We asked some of the city’s leading artists and creatives to tell us about how they decided to pursue an artistic or creative career. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Brooke Shaw | Floral Designer & Owner

My mom was a florist for most of my life growing up. I started loving flowers at a very young age. I remember cutting yellow roses off of her rose bushes and wrapping the stems in wet paper towels to take to my teacher. After High School I started working in the same flower shop my mom worked at. I was taught how to clean and handle flowers as they came in from the wholesalers. Not long after I started, I was shown how to design a dozen red roses in a vase to help with the Valentine’s Day rush, and I was hooked! I loved every minute of putting those roses together. I knew then that designing flowers would be a big part of my life. Read more>>

Diana Calderon | Interdisciplinary Artist & Educator

I pursued a creative career because it was the path I was headed toward organically. I have also been attracted to architecture, design, creative writing, psychology and service, or helping people- but art is an enormous umbrella where I can apply all that love. Choosing a creative career just made sense for me! Read more>>

Sage Eriacho | Intuitive Native Artist & Entrepreneur

I pursued a career in painting because I believed I could have a sustainable and supported lifestyle through my art. I envisioned that my career would help others funnel their creative energy, and had a large amount of support from my family. I always had this inner-guidance that this gift I was born with would take me through many obstacles and barriers that I would most definitely be able to concur in my journey. As of today, I have fulfilled a big part of my life prophecy in creating a small business that is running off the joyful process and energy I carry painting for others on the reservation and around the United States. When I decided to go into this career, I knew that it was more than possible to have a viable lifestyle through my talents. In middle school, I used colored pencils and paper to sketch ideas and doodles. It was from that point forward that a sheet of paper turned to canvases and colored pencils to paint. Read more>>

Ciantha Cranshaw | Co-Owner

One of the beautiful things about working in such a creative industry like skin and hair care is the self expression that people find. They come to us maybe tired from a long week or having been just in a rut but leave feeling like a little piece of their spirit has been lifted when we are done. Being able to learn and get to know people through the years and each one comes in as this beautiful work of art, and they entrust in us to make them look and feel like they can take on anything the world throws at them. I am so grateful for the creative adventure each client brings. Whether they have an important interview they want to look flawless for, the courage to keep the date with the person they swiped right on, or just enjoy relaxing at home feeling pampered and beautiful. I have always been a fan of the arts, and I am so thrilled I get to share my passion with others through ways that make them feel their best selves. Read more>>

Alyssa Morton | Photography & Art

Being creative and artistic is all I know. When I was younger I would constantly be drawing and doodling over everything; I even drew with markers all over my moms car. Drawing and painting has always been an outlet for me; it has always been a way I could let my anxiety and stress go. It taught me how to turn my brain off and tune out my problems. In high school my yearbook teacher Ms. Elwood introduced me to photography as a freshman. Both my parents were photographers when they were younger, but I was never interested until Elwood taught me. She showed me how I could apply my creativity to this magical little device and it lit a huge fire in me. After I graduated in 2015, I have been determined to build my name and brand. Read more>>

Christina Rosepapa | Creative Director & Business Owner

As far back as I can remember I always loved creating things. I had a very active imagination as a child (and still do). Easily bored, I found peace and meaning through art and design. In college I felt that I should have pursued something ‘more important’, such as business. My dad was a successful businessman and I felt the pressure of performance. However I did not have the interest for a ‘practical’ career. I had a dream about being an Illustrator and was inspired by great Illustrators of the past. I went to school in California and had friends in the studios that designed backdrops and characters. At that time, there were few women in the creative field and lack of confidence held me back and I never pursued the Illustrator route. I struggled with finding where I fit with an art degree and felt that having a BA degree in Fine Arts was a waste. However, soon after I graduated college I was hired into a well-known publishing company in California as a book designer. Read more>>

Heather Abbasi | Plus-Size Fashion Model & Content Creator

To put it simply, I wanted to be happy. I have always been a creative extrovert and this was a calling I feel I was always meant to answer. I didn’t expect it to be in fashion and social media but I am so blessed to have found my community and do what I do. It was what I was meant to do. I value my work so much because I get to fight for what is at the core of everything I am, being plus-size. I spent my life in pursuit of creativity and self-expression as a singer/songwriter/plus-model. I deeply love anything artistic and expressive but especially music, fashion, and lifestyle. It has always been a rewarding and satisfying life path. It isn’t always easy but I love the thrill of the challenge. My career has been a great pleasure and a gift. I get to truly express myself through my musical talent, fashion styles, and other lifestyle content and share it with the world. Read more>>

Lauren Castro | Owner & Creative Designer

As a kid, there were two things that were very clear: I was artistic and was great around kids. I decided to become a teacher and in those really stressful years, I found balance in creativity. So here I am pursuing a dream business that helps others find a balance and therapy in art! It’s quite rewarding! Read more>>

Chris Hief

Growing up I was surrounded by artists. I have always looked up to the entertainers in my family… I guess you could say I have always admired their work. I have always chosen the unrealistic approach towards my career choice. Having been heavily involved with theatre in high school, being on a stage was like a second home for me. I was using that medium as an outlet for my budding creativity and it was so therapeutic. Honestly, what made me the happiest was listening to the laughter. It was also hearing the applause at the end of the show, whether it was an off performance or our best one yet, there was always positivity filling the room. I set my sights toward an acting career in my college years as I was going to school for a degree in Business, as well as Film & Media studies. Read more>>