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.

Kia Black | Fiber Artist & Graphic Designer

I was raised in a musical home where education of all subjects was just as important as our creative classes and extracurricular activities. I’ve always loved to create and knew I would go to study some sort of design at college. I chose to study graphic design at Brigham Young University. I loved it so much! It was the perfect degree to learn how to visually communicate everything! I focused most of my time on web and app development with a few fun classes on other topics of design. Towards the end of my bachelors degree I took a textiles class and it reminded me how much I loved the hands on process that went into making the final textile product whether it was clothes, bedding, or home decor. Read more>>

JJ Johnston | Executive Artistic Director

I was drawn to be a professional artist at a fairly young age. While I had always been quite creative and imaginative (performing self-produced puppet shows, creating elaborate soap operas with my action figures, drawing huge scrolling panoramic stories on entire legal pads), it was in seventh grade when I found myself drawn so strongly to theatre. I was attending a school performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to see a friend in the show, and right then and there I fell in love with live performance. The next year I auditioned for the school play and from there on out I was very active in the theatre department. Read more>>

Steven Ramirez | Artist & Designer

I wanted to push the boundaries of what a typical artist looks like. As children we are taught that an artist must be good at drawing or really good at painting a canvas, these are the stereotypes that comes along with the label of “artist”. I had a passion for art but I was also just as passionate about mechanical technology as well as computer technology. I pursued all three by unconventional means of hands on trial and error. I even declared myself an artist before I was ever actually an “artist”. My young naïve confidence allowed me to fail without giving up. I had a strong desire to build things that have never been made before, and that desire has only become more complex. Read more>>

Michael Perea | Photographer

I decided to pursue a creative career because it was something that always made me happy. As a little kid I would be doing all types of creative things whether it be drawings, or paintings I always always doing something creatively and it made me happy, the number one thing that I loved doing was photography. I would always be the one taking photos on the old family family camera of our road trips, of nature etc. As I got older I decided to pursue my interests that I had as a child, and it got me many places I could’ve never imagined. Read more>>