IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…NEVER QUIT DREAMING The Story of Anthony Baumann by Chicago Portrait Photographer Shawn Kinney

Say hello to Anthony C Baumann (facebook) as he opens up about his life journey to play music. He showed up by his favorite mode of transportation, on his 2015 Ultra Harley Davidson. Here are the two bands he is currently playing in St. Stephen’s Whiskey and Phat Kiss


Chicago Portrait Photographer
Don’t give up on your dream. Its never to late to take the 1st step”

So this is where you grow up, how old were you when you left? I was 9 when I left. I moved to Florida with my mother and 2 bothers. She just wanted a better life away from the city for us kids. I lasted 2-3 years and I had to come back, I truly missed the city. Eventually all the kids gravitated back to the city and my mother ended staying in Florida.

 

As a kid what did you dream about becoming when you grew up? A Musician. All my life from day one! I guess it started from the effluence of the cartoons. I grew up in 70’s and all the cartoons had bands in them, they were all rock stars. Thats the first thing we did as kids, my dad bought us all instruments. One brother played electric guitar, the other played bass and I played drums.

 

Did your parents encourage you to be creative? Oh ya. I guess our grandparents were also musicians. They passed away when I was young, so I guess it was just in our blood. Our dad was like go for it and bought us all instruments. My brothers and I joined every band in school and still to this day my brother and I play in a band together. Nothing better then rocking out with your brother.

At this point in your life, are you happy where you are at? Yes. Music has taken me everywhere. I have been all over the world. I have played Carnage Hall, Chicago Theater, Ground Zero memorial (911 site in NY) and on several cd’s. I have meet so many amazing people and without music no of it would have ever happened.

 


If there is one significant thing in your life right now you could change, what would it be? I would love be in a professional touring band and I will never give that dream up. I am still hoping that I’ll find the right spot for myself in a band that can take it to the next level.

 

Can you share one of your most vivid childhood memories? The house was always haunted. We were defiantly afraid of this place. We lived here with our grandparents and they passed away when I was 7. Not sure if it was just a kids imagination but we would hear people walking up and down the stairs all the time. There was a secret room in the basement. It was a small storage area were my grandfather would keep all his stuff and I was defiantly afraid to go back there.

 

What accomplishment are you most proud of? That I was able to touch some many different people through my music.

Who are your Music Idols/First concert? Bonham, Moon, Neil Purt and of course Dave Grohl(hew just knocked out of the park). I saw Iron Maiden in 1982 at Navy Pier when they played ChicagoFest and they played it for free. I found out thy were playing from a couple kids talking in school. I didn’t really know anyone so I went by myself.

 

What has been the biggest obstacle in pursuing music? I would have to say finding the right people in life. Finding people with similar likes and similar goals. Thats why it is so hard to keep bands together. Everyone is their own artist and they have their own goals in mind.

 

Do you have any advice for those people struggling with the dreaded 9 to 5? Don’t give up on your dream. You got to make yourself happy first. If your not happy then move on. You don’t have to be stuck, go out and find something you like to do. I know its a scaring thing and the first step is the hardest thing to do. But you have to do it! Its never to late to take the first step.

 

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self? Practice, practice and more practice. I took a hiatus when I was a kid. I bounced around lot in between different things of interest when I was younger. There was a period of about 20 years of when I didn’t pick up the sticks. I was a semi professional hockey player for a while. I actually didn’t get real job until I was 30. After high school I got a part time job and started skating again, that landed me a job teaching at Addison park district teaching the kids how to play hockey. From there I got a tryout with a semipro team and eventually got signed by LA and went to minor leagues. After the season I came and continued coaching the kids. That lasted about 10 years and man did I love it. So I would say to my younger self practice, practice and focus more on music. If you have that one dream don’t let the distraction of life derail you.

 

Thanks for sharing Anthony and I hope this shows everyone that its never to late to live the life you deserve. More of my work can be view  at www.shawnkinney.com

IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…NEVER QUIT DREAMING The Story of Ambler

Say hello to Ambler(facebook) as she explains her journey of transformation and how turning 40 was the happiest year of her life. 

I turned 40 in May 2008. I had already lost 90 lbs at that point and had 10 lbs more to go. In June, on a Sunday, I ran my first triathlon. On Monday I had a colonoscopy and on Wednesday I stepped on the Ice for the first time in my life. Welcome to 40.

Chicago Portrait Photographer
My motto is never pass up an opportunity!! 

 

Where did you grow up? I grew up in a condo in a suburb on the South side of Toledo, Ohio. My dad was a Longshoreman. He left really early in the morning for work, would be home by 3 o’clock and then it was naptime. Dinner was on the table by 5 and the game shows went on the TV, so the typical middle class blue-collar family life.

 

  

 

As a kid what did you dream about becoming when you grew up? A Marine Biologist. From the time I was about 4 years and I saw my first whale. That continued until college when I flunked Biology and I realized that was not for me.  College wasn’t a total bust as it was my undergrad degree in writing that lead me into Hockey.   

 

 

Did your parents encourage you to be creative? My mom and dad were of the mindset of you go to school, you work hard, get married, buy your house and have your kids. They were pretty traditional. 


At this point in your life, are you happy where you are at? I can honestly say that the year I turned 40 by far was has been the happiest year of my life. It’s when I lost weight, started playing hockey and gained a ton of friends.

 



If there is one significant thing in your life right now you could change, what would it be? I wouldn’t change anything, because if I did, I wouldn’t be who I am today. 

 

 

Can you share one of your most vivid childhood memories? This was when I was in maybe 2nd or 3rd grade.  I was outside with my friends playing in the cornfield behind my house and lost track of time. I had no idea that my mom had been calling me for dinner. I finally realized it was getting dark, so I ran back home. I get in the house and my dad is there. He says, “You are in so much trouble right now. Go and wash your hands for dinner.” As I am washing my hands, I am shaking and I’m thinking to myself,  ‘I am in so much trouble right now.” As I walk out of the bathroom, I hear my dad say to my mom, “What are you talking about? She’s in the bathroom washing her hands.” I just realized my dad totally covered for me. When I got to the table for dinner, he looked at me and said, “Now you have to eat your mashed potatoes.” The thing is, he loved mashed potatoes. We had them with every meal and I wasn’t a real big fan. So that night, I ate my mashed potatoes. 

 

What accomplishment are you most proud of? I started playing hockey at the age of 40 and just a year later I was coaching. I met so many other adults in the same situation I’d been in when I first started I thought I had an opportunity to help people avoid what I’d experienced  – wanting to play, but not really have a place to go. So I started an instructional league with 11 people 5 years ago and now almost 500 people have been through my program. 

 

What has been the biggest obstacle you came across getting into hockey? The lack of coaching for adults with no hockey experience. When I joined my first hockey clinic, I was on the ice with about 40 people, all men. The entire time, all the coach says to me is “skate faster.” I don’t know how to stop. I don’t know how to turn or to do anything on skates and all he kept saying to me was skate faster. I kept running into the boards, or falling down, everyone laughing at me. It was humiliating. I spent the next week going to open skate in order to teach myself how to stop. All along I had this fantasy in my head of snowing the coach at the next clinic. So the next week, I get to the hockey clinic and there are about 10 people there and a new coach. The first thing he does is teaches us how to stop. That’s when I thought to myself this is ridiculous and in that moment I know what kind of hockey coach I’d want to be. Now that I have my instructional league, the very first thing I ask is who doesn’t know how to stop. We teach them to stop before going on to anything else. 

 

What has been the biggest change in your life after finding your happy place? Probably getting divorced. About 2 years after I started playing, I guess I changed too much. The ironic thing is our relationship was all about taking chances and growing together. We would always jump at new opportunities, but this time I jumped and he didn’t. That led to my husband and I growing apart. It was a very successful 23-year relationship, but it got to the point where he didn’t recognize the person he fell in love with anymore and he had to move on. We were ok with that. He needed to be where he was happy and I needed to be where I was happy and this is where I am happy. 

 

Do you have any advice for those people struggling with the dreaded 9 to 5? Well I don’t have a dreaded 9 to 5. I love to teach. I teach where other people don’t want to teach on the South Side of Chicago. I teach 7th grade science, social studies and reading. Don’t get me wrong, it has its bad days. There are days that I feel like I didn’t do anything meaningful, but those days are out-weighed by the good days. Hockey is a part time job for me, but is such a huge part of my life. Since it’s only a part time job, so many people ask me why I put so much time into it. Well the reason is, when I see the smiles on the faces of players that go through my program, it gives such a intrinsic satisfaction knowing that I had something to do with that. I have also met so many amazing people. Some have become my dearest friends and I would not have that if I didn’t start this program. It is a passion and if you do something that you are passionate about, the time is always worth it. 

 

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self? My motto is never pass up an opportunity!!  You’re going to do what you’re going to do and it will all work out in the end. If something comes your way, you figure out how to make it work. I read something recently that said something like “people like to say ‘I can’t.’ But its not that they can’t, its just that they don’t really want to.”  

 

Thanks for sharing Ambler and I hope this shows everyone that its never to late to live the life you deserve. More of my work can be view  at www.shawnkinney.com

IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…NEVER QUIT DREAMING The Story of Photographer Jeff DeLaCruz

Meet Jeff DeLaCruz, a good friend and a very talented Chicago based fashion photographer. 
 
His work can be viewed on facebook @ Jeff DeLaCruz Photography  and his website @ http://www.JeffDelaCruz.com/. He also has a successful product photography company called  POW  Product On White Photography. It was created as a way to help small business and start ups get better product photography for new e-commerce websites.  The ironic thing about our friendship is that he is a photographer originally from Lacey, Wa that ended up in Chicago and I am a photographer originally from Chicago that ended up in Lacey, Wa. Who knows, maybe we will be neighbors again soon. 
“After all those years of struggling, I’ve finally created a photography business that people love and helps people who dare to dream of creating a business for themselves.”


This is the home you grew up in. How old were you when you moved out? 

We moved here when I was 5 and I lived here up until I left for the Army when I was 17. I enlisted in the early entry program and I left for boot camp right after I graduated high school. I came back home after basic training and pretty much after any big changes in my life. I moved back home after basic training for a short time I ended up leaving for college.  When school didn’t work out I moved back home again.  After a while of being at home, I moved down to Santa Barbra. Shortly after that I ended up going to Iraq for the Army. After Iraq, I moved back home again. Home has always been kind of a safety net for me. Knowing I could always go home if needed was a good feeling and really allowed me to chase after me dreams.
As a kid what did you dream about being when you grew up? 
When I was younger I wanted to be a creative writer. It was something I always had an interest in. Even with that I was always taking pictures but never really thought of photography as a career. Besides, I was never really close with my real father and he was a photographer. Him being a photographer made me not want to have anything to do with it. For some reason I just kept shooting and I really enjoyed it. The want to be a creative writer never left me so I went to college for writing right after basic training. It was a terrible experience. I realized I was not a naturally gifted writer and I didn’t have the stamina to write a novel. Even while in school for writing, for some reason I kept shooting. I even had a dark room in my friend’s garage. I tried to get into the film program in Western, Wa. When Western wouldn’t let me into the film program I ended up moving back home to try and figure out my next step in life. While at home this time I took a photo class at the community college. I thought if I am going to do this, (pursue photography) I have to go to the best school and surround myself with the best people. I wanted to be the best photographer that I could be. In my mind, that meant go to the best school.  I decided on Brooks Institute in Santa Barbra. They were the most technical school in my opinion. The other schools I looked at taught more about the art of photography. I figured I was already taking artistic photos, so I needed to be as technical behind the camera as I could be. After all, I wanted to make money as a photographer.

I have always lived under the idea you have to be all in. I know I couldn’t work a side job while going to school, so I went full time and immersed myself in photography. I feel you can’t be successful if you are not all in because you will have these other things pulling at you. You need to be able to focus on that one thing. I  also think you need that fire under your ass. If you don’t have any other source of income you will find a way to make it with photographer or what that one thing your passionate about.

Did your parents encourage you to be creative? 

My mom said that whatever I do she will always love me. She was always super supportive and proud of whatever I was doing.  She still has some of my first photos hanging on the walls.
At this point in your life are you happy where you are? 

Sometime I am and sometimes I am not. It’s been a pretty hard road. I had to go to the Army in order to go to photography school. Even with that, I have a mound of school debt. I worked through the recession as a photographer, which was extremely difficult. I made it through all that and I am still here. I have a product photography business that generates a steady stream of revenue and I am proud of what I have accomplished as a photographer so far.

“I don’t know, am I happy? Well, it is kind of complicated…. LOL!”


If there is one significant thing in your life right now that you could change, what would it be? 

 

How about a few changes? I wish I didn’t have so much debt. I wish I could take back the recession. I wish we never switch to Digital photography. It just seems photography has become so devalued. Everyone with a digital camera thinks they can do the job themselves.

Eventually, I want to get more into the multimedia industry. Something like motion graphics.

What is one of your most vivid childhood memories? 
I don’t know, my memory is pretty bad, which is probably why I became a photographer.  I clearly don’t remember anything until I was at least four.  Apparently, there was some pretty rocky beginnings prior to that time.  Perhaps, my first memories are of my little sister Becki, who was born around that time.  I remember holding her and playing with her. She’s always been very special to me.  Faded memories, like an un-coated type 55 Polaroid
What accomplishment are you most proud of? 
From a survival stand point, there a few key things that I’ve done in my life that I feel that I’m proud of.  First, was surviving the Iraq War.  I was soldier back in 2004 right after the invasion and Baghdad which was a dicey place to be.  I  joined the reserves when I was 17 to help pay for college.  In 2001, on my first day of school at Brooks Institute of Photography I watched the towers fall as I was packing up my books to head to class in the morning.  Less than 2 years later I was packing my duffel bags and hugging my college friends goodbye.  
 
When I returned in 2005, I did very little except exist and drink, but finally went back to school a year later and finished my degree at the beginning of 2007.  This is moment number 2 I was most proud of; being the first person in my family to graduate from college and with highest honors.  
 
After that, I moved to Chicago.  Things were great, then things got bad.  As a young freelancer in Chicago between 2008 – 2010, life was hard, as it was for a lot of people during the recession.  Somehow, I managed to keep shooting as a photographer and didn’t give up through those extremely difficult years.  After surviving those terrible years and not giving up, there are many people that I know who should feel as proud as I do.  
 
Finally, as of July 26th, a business that I started during the heart of the recession years hits it’s third year.  POW  Product On White Photography was created as a way to help small business and start-ups get better product photography for new eCommerce websites.  I’m crazy proud of what we do there and I can’t believe that after all those years of struggling I’ve finally created a photography business that people love.  It helps people who dare to dream of creating a business for themselves.  
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self? 

Don’t join the Army, that was kind of a foolish idea. Please try not to accumulate so much debt.

 

IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…NEVER QUIT DREAMING The Story of Christina Shock

Meet Christina Schock. A friend and very talented makeup-hair artist. Her work can be viewed on facebook @ SchockMakeup and her website @ http://www.schockmakeup.com/
Don’t get so distracted and stay focussed, always believe in yourself and never give up, even when others don’t!!! .
So this is the home you grew up in. How old were you when you moved out? 
I lived there my whole life. From the moment I was born and they brought my home from the hospital. To the moment I moved out on my own to Seattle, when I was about 20 years old.
As a kid what did you dream about being when you grew up? 
Many different things. It would always change but it always be something creative. I wanted to be a make-up artist through my preteen years and when I was younger I wanted to be an artist, actor and even a musician. Until I realized it was really difficult to play an instrument, LOL. Playing an instrument just didn’t come the easily to me and that was when I realized I was a much more a visual person. Which lead into photography. Which I still do and enjoy from time to time.
Did your parents encourage you to be creative? 

It was a little bit of both. I am really happy that my mother always encouraged me to be creative. I always had crayons, markers paper and she taught me how to sew. She really encouraged me to do what ever I wanted do. She always said I could be anything I really wanted to be. That of course was until I reached high school and she was like you need to get a job LOL. So there was both sides. Be creative but don’t forget to be responsible.  I ended up going to College for Photography and Video but still ended up pursuing hair/make-up. I remember when I was a little girl I used to take my moms magazines and with my pens and markers I would draw more eye liner and play with people’s eyebrows in the magazine. It was fun to see how they would look differently when I changed their make-up, eyebrows and bigger eye leashes.
At this point in your life are you happy were you are at? 

Umm….kind of back and forth. In a way I am happy with all the things I accomplished so far. By no means I am done and I want to go further with it. I put it slightly on pause to have a child which I am truly grateful and happy I did, but there is still more to come. Just because you have to pause for a moment it doesn’t mean you have to stop dreaming or pursing your passion. It just means it might be a slightly different path then you originally start out on.

If there is one significant thing in your life right now you could change what would it be? 

 


I wish right now I was in a bigger market for what I do. I moved back to Seattle from LA to be with my family while my husband and I raise our child. I feel when I moved to LA my career really took off. I am now trying to figure out what the next step might be. Don’t get me wrong moving back to Seattle was the right move for us at this point in our lives and I am happy we did it.
One of your most vivid childhood memories? 
My cousin and I were obsessed with the band Kiss.  Around the age of 10 we would make guitars out different things and we would do our make-up to look like them. We would perform concerts in our living room and make our mothers be the audience. I was always Paul Stanley and my cousin would go back between Peter Criss and Gene Simmons. He really wanted to be Ace Frehley but not only for the fact I couldn’t do the star, we also didn’t have any silver make-up. We would spend hours in front of the mirror practicing before our big living room gigs.
What accomplishment are you most proud of? 
It has to be in 2010 when my work made it onto a billboard and it was totally unexpected. My roommate called me when I was out of town and was like I just saw that photo you worked on a billboard. It was such an awesome feeling when I flew back into to town and got to drive by and see it.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self? 
To not get so distracted and stay focussed. I knew I always wanted to do something creative and I eventually got there. It was just such a hard journey, as it should be. Anything worthwhile doesn’t come easy. I feel it is so easy to say its to hard and just give up and et a regular 9 to 5 job. I fell into trap  for a brief period of time. A couple years passed but thankfully I was able to refocus and continue on that creative path. I have to say you always believe in yourself and never give up, even when others don’t!!!

IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…NEVER QUIT DREAMING The Story of Bryan Campbell

Bryan is a director base out of Seattle Wa. He has been writing, directing and assistant directing in the corporate and independent film community for more than nine years. His work can be viewed @ http://goldenboydigital.com/

If you have a dream, it’s never unattainable. Never forget that your dream is reachable even when it feels really far away. Always keep going and never give up!!



So this is the home you grew up in. How old were you when you moved out? 

I was a “YoYo” kid, I would move in and out of my parents home a bunch of times. I was 17-18  the first time I moved out and that was to live in the dorms on the UW campus. I ended up dropping out of school and moved back home. I then moved out to live with my girlfriend only to move back home after we broke up. I then finally moved out on my own. I started dating another girl and we moved in together and got a bigger place, when that didn’t work out  I of course moved back home LOL. The last time I moved out was when I started going to the Art Institute and l lived in student housing. But when The Art Institute  found out I had a roommate when I wasn’t supposed to they kick me out and once again I moved back home and this time I stayed home for awhile. My parents really did me a HUGE favor by allowing me to stay for a while. After all living at home wasn’t so bad. It gave me the opportunity to focus on my career. I was able to take low or non paying gigs that really helped establish my portfolio and gain experience while not having to worry about how to pay the rent or worry about were my next meal came from.

As a kid what did you dream about being when you grew up? 

I always dreamed about making films. That was always my desire. I always wanted to be a director. However there was a point in my life when being a director felt like a pipe dream. It felt really far away and sort of unattainable. But I also knew I couldn’t work a 9 to 5. I never really never had a passion for anything other then films. There came a point when I realized I needed to get my shit together, go back to school and really chase down this dream. Do everything I could do to make this a reality. So I went at it 100% and  I wasn’t going to quit! That is the attitude I needed to have in order to make this a reality.

Did your parents encourage you to be creative? 

They were very much about do what you want to do. Follow the path you want to follow and we will support you in what ever you choose. They took a very hands off approach, they never pushed us do anything we didn’t want to do, as long as we were excessing and staying healthy. I mean they didn’t let us just do nothing but they made it more about us making the choices for ourselves. Its kind of weird living a life were you are not forced to do stuff. The motivation had to come from within side myself and it made it so I really had to want it to make things a reality. In some ways I think maybe I would  have gone into directing sooner if  I was pushed early in life to finish. If I had someone say no you are not going to drop out of school, you are going to follow through with what you have started. But  on the other hand I don’t think I would have the same kind of drive or desire to do what it I am doing today. My parents allowed me to do it in my own way and on my own terms. I am truly thankful to have had the time to develop this way, it was really good for me. I was around 25 years old when things really started to clicked for me. But a lot of  my success is about my parents being supportive and allowing me to find my own way!

At this point in your life are you happy were you are at? 

I am very happy with what is going on in my life right now.  I was fortunate enough to start directing projects right out of school but I knew I wasn’t the director I wanted to be yet. So I stepped back and took a break from directing. I knew I needed to learn more so I started Assisting Directing. I gave myself 3-4 years of being an assistant director so  I can get real life experience on set. I wanted to see how things are done, see how other directors worked with their actors and their crews. I had the chance to work with some truly talented and amazing people and for that  I feel truly blessed.  I gained a ton of experience in the 4 year time period of being an AD. Then about a year and a half ago I hit a cross roads while working as AD on the set of Portlandia season 3. I knew If I kept working exclusively as an AD, I would end up joined the union as an AD and thats what everyone in the business would see me as. I feel that perception in industry is really important. If everyone thinks that you are this thing you are never going to break out of it. I released that I learned all I was going to learn over the last 4 years as an AD and I needed to get back to directing. I needed to take all this knowledge I have gained and shift it into a project. I needed to change peoples perception of me. Of who I am and what I am capable of doing. After all my dream was not to be a career AD it was to be a Director.



If there is one significant thing in your life right now you could change what would it be? 

Yes. I still AD a little and  I want to get to point in my life were I don’t have to do that anymore.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? 

I am really proud of The Bond. The Bond  was the project  I did when I decide to stop being an AD and get back to being a Director. I was able to raised 40K with $15,000 coming from kickstarter. I saw a fairly large scale short film from inception to completion in a calendar year. It won best narrative short @ Seattle True Independent Film Festival this year. Which is super cool. I have a lot pride in what I was able to do with the amazing team I assembled. I have short called Big Boy coming out soon. It was shot in April so it will be coming out in the next month or two. I am going to submit it to Sundance. I  just shot a music video for Seattle Raper Sadistik for the song Orange off of the Ultraviolet CD.

This is were I first worked with Brian, I shot the BS stills for the video. You can check out all of Bryan’s work @ www.goldenboydigital.com




If you could go back in time, what would be the one thing you would tell your younger self?


I can be so stubborn, so locked into one idea that it takes a lot to change my mind. The only reason I am here doing what I am doing today is that I hit rock bottom and it made me change they way I did things. I couldn’t take anyones advice, I had to learn it for myself. So Maybe not be so stubborn and always remember.
“If you have a dream, it’s never unattainable. Never forget that your dream is reachable even when it feels really far away. Always keep going and never quit!!!”








IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…NEVER QUIT DREAMING The Story of Julian Kosuke

  Julian is a visual artist and a student currently in the progress of attaining his Bachelors of Fine Arts. He has been constantly creating and pushing the boundaries of what we considered art since the age of 13.    His work can be viewed @ Julian Peña Studios

Take risk because  you cant grow with out taking risk, but at the same time be smart about it. In other words think before you jump but you must jump!

So this is the home you grew up in. How old were you when you moved out? 

I was in a hurry to grow up, I first moved out as soon as I gradated from high school.  I lived in Seattle for a year  that didn’t work out so I moved back in with my parents. I then started dating someone and moved out again. That also lasted a year and when that didn’t work I moved back to my parents home one more time. Lol and that was the last time I lived here.

As a kid what did you dream about being when you grew up? 

Originally it was a game & fashion designer. I actually went to school for both and it ended up they just weren’t for me so I dropped out. I do have interest in both still but you know there is math involved so time to move on. Currently I am pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Arts with major in painting & drawing.


What’s a memorable moment from living in your parents home?

I was a trouble maker when I was younger and I butted heads with my stepfather. I would sneak out and in efforts to catch me he installed a camera, a motion detector and flood lights. They were set to go out when I tried to sneak out (which only made my sneakier lol). He also made me get a job when I was 16 which is fine and normal.  But I look back at it and wow I worked at Dairy Queen and saved up enough cash to only buy discounted designer items and markers.

Did your parents encourage you to be creative? 

They did encourage creativity because they always supported my art habit. I have always drawn and painted, mostly drawn. It was a lot of animation as that was my inspiration at the time. However at the same time my mom would say “why don’t you go to school to be a doctor or lawyer, you know something more stable”. But wasn’t really a battle with them. They totally excepted that I am into art and that art is my life and they support me a 100%.

At this point in your life are you happy were you are at? 

I am very happy actually. I have some success with art and I am still in school. I feel I have worked hard in that area and I have a high passion for art & art education. I have particular goals, I do want to be an Art teacher some day but most importantly I want to be a relevant artist…not just any artist I want to be in art history books before I die.


If there is one significant thing in your life right now you could change what would it be? 

Not sure that I would change anything. The good and the bad that is what shaped me into the person I am today. There are something things I wish I didn’t live through but those moments made me a stronger and more resilient person. I more driven driven due to the things I have lived through.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? 

Winning the best artist of South Sound Magazine two years in a row, pulling off successful art shows while still in school and most importantly still being alive!

If you could go back in time, what would be the one thing you would tell your younger self?

Don’t rush to move out & grow up, maybe enjoy the support. Take risk because I feel you cant grow in life with out taking risk. But at the same time be smart about it. I tend to jump in with both feet and that has lead to a few mistakes.

Be on the look out for Julian’s new series The Black Period a series of photographic portraits of subjects that work in the sex industry coming the winter of 2104. “Sometimes I look at the surface to see not only my reflection but what’s underneath…” 

IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…NEVER QUIT DREAMING The Story of HILARY FOLKS

When thinking of our childhood it often brings back thoughts of happiness, having the ability to enjoy without guard and being able to dream without worry of failure. FYI you can still live that way!!!!! 
“Don’t be afraid, everyone dies in the end. Also do more stuff!!!” 

How old were you when you moved from your childhood home?  I left when I was 19/20. My parents sold the house and I got my first apartment on Capital Hill.

What did you dream about being when you grew up?  I wanted to be famous but didn’t really know how.


Any fun or vivid memories from this house?  When I was 3 or 4 years old, my bedroom window was adjacent to the neighbors Jim and Lois driveway. They were a retired couple and in the early mornings, around 5am Jim would back out the driveway to go golfing. He did this everyday without fail and every day I would hop out of bed and run outside to the end of the driveway to wave goodbye and he would give me a piece of candy each time. I loved it. 

Did you parents encourage you to be creative?  My Mom encouraged creativity, she drove me nearly every night to ballet classes and rehearsals, then she encouraged me to pursue a molding career which eventually led to my current career….

When/how did you start your career of being a photo stylist? 2009 I was living in LA teaching yoga when a producer friend asked me to help style a music video with Joel Schumacher. I said yes (of course having no idea what to beyond the basics) and the rest is history. In 2010 I really came into my own, career-wise. By then I had a portfolio of a few different types of styling/costuming for movies, music videos, tv shows etc… and decide that was my niche and ran with it.

Are you happy were you are in life? I am happy yes, i’m not satisfied however, i feel there is so much more to achieve and i feel very capable of doing more, but yeah, I am very happy.

If there is one thing you could change right now what would it be? To move back to LA full time, I am just so much happier there.

If you could go back in time, what would be the one thing you would tell your younger self?  Don’t be afraid, everyone dies in the end and do more things!!!!!

IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…NEVER QUIT DREAMING

To often in life we make the easy decision, the only everyone expects us to make. Growing up in a lower-middle class household on the North side of Chicago, the encouragement to follow your dreams was never there. The conversation of happiness never came up. When the thoughts of future would be discussed it would often led to what job can you get to pay your bills. Take what you can get or don’t worry you will figure it. So art or even creativeness didn’t really exist to me.  So not sure were it came from. Well from what I have learn over the years is that it is in all us and all it needs nurturing. Pick up a camera, a paint brush, a pencil, or a microphone. Don’t doubt yourself until you try it. Not sure how to start? Just do it!!! Phones have cameras, mics, and most have internet connects. Goggle the things that interest you, inspiration is all arounds and is now easier then ever to share with the world. Because that old cliche applies to everything, “If there is no one in the woods and a tree falls does it make any noise?”.  If no one sees our creation did we really create anything? So get up, get out, create and share!! You will be amazed on how it will change you life.

 This was our neighborhood hangout. A 4 way intersection that had a manhole cover at each corner that we converted into our imaginary Wrigley field. Each manhole represented a base and there was even a home run fence in deep center field. This is were we all dreamed of being Big Leaguers, but  what boy didn’t right. However those dreams fade quickly as we all watch our parents struggle to get by. The only discussion about the future were always to find a job preferably a trade, work as much as possible or at least enough to get by. The phrase “Do what you have to do to get by” is something I truly Hate and refuse to say myself. If you are living your life to merely to get by then you are missing the point!!  We are not all going to do something that will change the world but we can all do something to change our part of the world.  When ever  I  would feel stagnate I would ask myself a hypothetical question. If I died today “was I happy with the way I was living the moment I died?” If  I answered NO then it was time for change. It’s not a easy question to ask and a even harder one to answer. Happiness it not just a feeling it is a way of life and it is often a life long journey. As your needs for happiness changes often. So be strong enough to ask that question and even stronger to answer it honestly. People often say things happen for a reason and do nothing to to make those things happen. Things do happen for a reason and that reason is YOU. It will be hard, but it will life changing and I am here to tell you it’s never to late! To live like we did when we were kids. Dream big and do what ever it takes to achieve those dreams. Surround yourself with people that feed those dreams, that encourage you every day to that special thing that you do. What ever it may be. Honestly just think back to what you dreamed about on that street corner and remember how happy that made you feel. Just the action of dreaming made you happy just imagine how following through on those dreams will effect you and the others in your life. I didn’t find my special thing until I picked up a digital camera in 2005. Honestly it changed they way a look at everything. But honestly it wasn’t myself that gave me the courage to search for happiness. It was my dear friend of Toby. He lived his life with no rules, he challenged everything, everyone and constantly challenged me. For that I will for ever be grateful. I just wish he was here to be apart of the journey he pushed my to take. We lost an amazing human being and the best friend anyone could ever have in Oct 2008. He changed and influenced some many lives and never will be forgotten.

 This project is in dedication to him and a reminder not only to myself but hopefully to us all. NEVER QUIT DREAMING!!!!

This a portrait series of adults in front of their childhood homes and is an effort to remind us all to LIVE for more then just this fact of getting by.

 This is the home of my late Grandmother Lorraine Kinney. This is were not only myself but a majority of my cousins built so many good memories.

1. How old was I lived here? Not really sure of the age because he constantly moved to and from here. But I spent a large part of my childhood here.

2. What did I dream about being when I grew up? I was never encouraged to dream about that stuff. It wasn’t until we moved to the suburbs for junior high and I met Toby. He always pushed me to dream for more. We always talked about and dreamed about living on the west coast. The movie Point break really influenced us and made to want to live in CA.

3. When did I discover photography? I always had an interest, just never know you could make a life from being a photographer. I used to take rollls of photos with my point and shoot camera and develop them months later to relive the event and memories I captured. But it wasn’t until 2005 in my late 30’s and I haven’t been able to put it down since. Thing  I love most about photography is that its a constant learning experience. It never gets old and is always presents a new challenge.

4. If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing what would it be? Take more chances, don’t be afraid of failure and always chase downs those dreams despite how crazy they may seem.