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Pasadena’s Hidden Gems

Every day we have a choice. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a boutique gym started by a local fitness champ or we could keep giving away our money to the handful of giants who already control so much of our commerce. Our daily decisions impact the kind world we live in; if we want a world where small businesses are growing and artists and creatives are thriving then we should support them with our time, money and attention. We’re proud to highlight inspiring creatives and entrepreneurs each week in Hidden Gems series.  Check out some of Pasadena’s gems below.

Derek Althen

I started my motorcycle portrait project about a year and a half ago. I was fascinated by the individual character and history of each of these motorcycles. The scratches, dents, layers of dust all have a story to tell like wrinkles on an old man’s face. Many of these motorcycles are over 100 years old. Read more>>

Kia Billinger

I started the hashtag and Instagram page called BeautyOverStandards, where men and women have a safe place to go to showcase their beauty. The purpose of my BeautyOverStandards page is to change the narrative society has about the standards of beauty. I want everyone to choose their beauty over the standards society has set forth; to love themselves for who they are. Read more>>

Lizbeth B. De La Torre

Early in my childhood while watching Saturday morning cartoons with my little brother and sister, I began drawing what I saw on TV. I liked to imagine different futures, technology, and worlds that might exist. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up, but I knew I wanted to tell stories. Read more>>

Nicholas Foong

I really loved the story-telling aspect of it all and I wanted to find a way to do something similar. Drawing just happened to be the medium I found most satisfying to do all that. All that being to tell stories and come up with cool visuals at the same time. Fast forward a couple of years and an art degree from Artcenter and here I am. Read more>>

Cheryl Chan

Before going full time as an artist, I have worked as a children’s book author, teacher, government employee, animator, and non-profit worker. I’m only 22, so there’s a lot to learn still, but I’ve been fortunate to collect all these experiences so far. All these things have rounded my perspective out so that I understand the world better. Read more>>

John Patrick Hogan

Over time, the primary manifestations of my art have been drawings, music, and performance. The drawings are grounded in the language of cartoons and illustration, but from there they kind of explode into psychological phantasmagoria. There will be moments of intensely detailed cross-hatching and intricate line, and then blunt sections of crayon scribbles. Read more>>

Lola Mitchell

I think what a person feels when looking at a photo or painting is up to them. I don’t always rationalize why I decided to shoot this or that or why. It is usually a year later that I can tell what I was going through emotionally. Now looking back, it looks like a very private diary. Read more>>

Dr. Jessica Louie

Shifting my mindset from a fixed to a growth mindset helped me develop a different perspective on failure, struggle, and challenges. And along the way, I learned there was a term called “burnout” and realized that was what I experienced – healthcare burnout. I didn’t cure myself or solve my burnout. I learned how to reset it with simple processes. Read more>>


I’m a musician, singer and songwriter born and bred in London, but my dad is American and lived in LA while I was growing up, so I call it my second home. I released my debut EP in 2017 and since then have put out another three singles, while also working and recording with another band I’m in – the girlband TRILLS. Read more>>

Danny Cocke

Everything from “The Amazing Spiderman” to “Mission Impossible” and many more. It’s been a wild ride since! I’ve continued to produce music and sound design for trailers over the years, and have shifted a lot more into scoring for films, and video games in the last few years. It really has been beyond a dream come true. Read more>>

Cecilia Fabian

Runway is one of my main ingredients for success…It allows me to engage with new talent and able to assist and train young models, makeup artist, hair stylist, wardrobe stylist, photographers, and filmatographers. I also focus on doing work for charity like education, breast cancer, heart disease, hunger, deaf world, and more… Read more>>

Andrea Guzzetta

I think people all want to connect, find love, and have meaning in their lives. In my artwork, I try and explore these themes by painting objects or people who I have collided with. Generally, there is some form of abstractness in my paintings, too. I think that’s my way of joining our two universes together. Read more>>

Asher Hartman

The idea that an artwork can release us from a debt or solve an issue seems naive. I’d rather make art toward a mystical appreciation of our multiplicities. But theater has to give me a good time. It has to be funny. It has to be well-crafted. It has to take risks. It can’t reassure me. Read more>>

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