While growing up in sunny San Diego, Calif., furnituremaker Lawrence Newman was frequently surrounded by wood, metal and tools. “My grandfather was a general contractor, so I spent a lot of time as a kid on his project sites,” he says. “I’d take things apart and try to get all the pieces back in order. Once I even took my grandfather’s chainsaw apart and put it back together, and it still worked.”
When dog portrait artist Brian Vegter was working as a film and television cameraman in New York City, a friend of his opened an upscale pooch boutique in 2003. “I wasn’t getting film work I liked, so I took up the paintbrush again to make some paintings of dogs for the walls,” he says. “That turned out to be the beginning of a new career.”
With a mother who was an artist, Leah Nobilette says creating things was an integral part of her childhood. "My mother introduced me to art early, and we were always either taking art classes or just creating things," says the ceramic artist. "I’ve always loved making things. When I was a child, I was really into making little pieces of furniture out of sticks. I called it Fairy Furniture. I’ve always been very tactile in my art. I like art where you can touch the materials."