nice, perhaps less for the beach but for the skate park and crazy, wild people around. It´s a vibe of freedom in the air, that somehow feels refreshing and real. Then you have Abbot Kinney and so many other places that are just super cute. But the massinvasion is turning Venice in to a new Santa Monica, which is somehow very tragic. Topanga
is also cool! Beach life, hiking or just hanging around.

Best vintage: There are so many! As a designer you know them all, but rather than going to single stores you also visit the shows, that includes many stores best pieces.
If I should choose one store it would be Scout on Melrose, I am there almost every 2nd week.

Best coffee: Menotti’s coffee stop on Winward Avenue in Venice.
But LA is not really about cosy coffee places…

Johanna Dauphin´s  Los Angeles

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