Leigh Patterson, Writer & Creative Director

Leigh Patterson, Writer & Creative Director

Writer and creative director Leigh Patterson’s distinctive sensibility has created campaigns for clients ranging from J. Hannah Jewelry and COS, to The Line Hotel. Leigh is the founder and director of Lucca Studio, a “studio for words, images and ideas,” and author of the soon-to-be-released online interview series turned book, Moon Lists, which to be released by Penguin Random House. Her curiosity and ability to frame ideas visually, as well as her obvious love for what is simple and true quietly remind me that there is no such thing as the mundane, if you pay attention. “I just work. I am grateful to have the flexibility and freedom my job and life allow — so I show up every damn day, both for others and for my own growth and vulnerability.”

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Jane Claire Hervey, Artist & Founder of #BBATX

Jane Claire Hervey, Artist & Founder of #BBATX

"I’m one of those people who feels responsible for being alive, so I feel beholden to productivity." says multidisciplinary creative, Jane Claire Hervey. Jane balances making music with running her own creative production studio, and executive directing #BBATX, the nonprofit she founded in 2015. Her drive and discipline with nurturing so many different creative fields is an inspiring reminder that, "you’ve got to really find success and fulfillment in the act of making and creating itself, or you will lose your fucking mind trying to please people and read into your future." I also particularly appreciate how she discusses the importance of being “responsive to my creative moods,” a welcome reminder that emotional/physical/mental wellbeing can both alleviate and dictate creative flow.

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Olivia Pepper, Mystic & Artist

Olivia Pepper, Mystic & Artist

An almost mythic figure in the Austin art & music scene, mystic artist Olivia Pepper has served as both a support, key artist and community leader for years. A tarot teacher, astrologer, herbalist, mystic, artist & poet, Olivia’s warmth and abundant curiosity shine forth here. From angel channeling to discussing detaching identity from work, Olivia’s insistence on maintaining autonomy and kindness for oneself is a beautiful reminder, as she joyfully states here: “i strive to keep a good name, not speak ill of others, hang evil eye charms on everything in my house and try to get right with god.”

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Jess Williamson, Musician

Jess Williamson, Musician

With an enviably dedicated routine, Jess Williamson makes making a living as a musician look effortless. With three records and several international tours under her belt, Jess’s confidence in her power and creativity shines through: “If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, no one else will. But mostly it’s because this is all I’ve ever wanted to do! I feel grateful and excited to show the world what I’ve been working on,” she says. This palpable delight seeps through her work, particularly in the video “I See The White,” where she dances with four other versions of herself on the beach. In this interview, she beautifully discusses the “spark of inner knowing” when putting work out— a reminder that the answers to most of our anxieties are within us, and simply need to be acknowledged in order to be overcome.

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Mike Manewitz, Photographer and Sound Engineer

Mike Manewitz, Photographer and Sound Engineer

One of the Austin music scene’s most prolific and present participants is indubitably Mike Manewitz. Skilled in both live-sound engineering as well as live-music photography, Mike's unique blend of talent and curiosity has led him to work sound for internationally acclaimed bands at some of the biggest music festivals in the world, something he balances with a passion for photography which has him out shooting almost every night of the week. When he's not working or at his day job, he balances being a father and trying to grow creatively: “A lot of anxiety around my own creative work seems to revolve around perception. Obviously you hope people like your work but you have to be doing work that meets your own standards. Sometimes those standards are impossibly high and you stay hungry all the time trying to reach them. Sometimes that will keep you humble but sometimes it’s a prison. Balancing that and being kind to yourself at the same time is ideal.”

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Veronica Ortuño, Founder and Director of Las Cruxes & Interior Designer

Veronica Ortuño, Founder and Director of Las Cruxes & Interior Designer

Founder and director of the Austin-based boutique Las Cruxes, Veronica Ortuno stays busy. Beyond the Las Cruxes storefront, which showcases Veronica’s remarkable eye for the unexpectedly beautiful when it comes to home goods, independent designer apparel, vintage, and vinyl, the space also serves as both gallery and community space, hosting everything from chess clubs to women’s groups. In addition to this, Veronica manages her own interior design firm, Casa Veronica, which is primarily based in Detroit. Her graciousness with herself as both a business owner and creative person shine brightly, particularly with her response to what her “big dream” is:  “I suppose just intuitively feeling and knowing wholeheartedly where I need to be. No regrets, even in past experiences and choices that at the time maybe weren’t the best for me. Life is so complex and you can learn so much if you open yourself up to it. I try to just enjoy the journey, take the good with the bad, think big and keep manifesting.” 

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Alex Cohen, Musician & Producer

Alex Cohen, Musician & Producer

Since the release of her debut album, This Is Not a Bedroom in 2014, Alex Cohen of Alex Napping and Pema, hasn’t stopped working. Signed to both Father/Daughter Records and Topshelf Records, with 4 albums and an EP under her belt, as well as an array of music videos, Alex's incredible drive and work ethic have proved the maxim, “the harder I work, the luckier I get” truer than ever. However, it's her words on process that display both the effort and resilience required to truly enjoy making things: "enjoying the journey, enjoying the process, for me it’s been a long and hard-won thing, to realize I really do enjoy the process. It obviously is important to me to finish things...but I really do just love to work."

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Murphy Anne Carter, Writer & Director at Freehand Arts Project

Murphy Anne Carter, Writer & Director at Freehand Arts Project

Austin-based writer and activist Murphy Anne Carter truly practices what she preaches. The director of the Freehand Arts Project, a non-profit organization that brings art, writing and literature classes to individuals incarcerated in Texas, Murphy balances a rigorous teaching schedule at the prison, in addition to studying Public Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin. Beyond Murphy's unwavering belief in the power of art and language in the lives of some of America's most underserved individuals, her wonderful motto,  "Discipline is remembering what you want," serves as a reminder for all of us to courageously pursue whatever it is that we love.

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Emi Zehr-Do, Hairstylist, Business Owner, & Social Media & Digital Strategist

Emi Zehr-Do, Hairstylist, Business Owner, & Social Media & Digital Strategist

Austin’s queen of effortlessly chic “cool girl hair,” Emi Zehr-Do has a career in hair that’s spanned stints in Paris, Montreal and New York City. Currently traveling nationally and internationally styling and coloring hair, Emi is fluent in four languages, and has hands in projects ranging from translation and product development, to social media and digital strategy. Additionally, her work been featured by brands such as Verb and Sephora. Beyond her sheer talent and artistry within the beauty industry, Emi's courage in the face of obstacles and graceful outlook are inspiring:  “You just have to find a way to continue to be humble, continue to value yourself, and just be okay with yourself in general. As long as I’m behaving in a way that is matching my intentions, then I don’t stress.”

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Sarah Jasmine Montgomery, Writer & Photographer

Sarah Jasmine Montgomery, Writer & Photographer

A multi-hyphenate, the uber-talented Sarah Jasmine Montgomery is a writer, photographer and artist. From her effortless and intimate portraits of everyone from Chance the Rapper to her friends, she's generated an endless array of media that's been featured everywhere from Complex to Vevo to The Fader. However, it's her incredible work ethic and unique ability to beautifully synthesize ideas both verbally and visually that set her apart. Her thoughts on success are particularly striking: "Success is typically rooted in some kind of capital gain or recognition following production, but the actual product is rarely the point. I create because I like creating, and at this stage in my career it’s all about the work. As long as I enjoy it and am happy with the process, the ebb and flows of other external things don’t really matter to me." 

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Margaret Williamson Bechtold, Creative Consultant, Fashion Stylist & Futurist

Margaret Williamson Bechtold, Creative Consultant, Fashion Stylist & Futurist

A force in Austin’s burgeoning fashion scene, Margaret Williamson Bechtold is a stylist, trend forecaster and creative consultant. She's also the founder of Girls Our Age, a curated zine that collects artwork and writing from millennial self-identified women from around the world. A New York City transplant, Bechtold’s remarkable warmth and generosity of spirit are on full display in this interview. Refreshingly transparent about everything from toxic work relationships  to her unique perspective on the “catch and release” of motivation, she also has one of the most admirably simple “big dreams” I’ve heard, to simply “do what feels right.” 

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Tyler Andere, A&R Rep, Blogger & Influencer

Tyler Andere, A&R Rep, Blogger & Influencer

Tyler Andere doesn’t ever seem to stop moving. One of the initial founders of the influential Portals music blog, they also work as an A&R rep at popular indie record labels Father/Daughter Records and Elestial Sound. In addition to balancing blogging and A&R work, Tyler has quietly helped launch the careers of musicians that have gone on to reach national and international acclaim, such as VagabonMoses SumneyMitski and Lomelda. Incredibly humble and refreshingly genuine, Tyler's commitment to uplifting the stories of marginalized artists and drive for finding music that shows "the pulse of the culture,” is both exemplary and exceptional. 

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Bronwyn Walls, Artist

Bronwyn Walls, Artist

Texas born, New Orleans based artist Bronwyn Walls is only just getting started. A painter, printmaker, illustrator and photographer, her emotional and sensitive work centers around feminist themes, as well as ideas about about healing and spiritual growth. In 2017 along with writer Aleisha Fitzgerald, Bronwyn created a 78-card tarot deck called Mesquite Tarot, a tarot deck with an emphasis on creating an "intuitive and soft space" for the participant. Beyond her sheer productivity and drive to simply create, Bronwyn's grace and willingness to let her work and interests guide her, humbles and inspires. 

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Magdalena Antuña, Editor and Founder of Selva Beat Magazine

Magdalena Antuña, Editor and Founder of Selva Beat Magazine

A self-described “workaholic,” Magdalena Antuña is a former primatologist, turned editor-in-chief and founder of the vegan lifestyle magazine Selva Beat, which serves a community of readers all over the world. Not only is her passion for educating others about a palm-oil free lifestyle inspiring, she's also frank about the challenges of maintaining mental health as a creative person. From discussing the realities of self-care, to her financial mantra: "life is short and beans are cheap," Magdalena is wholeheartedly and refreshingly real. 

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Harrison Anderson, Musician & Photographer

Harrison Anderson, Musician & Photographer

Watching Harrison Anderson grow as both a musician and artist has been an honor. [Full disclosure, I met Harrison at a dinner party that I barely remember when I was 19 years old-- in the five years since then, we've played music together for almost 3 years in several different bands.] Not only has he swiftly become one of Austin's most thoughtful bass players, he is also an emotional and generous photographer. As time wears on, Harrison continually impresses me with his positive attitude, genuine excitement for making things and his remarkable ability to quietly persevere and do the work.

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Libby Webster, Writer

Libby Webster, Writer

In the few years since she moved to Austin, transplant Libby Webster has quietly risen to the forefront of the Austin music scene as a music writer and critic via The Austin Chronicle. Her thoughtful, impactful writing --specifically her article on sexism in music which you can read here-- hits home without ever hitting you over the head. Not only has she written about and interviewed artists such as Mitski and Courtney Barnett, she also works for the reputable label family Secretly Group, which represents musicians ranging from Yoko Ono to Whitney. Her determination and ability to push herself beyond self doubt is a reminder to just keep on keepin' on, or as she says below, "The only way out is through!"

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Ellen Bruxvoort, Fiber Artist

Ellen Bruxvoort, Fiber Artist

A self-taught weaver, Austin, TX based fiber artist Ellen Bruxvoort began making wall hangings in 2014, and immediately fell in love with fiber art. Since then, she's gained a devoted online following not only for her work but also for her personable and engaging writing about both weaving and her life. Additionally she's studied textiles and fiber arts in Peru, and taught online weaving classes for Skillshare.com. Her tenacity to simply "keep showing up" is both remarkable and motivating.

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Cassie Shankman, Composer

Cassie Shankman, Composer

Cassie Shankman is a composer, DJ, pianist and one of the busiest, friendliest people I know. Not only does she create compositions with The Movement Tracks Project which uses brain-based movement technology and music to help people walk again, she's also the co-founder and head of marketing for Picardy Learning, an online platform that helps develop musicianship and music theory skills. Additionally she plays with Austin-based band Russel Taine Jr. and DJs under the name Cass&Ra. Her commitment to doing what she loves, as well as her ability to balance so many different projects is both inspired and inspiring.

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Katie Folger, Actor and Writer

Katie Folger, Actor and Writer

Not only has the charismatic Katie Folger been featured in shows such as Rooster Teeth's Day 5, to films such as The Honor Farm, which premiered this year at SXSW— the Austin-based actress is also a director, writer and entrepreneur. This month, she and her creative partner Juliet Robb, successfully raised over $16,000 to launch their comedy channel Dynamite Sisters Comedy. Her thoughtful responses to how she gets it all done are a refreshing reminder that everything is a process, and that it's the process, not the outcome, that truly matters.

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Abiola Ogunbiyi, Actor and Writer

Abiola Ogunbiyi, Actor and Writer

Abiola Ogunbiyi is quite possibly one of the most talented and hardworking people I’ve ever met— not only does she sing like a goddess, she’s a wholly remarkable actor, incredible writer and sometimes DJ. She is one of the smartest, brightest people I've ever met. From New York City to the West End in London, her creativity, determination and passion for her work continue to blow me away.

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