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Orange County’s Thought-Provokers

Southern California has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community.  Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive.  Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.

Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around Orange County that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Yifu Li

I was born in Chengdu, Sichuan, China, the province where Szechuan sauce originated, and also the hometown of pandas. Chengdu is a city famous for its comfortable and relaxed pace of life in Asia. It’s a free environment perfectly suited for art creations. I feel it’s a region exactly like Montmartre in Paris back in the early 1900s, where Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse and their art groups all lived close to each other, exchanging ideas and inspiration. I grew up in this atmosphere surrounded by painters, writers, poets, musicians and designers, which created a desire in me to express my point of view, my ideas as an individual human being. The greatest value in life for me is to create, to offer something special to benefit society. Everyone is born unique and independent, everyone sees the world differently; it can be either a physical world or a spiritual one. Read more>>

ELi Tully

My job is to tell a story through graphics and illustrations, but I present it in a fashion that I believe looks clean in a dirty way. Often inspired by skateboarding, my work is meant to just be enjoyed. There is never too many deeper themes. I just want my audience to see passion and inspiration in my work and go off to create what they desire. Growing up, I always loved skateboarding and Art but I was never too great at skateboarding, although it was a passion of mine that I put a lot of work into. Read more>>

Esther Wu

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I’m a New Yorker deep down who stumbled their way through the South, the Pacific Northwest, then the Bay area, and down to sunny San Diego and now in Orange County. I grew up on video games and manga, in between being buried alive by textbooks and Saturday cram school. I was prepared for a long academic route for a Ph.D. in Greco-Roman history and ancient civilization. Read more>>

Caren Kreger

I’ve been a creator my whole life. I loved drawing and building as a child but never thought that being a full-time artist could be a reality for me. When it was time to choose a career path in college, I pursued my other passion, which is helping people. I became a Recreation therapist and worked in mental health care for almost 15 years, teaching others how to find balance through pursuing their passions. Read more>>

Liz Ottey

My story is mostly just about me trying to “figure it out.” What is “It?” I have no idea. Success I guess, but how do we define that? As an artist, I think you’re automatically on a different path than most and when you’re in a world that’s trying to put you on the “normal” path to success, it’s difficult to find your own and follow it. Read more>>

Peng Wang

Different from many other filmmakers, I began my filmmaking path in math. The same as many other Chinese students, I put all my focus on exams before getting into university. When I finally satisfied my family and got into college, I found that I got lost and I didn’t know where my passion is. Read more>>

Nick Zegel

Building and maintaining my website became a serious hobby. The site was constantly evolving, as I was designing new logos and graphics, coding, and adding photography and writing. I accidentally set myself up with all of these problems to solve which pushed me to learn new things every day. Read more>>

Mushk Rizvi

There were many times I thought I should quit and art and questioned if it were right for me. Followed by regrets of leaving my hometown and seeing the sacrifice my family made, I kept moving forward. I will say things haven’t gotten easy, the struggle still continues but it has gotten a little bit better than before. Read more>>

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