We had the good fortune of connecting with Paige Howell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paige, what makes you happy? Why?
Creative freedom is what makes me the happiest! Being able to gather inspiration from my surroundings and then create something totally new from it brings me so much excitement and fulfillment. Seeing other artists create such unique and incredible art also gets me super stoked. Also, coffee and my cats.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started dabbling in landscape photography when I was in high school. I remember getting my first “real” camera and getting lost in the desert for hours just trying to get the weirdest and coolest shots of the landscape around me. I would post them online and slowly started to build a following and was able to meet more people with similar interests which was so exciting to me. I’ve been photographing the desert ever since and have made so many amazing relationships with other artists throughout the years. I have been selling my prints online, as well as selling them in Action Ride Shop in Mesa, AZ. I’m really excited to create and share more of my love for the Arizona desert this year and see where this journey takes me. Last year was a tough one creatively and in many other ways, as I’m sure it was for a lot of other people. I felt like I lost a little bit of my spark and love for photography due to focusing on other personal issues. However, I am grateful for that time because it made me realize how much I missed using my creativity and sharing it. I’ve realized that doing what makes you happy is ultimately what makes life worth living.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would say for anyone visiting Arizona (as long as it’s not during the peak of summer when it’s 115 degrees outside) the hiking and scenery is really what makes it so special. Brown’s Ranch, Tom’s Thumb, and Pinnacle Peak are some of my all time favorite trails in Scottsdale. The superstition mountains and the salt river are also incredibly beautiful places to explore when the weather is nice. Papago park, south mountain, and Arcosanti are some great places to see too that don’t require too much hiking and are great places to sight see. I love antique shopping, so some of my favorites around town include the Brass Armadillo and the Antique Treasure Trove (be prepared, you might be lost in there for hours.) There’s also lots of great miscellaneous shops in Cave Creek and Old Town Scottsdale that have lots of unique southwest goodies. As for food, some of my favorite places to eat here in the valley are Valle Luna and El Encanto. When it comes to sweets, Rock Springs Cafe and Novel ice cream are some of my all time favorites. Also the pie at Rock Springs is well worth the mini road trip up north, I promise. If you’re looking for some quality coffee, Cartel is always a great choice. If you’re willing to travel a little bit out of the city, the little towns of Bisbee and Jerome are some of my favorite places to explore. So much to see, haunted buildings, history, great food, and so many solid antique stores!
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?
Having amazing people in my life who have always supported me is really where I get my drive to keep doing what I enjoy most. My parents have always been my biggest cheerleaders and I don’t know where I would be without their love and support. My best friend Gaby Paul who has always encouraged me to keep pursuing photography and has always shown me so much love since the day I met her. She inspires me every day with her hard work, dedication, passion, and incredible amount of creativity. Having her friendship has re-sparked my excitement and passion for photography and the desert, so for that I am forever grateful. Also meeting so many amazing people from all over through Instagram has been really awesome. I love seeing other artists create and do what they love, it brightens my day and is always so inspiring to see. Also a huge thank you to Jacob Ramirez, owner of Sketch Brand & Co, for always supporting me and being able to collaborate with him over the years has been the absolute coolest. He’s an insanely talented graphic designer here in Phoenix who I have had the great pleasure of knowing and working with on various projects with. I am so grateful for his endless support and for being such a great friend too.