We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Nygren and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Anna, how do you think about risk?
Risk is something that I’ve befriended over the past couple years. When it comes to reaching a new level professionally or personally, risk will always be involved. But I don’t simply jump without looking. I do my best to analyze the situation I’m in and see which risk will take me closer to where I want to be. As a creative, calculated risk is essential and we get the opportunity to take chances with every project and idea. But just like everything in life, there needs to be a balance. Do your best to toe the line between confidence in your work and a few steps outside of your comfort zone. That’s where you’ll meet people that are looking for the same thing and you will be able to surround yourself with those who inspire you to keep going. My biggest risk was dropping out of college. At the time, the aftermath was messy and it was unsettlingly vague which direction I was going. But there were a few things that were certain: I was completely unhappy and I knew that there was more out there for me. Since then, I’ve continued to take smaller impactful risks like networking with creatives and continuing to push myself with each project that I do. There’s one thing I can say confidently about taking my biggest risk so far, it was worth it.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The media that I’m focusing on right now are portrait photography and graphic design. Photography has always caught my eye and it was as simple as making the decision to try it that has led me on an unbelievably dynamic journey. Through photography, I’ve met some of the most inspiring creatives in the Phoenix area. My best friend, Raina Virginia, has created a meet-up group called Quad Shot Meet-up, that has solidified the opportunity for me to learn and connect as a photographer. These connections coupled with a “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” mentality have allowed me to grow immensely. It has led me to work on sets for brand campaigns of pro football players and music videos for A list rappers. My advice is to seek out sets where the professionals are. Work for free when you can, be genuine and make connections. Graphic design was a field that found me. When searching for my field of study, I took a chance and explored the Design Program at ASU. Three years later, I’m about to enter my senior year and am endlessly inspired (not to mention slightly intimidated) by the design world. It’s a craft whose goal is to have a crisp impactful conversation, visually. Learning the skills to be a good designer has strengthened my ability to see and feel how design affects everything we do. It’s encouraged me to be vulnerable and to share my deepest creative thoughts with the world. Will Smith said “everything you want is on the other side of fear”. Every artist feels that fear, has to acknowledge it and then can begin to create. Use fear as an indicator that you’re on the right track and keep going.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Brunch places: Ollie Vaughn’s, Fame, The Collins, Essence Coffee shops: Copperstar, Hava Java, Press, The Coronado Lunch spots: Chop Shop, Sips Coffee Garage, Taco Chello Dinner spots: Barrio Queen (Scottsdale), Thai E San, Joyride, Windsor, Cornish Pasty, Culinary Dropout Drink spots: Joyride, Windsor, Taco Chello, Bar at Valley Ho Hotel and Resort, The Yard, Bitter and Twisted To Do List (not in any specific order) 1. Road trip to Sedona and hike Cathedral Rock 2. Hike Papago Park and watch the sunset 3. Go to Harkins theater at Fashion Square Mall, grab a drink and enjoy a movie 4.Do a drop in yoga or spin class at The Madison and grab a refreshing smoothie at Kaleidoscope’s on site location 5.Check out Wonderspaces (art installation space) at Fashion Square Mall 6. Spend the afternoon at the Phoenix Art Museum, the largest art museum in the Southwest for visual art 7. Check out a downtown farmer’s market on Saturday morning, at Phoenix Public Market and scooter over to Taco Chello for a frozen margarita(s)!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
On a personal note, Matt Watford and Mariam Yazdi were two people that were there for me through one of the most critical times of self-exploration. I would not be where I am if it wasn’t for their support and understanding. In regards to books, there are many that have shaped my mind – The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen – but the one that impacted me the most was Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush It”. Reading his book, it became apparent to me how far away I was from my passion and that in today’s world, the biggest factor standing between you and doing what you love… is you. The book helped me believe in the journey I was on to finding what drives me. Four years later, I can say without a doubt I’m closer than I’ve ever been to doing what I love. But the people that deserve the most credit over these four years are my family, for supporting me through a challenging period of growth and for believing in my creative abilities. I love you with all my heart Dad, Mom and Dora.

Website: https://the-kreativ-type.squarespace.com/work
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thekreativtype/
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/anna-v-nygren

Image Credits
For all the photos with me in them, Raina Virginia Media