Meet Kristin Maija Peterson 💃 Visual Artist

Kristin Maija Peterson, Visual Artist

Visual Artist I Graphic Designer I Writer I Beauty Hunter and Environmentalist I Collaborator I Loves Meaningful Conversations, Good Stories, (and Puppies!)

Eagan MN US

Sade’s “Hang On To Your Love”

My Mojo

I love Lisa Townsend‘s approach to telling her mojo story that I decided to use the same question-answer format.

How would you define your mojo?

Mojo is showing up as your true self, not through the lens of how others expect you to be, or you assume they want you to think and behave. It’s pure acceptance and love of who you are as a human being and being able to love and accept others for who they are even if they drive you bonkers sometimes. It is a life force. It’s also having convictions in what you believe and value.

Have you always had mojo?

Oh, hell, no. Thinking back when and how mojo appeared in my life, there is a common thread. It’s always been in times of genuine camaraderie. It’s being thrown into a new situation with new people, finding friends who know how to tease you just right that you don’t take yourself too seriously and are there with a shoulder when you are hurting. In time you gather a bunch of private jokes and stories that connect you like glue. This is where I thrived.

While these early experiences with my mojo were formative, my mojo has shifted through the years and times when my mojo would be absent all together. My life partner is an entrepreneur in the truest sense, and that means taking risks. We had three mortgages out on our house to finance his venture while in the process of raising capital and putting a son through college. As other twists of fate happened, we lost our home, our credit, our stability, as many did during the Great Recession / Housing Debacle in 2008.

If we did not have resourceful friends, we would have been homeless. The irony is that I was so busy with client project work and yet, it was not enough. Banks were hell-bent on foreclosure and refused to work with homeowners behind in their mortgages.

Since then, we have moved seven times in 12 years. We mended our credit, but again, it took 12 years to do so. Things are much better now. As scary as those times were, in the end, they were a gift. I have more compassion and empathy for people. I cannot judge because I have no idea what that person has gone through or what they are currently dealing with on any given day.

It was really tough calling my mojo back. The first was carving out space for creating art in the tiny shoebox townhome we were renting. I set up a table in our bedroom. It became an alter place where I would conduct my art practice and start finding a clear direction.

The second was realizing my happiness, worth, and success is not tied to my partner, nor is his happiness, worth, and success is tied to mine. In other words, we support, love, and celebrate all that we are and do together, but we are also individual people.

I am still hoping to find my mojo that comes from genuine camaraderie. I think as the struggles of the past 12 years are closing, and as I can open up, not be afraid all the time, the mojo I crave may just find me when I am not looking.

If your mojo was a color/animal/place, what would that be?

  • Color: Coral Pink. I was never a big fan of pinks, and I’m not a girly girl, but lately, I am drawn to it. It’s an unapologetic way of saying I am not all boots and blue jeans.
  • Animal: A horse. Specifically, a spirited painted mustang. Besides, mustangs have stocker legs, just like I have.
  • Place: An old-growth forest with a creek running through it.

What does your mojo help you do?

Be true to me. Make better decisions. As I was telling Kelly and Village, it helped me take the leap from working for clients to taking on my vocation as a visual artist full-time.

Is your mojo around all the time?

It’s showing up a bit more these days – sometimes it sneaks in around the corner to say hi, I’m here. Other times, it’s a full-on bear hug. I am more likely to ask for what I want and say no to what doesn’t serve me. I’ll see how it goes as things open up post-COVID where I can fully join in the world again.


When do you feel your mojo most?

There are three places I can name. One, when I am just past the point of the anxious beginning of a new painting (or drawing) where things start to gel, and flow sets in. I pretty much forget to eat and lose track of time. It’s total bliss. Second, hanging out with my partner, going on a day trip somewhere, getting lost in our own fun exploration, and back and forth banter. We have some deep conversations when we are away from home. Third, it’s the place I mentioned. Walking through an old-growth forest, feeling that this is where I should be, right here, right now. I am complete.

More About Kristin Maija

After 25 years as a graphic designer, I have transitioned into my vocation as a visual artist, conducting a studio art practice and showing my work. Mediums include watercolor, graphite and color pencil, pen and ink, printmaking, and the book arts. I also write and often craft stories to accompany my artwork. The underlining theme of my work is to reveal the unexpected beauty in wild and messy spaces I discover in the natural world with the belief that if people find something beautiful, they will want to protect it. The audacious idea is to be able to use my work to create spaces for dialogue around climate change and ways we can all come together to form resilient and equitable lives, not just for humans but for all life on earth. 


Where to Find Kristin Maija 

Join us for one of our Athena Village Salons or AHA Conversations