Rochelle Johnson was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, where she discovered her passion for drawing at an early age. As a child, she discovered the work of Lois Mailou Jones and Jacob Lawrence. In 1989, Johnson enrolled at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, where she learned to create stories using oils and watercolors. She attained a degree in Illustration.
In 1992, she moved to Seattle, Washington, and returned to Denver, eventually resuming pursuing the idea of storytelling through painting. Today, Johnson continues to develop her unique storytelling style and has added to her accomplishments as a curator. In 2017, she curated Inclusion: Diverse Voices of the Modern West at the McNichols Civic Center Building in Denver, Colorado, and in December 2018, she curated The Search Within Daughter of the Diaspora at the Western Colorado Center of the Art in Grand Junction, Colorado. Johnson is currently a graduate candidate at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.