100 Creatives 2014: Keith Parsons, Author, Philosophy Professor and Science Brainiac

Categories: 100 Creatives

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We have to start this profile with some sad news: There are no big, juicy paychecks for writing books about philosophy. There are no big, juicy paychecks for writing books about science. And there certainly are no big, juicy paychecks for writing books about the philosophy of science.

We're shocked.

Philosophy professor and author Keith Parsons has just released his latest book, It Started with Copernicus: Vital Questions about Science. In 430 pages, he reveals the mysteries of the universe, explains gravity, verifies the existence of unicorns and presents the philosophical rational behind his stand against neo-conservative religious attacks on relativism in regards to postmodern feminism (we think we got that right). Oh, and he absolutely proves that you (yes, you) are not the center of the universe.

Okay, so we made up the part about unicorns but given that Parsons previously released Rational Episodes: Logic for the Intermittently Reasonable and God and the Burden of Proof: Plantinga, Swinburne, and the Analytic Defense of Theism, we figure if anyone could prove the existence of magical horses with horns growing out of their heads, it would be Parsons.

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100 Creatives 2014: Alonzo Williams Jr., Shooting the Music

Categories: 100 Creatives

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Janelle Monae
What He Does: There are plenty of photographers in the city of Houston. There are even plenty of photographers that specialize in shooting musicians. There are probably not any that feel the power of music as deeply as Alonzo Williams Jr. does though.

He even started out as an aspiring musician himself, and ended up married to amazing local singer Alycia Miles. He was new to Houston in 2008 and trying to find someone to help him capture the visual aspects of his own work. Unable to do so, he purchased a dirt cheap camera and started taking self portraits. Almost by accidents he ended up with a portfolio of great pictures from all over the city. Other musicians heard about his eye for the camera, and the next thing you know he is an in-demand photographer and videographer.

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100 Creatives 2014: Rudy Zanzibar Campos, Painting Them Loudly

Categories: 100 Creatives

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What He Does: Rudy Zanzibar Campos likes to paint, but he prefers flesh to canvass. No, not tattooing, but airbrush and other techniques to transform mere mortals into the otherworldly and uncanny. The ultimate results are strange metahumans that defy belief.

Campos got started doing this as an offshoot of his studies doing movie FX with Classic Universal Films. He learned to airbrush so he could paint masks. Eventually he got good enough that photographers were calling him for airbrush jobs and it became his main focus.

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100 Creatives 2014: Paige Kiliany, Director

Categories: 100 Creatives

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All photos courtesy of Paige Kiliany
Director Paige Kiliany
Paige Kiliany was just 13 when she realized she wanted to be a theater director. As a child, Kiliany performed in summer stock musicals with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. "That gave me a window into the backstage world," she tells us. "I saw all that the directors got to do ... and knew that's what I should do. So I gradually started [directing]." She was an assistant directer/apprentice for several shows at Pittsburgh CLO, including a production of Jekyll & Hyde. She also worked with Signature Theatre Company on productions of The Three Penny Opera and The Lady of Dubuque.

After earning a BFA in Directing at Carnegie Mellon University, Kiliany came to Houston where she most recently directed All in the Timing for The Landing Theatre Company, where she's currently the Literary Associate for New American Voices.

This story continues on the next page.


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100 Creatives 2014: Betirri Bengtson, Visual Artist, Creates Bodiless Soccer Players

Categories: 100 Creatives

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photo provided by Betirri Bengtson
Mexico vs. USA

When he came to Houston from Mexico almost 17 years ago, Betirri Bengtson brought his country's fervor for soccer with him and poured it into his artwork.

"In Mexico, we're born and we grow up with futbol everywhere. In the streets, in the parks," says Bengtson.

His eerie and surrealistic paintings depict soccer players from around the globe, sans limb or jersey logo. "There are no people, but you can see the movement, the motion of the players, the teams and the colors. The essence of the game."

Bengtson took these pieces with him to Rio De Janiero last month, displaying them for soccer fans who'd come to the city for the World Cup from around the world to see. Before that, a Brazilian soccer team had commissioned him, which is when he knew that he should start pursuing art for a living.

"I wake up start, start working, take a break to go eat and work out, I come back to work until I go to sleep again. So it's just a lot of sacrifices, a lot of things that you really miss. But then you start to see the results. I was able to do my dream, and it was worth it."


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100 Creatives 2014: Melissa Maygrove, Romance and Happy Endings

Categories: 100 Creatives

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What She Does: Melissa Maygrove's mother likes to tell a story about constantly finding her daughter in the closet with a pen, flashlight, and spiral notebook writing away. She's made up stories all her life, but never really found the time to do it as an adult. Once she did, she passed off a throwaway novel she admits was terrible and after three manuscripts found her place in romance. She likes romance because the endings are happy.

Her first novel is Come Back. It follows Rebecca Garvey, a young girl who is left behind on a wagon train and heads off on an adventure with a handsome stranger. Readers will feel a kinship with Jean M. Auel's Plains of Passage as the two come to rely and love each other in the harsh, 19th century West. Even for a non-romance fan like me the first few pages will grab you.

And yeah... it's kind of nice to have a happy ending.

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100 Creatives 2014: Natalie Harris, Bridal Gown Designer, Damsel White Label Collections

Categories: 100 Creatives

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All photos courtesy of Natalie Harris
Bridal gown designer Natalie Harris, owner of Damsel White Label Collections and Custom Design, has been playing dress up with dolls her whole life, it's just that now her dolls are soon-to-be married brides instead of Barbies. Harris grew up in rural Indiana and remembers that before she could sew, she would glue scraps of fabric to her dolls to make their dresses.

Harris participated in 4-H in her hometown, taking on sewing projects every summer. When she got to high school, teachers created an independent study course for her that allowed her to delve further into sewing and design. "By the time prom came around and I had a head full of ideas about what the perfect dress should be, the deal was sealed," she tells us. "I consider myself blessed...and maybe a little cursed...to be one of those people that do what they do because they must."

This story continues on the next page.


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100 Creatives 2014: Larry McKee, Cinematographer, Knows How Light Behaves

Categories: 100 Creatives

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What He Does: Larry McKee was a still photographer in the late '70s and through the '80s. Once he learned how to light, he found himself analyzing movies as he watched them. It became an obsession with him, trying to figure out the way that scenes were lit to bring out the best a scene could be shot from a camera. Eventually, he realized that he could do that himself.

Just in the last few years he's proven he most certainly can. He's worked as a cinematographer for more than a dozen shorts and feature-length films alone. Some of these include working with director Travis Ammons on Suicide Notes and Divorce Texas Style starring Daniel Baldwin.

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100 Creatives 2014: Tiffany Heath, Filmmaker, Will Scare the Pants Off You

Categories: 100 Creatives

What She Does: Tiffany Heath doesn't look like she's possessed of the kind of darkness that can make a seasoned horror film reporter go turn on all the lights in the house and consider taking up day drinking. By her own admission she's a forty-something-year-old girl who lives in an old antebellum farmhouse on six acres of land with my chickens, husband, dogs, garden, and children. Mostly, she spends her days feeding all of the aforementioned people, animals, and vegetation, but in her spare moments you can find her at Agora shedding her Donna Reed guise and exploring deep darkness, gore and childhood trauma.

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100 Creatives 2014: Jonathan Pidcock, Jewelry That's Off the Chain

Categories: 100 Creatives

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What He Does: Pidcock is another talent that I met along Artist Alley at Comicpalooza, and is married to author Angeli Pidcock. His work is chainmail jewelry, and I apologize for the horrible pun that I used in the headline. As you can see, though, his creations really are worthy of energetic slang descriptions.

He's been making things out of chainmail for the past decade so after being introduced to the craft by an armor-making friend and co-worker. Despite the fact that chainmail work is long and minutely detailed, Pidcock thought it was the sort of thing a relatively un-handy man like himself could accomplish and became obsessed with trying his luck.

After stumbling across M.A.I.L. (Maille Artisans International League) Pidcock switched his focus from armor to art after seeing what his peers were able to accomplish in the medium. It really became an addiction, and Pidcock would spend hours fiddling with piles of loose rings and trying to learn the weaves he found in the M.A.I.L. database. The more and more complex the weaves became, the more he wanted to build. Then one day a co-worker at his day job saw one of his pieces on his desk and asked if he could purchase it. Now, he makes all kinds of jewelry for paying clients through his website, Digi-Dog Designs.

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