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

Hi Devon, how does your business help the community?
Throughout my life, I’ve had the ultimate goal of changing the world through innovation in both traditional business ventures and nonprofits. These goals are a fundamental part of my identity and are integral to my worldview. I seek to learn as much as I possibly can to solve deep-rooted problems. I have a lot of passion for leadership, science, technology, and most importantly–– community. Growing up, I didn’t really know anyone who was involved in these sorts of things. I was low-income and the first in my family to attend college. However, new opportunities opened up when college started. I became a part of a wonderful community that nurtured collaboration and education. During my freshman year of college, I worked with a nonprofit as a public speaker to help raise funds and raise awareness for issues that mattered to me, such as low-income housing. As someone who grew up in less-than-ideal-situations, I know what it’s like to struggle; as such, I always seek to empathize with people and understand where they’re coming from before designing solutions. My love for working with people has made me incredibly passionate about solving problems with innovative thinking and human-centered design.

I was still learning about my opportunities for entrepreneurial endeavors when COVID struck and turned everything upside down. Being sent home felt like losing a community––and online education didn’t feel like the right path for me. So during this tumultuous time period, I decided to take a year-long leave of absence and devote my time to my passion for creating music, taking photos of amazing places, and teaching myself about business. To accomplish all of these things, I decided that I needed hands-on experience, so I started two businesses: one in music, and one in photography. While this happened, I solved problems, learned to work with low funds to advertise effectively, and learned about investment through reading and learning from others (among many other things). Ironically, this devastating circumstance gave me the ability to pursue the things I love while learning so much more about the world of business.

Music and photography, like all other forms of art, are meant to be shared. Music can capture emotions, stories, and ideas like no other medium. It can give people a means of escape from a difficult world and allow people to find peace and joy in everyday life. I write music to make others feel something, and provide these escapes––to make life worth living.

I take photos to capture a moment that will never happen again––and to share that amazing moment with as many other people as possible. I primarily take photos that emphasize the beauty of the Earth and the heavens. These photos serve as reminders and inspiration to preserve, protect, and explore. Particularly, climate change and space exploration are two fields that I plan on devoting my life to making a difference in. These photos remind me of the importance of my goals and keep me centered on what matters most in life.

My music and photography businesses have made some incredible things possible for me—they’ve taught me how to observe the beauty of the universe, interact with incredible people, and advocate for issues that are important to me and my community. And with my knowledge and experience in business, I genuinely hope to change the world.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve fallen in love with music and photography as I’ve grown up. They’ve given me a chance to escape the difficult parts of my life and an opportunity to spend time in nature and with people. They’ve allowed me and numerous others to experience incredible feelings, memories, and moments in time– and they’ve reminded me of the beauty in life. My journey has been long but fruitful, and I’m grateful for where it’s taken me. Like everyone else with passion in the arts, I started from humble beginnings. For my music, it was first learning the violin and spending hours practicing the most simple ideas until my sound went from terrible to bearable. For my photography, it was buying the cheapest camera I could and taking thousands of photos that were out-of-focus,

under/overexposed, or just plain uninteresting. It was a hard process, my fingers didn’t move in the ways I wanted them to and the camera didn’t seem to understand what I was telling it to do––but I was stubborn and persistent.
The inspiring works of others and accessibility of knowledge on the internet were the two things that fueled my obsession and helped me to persevere. I discovered the Beatles just a few weeks before I learned the guitar, and I loved their music. This inspired me to learn to write great music which completely opened up new pathways and possibilities. Likewise, seeing incredible photos made me want to travel and take similar photos. In terms of learning accessibility, YouTube in particular allowed me to learn so much new information about music theory, photography skills, and an assortment of other ideas that propelled my journey forward.

Through an amalgamation of these efforts I wrote a symphony, produced two albums, and developed a large portfolio of unique photos and videos with a story for each and every one of them. Art and knowledge are meant to be shared. Capturing these memories, moments, and feelings has been an incredible experience for me, and my art is meant to be shared, so others can experience their own feelings, moments, and memories in response.

As I’ve learned, you shouldn’t be jealous or intimidated by someone with incredible talent, you should be inspired and driven to do even better––and they would want it no other way. I think that with art, we seek perfectionism, and that can produce incredible things, but one of the most beautiful aspects of art is that it is imperfect and human––and it’s important to remember that.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My answer would definitely depend on the person and how far they would be willing to travel but I’ll just say that San Diego and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer– especially if you enjoy road trips!

Sunday: (Visit the big spots in town)
Start by seeing a sunrise somewhere in the mountains (Ramona, Poway, Julian, etc.)
Go downtown, visit old-town, eat lunch there
Visit seaport village in the day
For sunset, Visit coronado– the ferry landing, the hotel Del, etc
Get dinner there!

If you can, take one of the seal tours
Go to tacos El Gordo for lunch or dinner (get the Adobada tacos)
Visit pacific beach mid-day (especially if it’s sunny!)
Visit La Jolla Cove, have a bonfire there in the evening

Visit the san diego zoo or wild animal park

Hike Potato Chip Rock (start early morning since it gets hot)

Visit Julian and get some Julian apple pie!! (the best there)

Go inland, visit the borrego badlands see the salton sea, the desert view tower (near jacumba)
See slab city!
Get a date shake in the salton sea

Hike the broken hill trail in Torrey Pines in the morning or late afternoon (either during sunrise or sunset)
Visit the gaslamp quarter in the evening and enjoy downtown San Diego’s night life!

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?
My family, my dearest friends, the Harvey Mudd College Community, Community Housing Works, my Acapella group 9th Street Hooligans

Website: https://devonoverbey.smugmug.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ddoverbeyphoto/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DevonOverbey

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ddoverbeyphoto/?ref=pages_you_manage

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQO5-aQa1kBSdKNLls95xbA

Other: Music Linktree: https://linktr.ee/ddoverbey Photography Linktree: https://linktr.ee/ddoverbeyphoto Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3Ra5FBvDPpmKfUZKVA88st?si=Hxz1ZHSyQj2QmZBWExslvA Spotify (playlist profile): https://open.spotify.com/user/devonoverbey?si=065f165e521d4be4 Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/devon-overbey/1487396813 website might soon change to devonoverbeyphotography.com Music Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ddoverbey/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.