Creative Life

Interview with Lisa Agliano

Interview with Lisa Agliano

By Jessica Johnson Sometimes it takes a while to fully embrace your creativity. While I – along with the dozens of artists, performers, and creatives I have interviewed – believe we are each creative in our own way, not everyone fully embraces their creativity from an early age. Or, perhaps a more accurate description would […]

Where Are They Now?

Where Are They Now?

By Jessica Johnson Since we are halfway through the year I thought it would be a good time to update you on the exciting achievements of some of my interview subjects. This idea was generated by the news that a couple of them had books coming out this summer, and as I reached out to […]

Interview with Stephen Kessler

Interview with Stephen Kessler

By Jessica Johnson Arriving in Santa Cruz in the early 1970s, the writer Stephen Kessler found Santa Cruz to be “a cultural frontier town” in the sense that if you wanted to start something…you could. He took the challenge to heart, and over the past four decades has made significant contributions to the community of […]

Interview with James “JD” De Leon

Interview with James “JD” De Leon

By Jessica Johnson Artist James “J.D.” De Leon’s Santa Cruz roots run deep. His grandfather made guitars and ran a music store on the ocean side of 41st Avenue, stoking the De Leon family’s cross-generational love of music. His father went on to work for Columbia Records and his mother once had a Billboard Top […]

Interview with Amber Coverdale Sumrall

Interview with Amber Coverdale Sumrall

By Jessica Johnson Amber Coverdale Sumrall was originally introduced to me over a decade ago through a friend whose mother had been attending Amber’s writer’s workshops for years. Knowing I wanted to develop my writing and begin to share it, she suggested I check out Amber. This was a pivotal point in my writing journey. […]

Interview with Gabriella DeNike

Interview with Gabriella DeNike

By Jessica Johnson Oftentimes, along with a new year comes a new perspective. As you flip through the pages of a pristine new calendar, the clean, blank pages offer hope and a renewed outlook on life. This month’s column brings you something similar. For January, I am happy to introduce you to a young voice, […]

Interview with Jessica Johnson

Interview with Jessica Johnson

By Jessica Johnson With Thanksgiving having just passed, I have been thinking about what I am most grateful for. I have to say I am very thankful to the Aptos Times for giving me the opportunity to write The Creative Life each month. One year ago I approached the editor, Noel Smith, with the idea […]

Talking With Kaia Roman

Talking With Kaia Roman

By Jessica Johnson Although Kaia Roman wasn’t born in California, she is the quintessential Santa Cruz writer. She teaches mindfulness to school children when she is not working on final edits for her book, The Joy Plan (coming out next summer), writing regularly for mindbodygreen.com, or traveling the world with her family of four. In […]

Interview with Cara Black

Interview with Cara Black

By Jessica Johnson Best-selling author Cara Black writes one of my favorite mystery series featuring the stylish French-American heroine Aimée Leduc. Black’s first book, Murder in the Marais, came out in 1999 and she has published one book every year since 2003. Each book is set in a different arrondissement of Paris, and with the […]

Interview with Leslie Thompson

Interview with Leslie Thompson

By Jessica Johnson As is often the case, a time of ending can also be a time of beginning. So it was for local artist Leslie Thompson. After her mother’s passing, Leslie was given the opportunity to leave her career in the medical field to go back to school and study her lifelong passion – […]