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Tempe’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at VoyagePhoenix is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Greater Phoenix area’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out inspiring stories from Tempe and surrounding areas below.

Shirley Wagner

I graduated with a fine art degree from Youngstown University in Ohio. I moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1983 and found my voice as an artist. The light, the shadows and the vast spaces beckoned me to fulfill my life’s purpose. Tucked away in my Catalina foothills studio amidst an array of power tools and found objects, I fabricate wall sculptures, installations, body adornment and sculpture drawings. My story is full of twists and turns along the way as I forged my career as an artist. Read more>>

Jimmy Song

I originally started with a love for shoes and many of the street-hyped items that many enthusiasts go after such brands like Supreme, and Bape. My love for anything sweet has always been something I have been into since I was young. When I first met my wife and saw that she is a great chef in the kitchen especially with anything sweet my love for baked goods grew even further. One day we decided to open a Boba shop in the Tempe area near the ASU campus after taking a trip to Taiwan and learning more about the process of how to make a great drink. Read more>>

Eve Clark

It all started in 2017… Nov 2017 my husband, a business associate and I created the Roots Fashion Event. Our goal was a feature as many minority vendors, models, spoken word artists, visual artists and emerging designers as possible in one space. The event was a success and yielded over 35 local vendors, nine designers, eight artists and a crowd of about 250 people. That day we brought awareness to several brands which have gone on to become influencers in the black art and fashion Phoenix market including Herstori Wraps, RBG Tees, Nkosi Collection, ARIA FARI, and artist Antoinette Cauley to name few. Read more>>

Ralph Brekan

I was born in LaSalle-Peru, Illinois in 1974. We moved west to Arizona, via Texas in the early 1980’s. I started painting at age 12 in Houston. After moving to Tempe, Arizona in 1987, I stayed primarily focused on theatre and art at McClintock High School (1988-1992). So, I entered the local scene in the golden era of the Gin Blossoms and the legendary Mill Avenue weekend block parties, but well before the downtown Phoenix art scene, as we know it today. Read more>>

Clay Dudash

I started taking music really seriously in 2011 or 2012. That’s when I moved to Arizona from Nevada. None of my friends were doing things I wanted to, and where I lived at the time didn’t have much of a music scene. Arizona provided me a place to find myself. I dropped out of school a few times and failed at a couple of different things trying to figure myself out. I was broke and working a lousy job that I couldn’t advance in for a while. Read more>>

Taylor Dahl

My absolute favorite nights growing up were watching movies in the basement, eating pizza with my whole family. I fell in love with film and television; I think mostly because of my sister’s contagious love for it as well. Somehow though, I never connected the dots. That I could actually go out there and make these pieces of art. After high school, I wasn’t sure about my future. I was considering a degree in Animal Behavior and then thought about switching to be a Business major. Read more>>

Michaela Griego

I have always had an interest in the arts, but when I got to high school, that’s when everything kind of fell into place and I realized my path. Even though I started out taking graphic design my freshman year of high school, I always made my way back to painting somehow — whether it was watercolor, acrylic, or oils. I think the reason I always made my way back was that I was trying to find a way to express how my mental health was making me feel. Eventually, I made my way traditional teaching, instead of learning on my own, in my senior year of high school. Read more>>

Elijah Sapko

I am the founder of Insaiyan Energy. Think about a product that your younger former self would look up to you for creating. Got it? Good. That is what Insaiyan Energy is for me. While an original name, Insaiyan Energy actually gets its namesake from an old TV show I watched as a child called Dragon Ball Z. A “saiyan” is a race with superhuman abilities not limited to super strength and the ability to fly. Goku, a childhood hero of mine is a saiyan and always had what it took to save the world. Goku could do anything. How inspiring! Read more>>

Ryan Osterman

HOLY FAWN started somewhat accidentally a little over three years ago. Evan, Alex, and I all worked together and they both invited me over to just improvise some noises and I typically declined because I have a lot of anxiety about that kind of interaction but after a couple times they got me out there and it ended up being supernatural feeling. Evan lived with Austin and happened to be a really intuitive drummer and musician as well so we all got together, set up a bunch of microphones, and recorded for like two or three hours straight. Read more>>

Veronica Miller

Well, I literally woke up one day a few months ago and thought, “I want to start a cookie business”. I am an army wife and currently live in El Paso, TX where my husband is stationed (about six hours away from Phx). As of August, my kids both started school full time and I found myself looking for a job. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 8 years out of necessity as my husband can deploy for up to a year at a time at a moment’s notice. I was really looking forward to getting out of the house, out of yoga pants, and talking to actual adults on a daily basis! Read more>>


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