Understand: Steve Ogden - Artist/Designer

Kao Jai Coffee Steve Ogden

Steve Ogden - Artist & Designer (Baltimore, MD)

In 5 sentences or less what do you do?

I bring dreams to life. Clients come to me with an idea, and through pencil, ink, color, words, design and/or animation, I help create the thing they thought of.

Is there a common misconception or myth about what you do?

That artistic skill is something you were either born with or not, and can't be trained. Also - probably because of that misconception - that Art isn't a Real Job.

What is your favorite part about your occupation?

Making people happy.

What is your least favorite part about your occupation?

Sitting inside all the time. I'm a runner, and I love to go outside and play!

What is one thing you would say to someone looking to take the same career path as you?

We have all been sold a Talent Myth, that the Special, Talented Few get to be artists and the rest of us should forget about it. I have to tell you after 3 decades as a working artist, hard work beats talent every single time. Being a solid, employable artist isn't about how talented you are. It's about how hard you'll work. It's also about being lucky. To a degree, you can improve your odds, because to a degree we make our own luck, by working hard, staying focused, developing the right contacts and maintaining a healthy business network. Also, by maintaining a positive outlook. For one thing, negativity can't help but affect your art, but also, no one wants to work with a sad sack. But to a degree, some of luck falls outside of your control. There, too, you can improve your odds by being able to recognize your blessings and being prepared to capitalize on them. Luck favors the prepared!

What is your definition of success?

Keeping a roof over my head, feeding my family and putting my kids through college while working in my chosen field is one measure. Having a portfolio of work that thrilled my clients is probably the greater measure.

What is your favorite quote that keeps you going?

"Somewhere out there, someone is working harder than you... when you meet on the field of battle, you're gonna lose."

Thanks for letting me play!


Learn more about Steve's work here.

Kyle Ducharme

I'm passionate about making a difference in the lives of those around me regardless of where I am in the world. Whether I am on the busy streets of Boston, building homes in Central Appalachia, or harvesting coffee abroad, I'm always looking for innovative ways to improve our lives and connect with those around us.