by Lauren Griffith
Her nails on her left hand are as short as possible so she is able to hit the steel guitar strings. She has to clip them at least once a week. She also uses a nail-strengthening polish to keep her nails in pristine playing condition.
The strings have callused her fingers, yet she doesn’t mind the unsightly appearance or the rough feel because it allows her to do what she has always wanted to do.
by Katie DelVerne
Receiving flowers on special occasions is sometimes taken for granted. We see this big, beautiful bouquet of flowers, but do we really ever think what went into choosing, fixing and arranging the bouquet with which we are presented?
Bill Johns is a floral designer at Pretty Petals in Brownsville. Johns, like most florists, has persevered through some of the busiest holidays and occasions. However, unlike most florists, Johns started his career in the industry on Valentine’s Day, one of the busiest holidays in the floral business.
by Zain Siddiqui
Zac “Church” Churchfield, 21, has detailed or cleaned cars for Pittsburgh East Nissan, on William Penn Highway in Monroeville. Churchfield is from Monroeville and has worked his way up the ladder, receiving his license and becoming a certified inspector/mechanic.
“I really hated doing little but grueling tasks that no one else would do,” he said. “We had to cut the grass, pick weeds, deliver cars, pick up customers, and all sorts of tedious work.”
by Stetson Provance
A picture says a thousand words. Sometimes, it just takes a while for an artist to give herself permission to say the words.
That’s what Paige Hall, 22, of Connellsville discovered during her time at the Columbus, Ohio, College of Art and Design.
For as long as Hall can remember, she has always had a passion for art. She followed that passion by taking art classes at Connellsville Area High School and by drawing in her free time.
by Philip A. Hough
While the rest of the world hustles about, anxiously weaving through busy streets and traffic just north of Pittsburgh in Brackenridge, Jade DeRose can be found sitting quietly in her home, hovering over her latest craft project. DeRose is attempting to make her art her livelihood. It is an endeavor that has its ups and downs.
DeRose moved to Brackenridge from Uniontown a few months ago.
by Deven Bourquin
Gregory London, a 21-year-old resident of Bucks County, has a skill that is not distinguishable by looking at him, unless you looked at his callused finger tips from the electric bass guitar he plays.
The California University of Pennsylvania senior said his relationship with the bass began when he first started listening to music because the bass lines were the first part he was drawn to. It was from that interest that he decided to pursue the bass, he said.
by Tyler Buiocchi
Keep calm; adjust fire. That’s the motto for Benjamin Miller, a junior at California University of Pennsylvania, who spends five weekends a year going to mandatory live-fire exercises to train with his mortar crew in the Army.
“It’s very rewarding to send rounds down range,” Miller said.
by Zach Filtz
In the car business, there are sales people who sell cars; there are technicians who fix the cars, but not everyone knows that there are people who clean the cars. Tom Phillips oversees and manages the cleaning process.
“When a sales customer comes to a dealership to buy a vehicle, he does not always know that it gets cleaned before delivery,” Phillips, 27, said. “I and my [detailing] staff members are the ones doing the work behind the scenes.”
by Josh Herman
Michael Connell reaches toward the overturned garbage can in his basement where his old radio is resting and turns up the volume. The song playing is “In My Life” by the Beatles and it’s one of his favorites. His buddy Tim tosses him a wrench from a few feet away and Connnell’s attention returns to his bike.
“Music is essential when you’re working on bikes,” Connell says with a wry smile.
by Jose Negron
Imagine you have a hobby -- a fun, extracurricular activity that you enjoy doing in your spare time. This may not seem extraordinary because many people have hobbies. But imagine taking that hobby to the next level. You take it to the point where it could become something way bigger than you ever thought was possible.
This is exactly what Lindsey Leonard, a senior at California University of Pennsylvania, is trying to do.
by Sonya Minner
It’s common for college seniors to be unsure of themselves; when graduation looms, it’s easy for them
to doubt what they’ve been working so hard toward for four — or more — years. For Lydia Karlheim of Penn Hills, 22, her last year at California University of Pennsylvania has been about getting back what she thought she had lost.
For four years, she’s worked towards her graphic design degree, and in May, she will graduate with her bachelor of science degree in graphic design.
From left, Lauren Griffith, Deven Bourquin, and Sonya Minner edited an audio project.