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Inspiring Stories from Far West

The heart of our mission at VoyageDallas 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 Dallas-Fort Worth 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 the rising stars from Far West below.

Michael Heathen & G. Champion

Roughly 13 years ago G. Champ and Michael Heathen joined with 5 other artists to create G.L.O.A.T. Ent… Initially, we just wanted to create music and perform live. Over time, G.L.O.A.T. lost all but 3 of the originating members (Heathen, Champ, and iQ tha Chemist). Producer Othawordz Pro was added a few years ago and continues to work with the label. What we try to provide to ourselves and artists that we work with is the potential to perform on stages or on shows with touring artists rather than the all-too-common pay-to-play open mics. Michael Heathen also is a mixing and mastering engineer so recording tracks or albums for others is another service rendered. Both Othawordz Pro and iQ tha Chemist produce beats/tracks for any genre you can imagine. We have been blessed to have a resume that includes performing with some of the biggest legends in hip-hop, toured the country, and plan to do it again. Read more>>

Kristin Clark

Have you ever been fired from a job and smiled the whole way home after? That was me.  Let me back up a little. I love working, ever since my first job scooping ice cream at 14, I was enamored with work. It was much more fun for me than learning in school.  After college, I had the good fortune to be hired into a marketing role and loved every minute of it. That is until I got my coveted role as a Vice President. Things changed and I found myself hating to go to work every day and I didn’t know why.  During the time I was out of work I met a lady that introduced me to the CliftonStrengths program and it all clicked. The reason I was so unhappy with my work as a VP is that I tried to be something I’m not. I decided that I needed to be this great strategic thinker. Guess what, I’m not and it was not what brought me to the party. Read more>>

Aaron Bailey

I got my start in tattooing about 10 years ago. I had drawn a design I wanted to get tattooed and took it up to a shop. The artist there, guy named Brandon, and I got to talking, and he asked if I had ever considered tattooing as a career. Of course, I had, I’ve wanted to tattoo since I was a kid, but I was working 70+ hours a week at my job, I had a young child, and an apprenticeship just seemed out of the question for me. As I was leaving he told me if I found myself with some free time, to come by and we could see what we could do. Three days later, I was laid off from my job, so I packed up and went straight back to the shop. I started apprenticing a few days later. After about 6 months, I moved over to Diamond Tattoo Parlor in Hurst, where the owner, Paula, was gracious enough to take me on as an apprentice. I ended up staying on at Diamond for about 4 years. Since then, I’ve moved shops a couple times, but I’ve always been in the DFW area. Currently, I’m at Epic Tattoos on N Beach in Fort Worth. It’s been a wild ride, and I’ve had my share of bumps and bruises, but at the end of the day, I’m exactly where I should be. Read more>>

David DeGrand

I enjoyed drawing as a kid like most kids do, but I didn’t fall in love with cartooning until my fifth grade art teacher assigned us to write and draw our own comic strip. Something just clicked in me and the combination of thinking of a funny idea and then illustrating it was just so much fun to me. Cartooning then became what took up most of my free time, I would doodle in class constantly and would write and draw more comic strips when I got home. I would make little books full of my comic strips and give them to friends and family, just hoping to make people laugh. In high school, I was the cartoonist for the school paper where I was able to draw a whole page of comics as well as illustrating various articles. This proved to be invaluable training in that I was able to see my work in print and see what did and didn’t work. In college I was the illustrator for the college newspaper where I even won several illustration awards. It was then that I decided that maybe it was possible I could make a career out of being a cartoonist, so that’s what I set out to do. Read more>>

Carmen Friday

My experience in the kitchen started at a very young age, I’ve always been happy being in the kitchen whether it was with my Great Grandmothers, Grandmothers or Great Aunts. I was all smiles just long as I was able to be in what I now call My Sanctuary. Baking is my first love I baked my very first cake which was chocolate at 6 years old with my Holly Hobbie Bake Oven and cooked my first meal of fried chicken, can corn and string beans in the 6th grade. I can honestly say that with being raised in a close knit and large family environment which also included a long line of cooks sparked a flame within me. As a kid, It was always exciting for me to see how my family would come together no matter the occasion, witnessing the fellowship, laughter but most importantly the love the source and the driving force of food bringing people together. Not knowing how much of an impact this would be in finding my purpose. Read more>>

Hannah Rodriguez

I’ve worked as a display artist for Anthropologie for the past 7 years. Learning the ins and outs of creating window/interior displays and building fixtures for merchandise. I always wanted to bridge the display installation gap between retail spaces and events. I felt a loss in the event industry for these specialty backdrops, hanging installations or signage that slowly started to grow more in the last few years. I started Vim + Venture in the midst of the pandemic when we all weren’t too sure where the wedding and event industry was going to go, but I knew that’s where I wanted to be headed. I started with making and selling macrame for home decor, and slowly started reaching out to planners, florists, venues and photographers in the wedding industry and completely took off. Read more>>

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