Chris Johanson’s How About This?: Diagramming your life

Open Studio: Chris Johanson



collage, drawing, sculpture, mixed media


Paper, watercolor paints, watercolor brush, pens

Download This Activity

PDF | Word Document

Watch Artist Chris Johanson Demonstrate


About Open Studio

Designed by practicing artists, the Open Studio classroom activities aim to connect high school teachers and students with key ideas and issues in contemporary art. See all of the Open Studio activities.


Words like "happy", "rest", "here" and "connected" written in different colors and contained within colorful overlapping shapes

Work by Chris Johanson

Because Everyone Lives Life Their Own Way

I learned about this in a math class for artists, but then I incorporated it into my art in my own way.

  1. Pick a color.
  2. Paint a shape.
  3. Write a thought inside of the shape. Continue to create shapes, with each one intersecting another, and continue to write thoughts inside of those shapes. Do this for a while, because lots of things in your life intersect.
  4. When you are finished, you have created conceptual art. More specifically, that's a picture of your thoughts and your life.

Helpful Vocabulary

Venn Diagram: A diagram that pictorially represents mathematical or logical sets as circles or closed curves within an enclosing rectangle (the universal set); common elements are represented by the areas where the circles overlap.

Conceptual Art: Art in which the idea is more important than the form or style.

Chris Johanson

Chris Johanson

Born in 1968 in San Jose, California
Currently lives in Los Angeles, California

Hi Everyone. I am a professional artist living in Los Angeles at the moment. I have been involved with art making my whole life. I am interested in all art mediums. I play music, paint, make sculptures, curate shows, etc. If you want one, you too can have a fulfilling creative life. Work hard and believe in yourself.

Wishing you the best,


Read more

Projects + Perspectives

Find out more about the people and stories that make up SFMOMA. We love what we do and want to share it with you!