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Inspiring Stories from the West Side

The heart of our mission at VoyageChicago 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 Chicago’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 the West Side’s rising stars below.

Ramsey Prince

My Journey in the design industry started while in College for Biology and Graphic Design. While taking classes I fell into a job at a high end furniture and design company and got the Interior Design bug and have been in and around that industry ever since. Read more>>

Abigail St. Claire

I started out getting involved with graphic design in high school while I was taking a lot of studio art courses. I began to do the layout and design for the school magazine and it came very intuitively to me as I was heavily involved with other facets of art like drawing and photography. Read more>>

Mobolaji Akintunde

I started off managing artists in the music business. I represented a handful of acts from Chicago from DJs and songwriters to producers and performers. At the time our management company did everything from bookings to PR. As I evolved and learned that I was in essence building brands I moved over to the Ad world working with a reputable agency in Chicago and bringing my strategic thinking to connecting brands with their target audience. Read more>>

Chris Williford

I started making art mostly as an illustrator. As a kid in Texas, I used to sit in front of the TV and draw SpongeBob Squarepants over and over again, eventually memorizing how. That got me excited about drawing, which I focused on through high school. Read more>>

Jennifer Murray

I am currently the executive director of Filter Photo. I grew up in Chicago in a small, close-knit family of Chicago natives. My first experiences with photography came from my Dad. His job required frequent international travel and he shot slide film to record his trips. Read more>>

Chelsea Real

Bold, unapologetic and wildly stylish – that’s my grandma, Big Red. The name isn’t just a nod to her tall stature, red hair and well-endowed chest – it’s her fierce presence that made it stick. Growing up with a fashionable grandma made me want to create a style of my own. Read more>>

Tandaleria Roland

I have been performing in choirs since the second grade, and wrote my first song in the 4th grade, and I performed it at my 8th grade graduation. I stopped doing music after high school because, I didn’t believe that it was possible. I didn’t believe that this young girl from the westside of Chicago would ever be successful in music. Read more>>

Ashley Brantley

I’m a city girl at heart from the south. I grew up in a town outside of Memphis. Things are much tighter around there, my 7th grade teacher taught Justin Timberlake! I’ll never forget that, I just thought it was so cool. There used to be rows and rows of cotton fields right behind my childhood neighborhood. Read more>>

Bianca Bova

The Chicago Architectural Preservation Archive (CAPA) has its roots in the private collection of architectural materials held by Tim Samuelson, the City of Chicago’s Cultural Historian. I met Tim a few years ago when I first undertook an effort to have a municipal memorial put up in honor of the late architectural photographer Richard Nickel. Read more>>

Andy Freivogel

I bounced between coffee, retail, and technology for about 25 years. At my last job, I was IT Director for Intelligentsia Coffee. It was an amazing place to be, and I was there for about 5 years. However, I found that with the trend toward consolidation in specialty coffee, if I wasn’t an owner. Read more>>

Aditya Nayar

2008-2009 – While I was doing personal training and going to college, I was competing in the sport of powerlifting. I had a lot of passion for fitness and weightlifting, and I was highly motivated. For my 2nd competition, I ended up dropping ~15lbs overnight through sauna and dieting to make weight. Read more>>

Douglas Degges

I grew up in North Louisiana with very little exposure to contemporary visual art. It wasn’t until my first semester of college that I really got a sense of what was happening in contemporary practices. The initial plan was to study mathematics and, slowly, over the course of my first three semesters in college, Hamlett Dobbins and Erin Harmon weaned me away from the natural sciences. Read more>>

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