We had the good fortune of connecting with Winston Harrell Jr. and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Winston, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
When I originally started my business I lived in Chicago. After I graduated Le Cordon Bleu of Chicago I found it impossible to find a job in the culinary industry. Every employer refused to hire a person like me with a culinary degree. So I decided to relocate to another city. I moved to a unknown place with No family, no friends and no job and no car.
One week after moving to Atlanta Georgia I found a job in Alpharetta Georgia working as a cook in a nursing home. This was my first fully paid job as a professional Chef.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always had a creative mind but it really wasn’t until I moved to Phoenix Arizona that I discovered my true potential as a artist and illustrator. After many Art classes and more illustration training at the Art institute of Phoenix I created a series of illustrations. I am most proud of my first series “ The Power of Arizona “ this six piece series reflects my vision of the Arizona landscape. It exhibits my unique combination of animation and intricate and detail artwork. This was a monumental task for me. and is to date one of my favorites. In this series I wanted the world to see the Arizona landscape as I saw it.

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?
Phoenix has some really great places to to visit and experience the landscape of the southwest. The Phoenix art museum and gallery is a great place to explore local talents. The street side vendor Art fairs on 2nd Friday’s can be a real blast. Superstition Mountains can be really beautiful in the early Spring….

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?
After completing Culinary School in Chicago Illinois I decided to upgrade my computer skills and learn more about digital illustration. In 2002 I enrolled in the Visual Arts and Communications program at Westwood College Atlanta. Three of my former instructors really left a true mark on my development as a artist and illustrator. Debbie Rivera, Tanacha Gains and Dave Coutts from the Art institute of Phoenix. All three of these instructors never once gave up on me as I had to overcome tremendous obstacles learning how to use all the various programs necessary to become a Graphic Designer. They helped mold me into the Artist I am today.

Website: https://www.directoryofillustration.com/WinstonMHarrell

Instagram: winston_harrell

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.