Phoenix Designer Brian Cresson: 100 Creatives

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Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 29. Brian Cresson.

Fashion's about more than what you're wearing for Brian Cresson. It's about making connections.

The designer lives in Phoenix's Garfield neighborhood and operates his clothing company, Free Ego, out of 11th Monk3y Industries on Grand Avenue.

See also: Nicole Michieli of Gilbert's Floating Specks: 100 Creatives

Cresson spends the bulk of his weekdays at 11th Monk3y, putting his ideas to paper and clothing. But his time at work is typically bordered by a morning trip to Jobot for some brainstorming and coffee, an after-work stop at Carly's, and some evening entertainment at Crescent Ballroom or FilmBar.

"I have a lot in the works. Not quite ready to spill the beans but looking forward to a big release in the near future," the 30-year-old says. "An upcoming focus of mine will be making new relationships with Phoenix area businesses and showcasing my work in local shops and fashion outlets."

Based on his daily schedule, it sounds like he'll have no trouble connecting with small businesses around town. And while he won't divulge much about said big release, Cresson says that he's experimenting with new techniques of manipulating clothing. "I've moved on from traditional screenprint and am now focusing on vinyl heatpressing in addition to dyeing, bleaching, cutting, and distressing clothing," he says.

I came to Phoenix with a car full of canvases, paint brushes, art supplies, and the mindset that I was finally going to live the life I had been scared of attempting for so many years. I had just pulled the plug on my corporate career, packed my suits into a box and headed downtown Phoenix to move into an art studio/gallery.

I make art because it's just something that I have to do. Not only is it a very rewarding passion, but I've always had the need to create, even since I was a young child. Now it's even that much more rewarding as a career and lifestyle.

I'm most productive when I set myself a timeline. It's really a great freedom being your own boss, but on the other end of the spectrum if I'm not putting in the work... it's not going to happen.

My inspiration wall is full of images of the newest styles and fashions. Trends that are being tested by some of the groundbreaking individuals I study. I'm always surrounded by a collection of clothing test-prints, various material samples, fashion sketches and most recently trial-and-error tests of dyeing and bleaching techniques.

I've learned most from my first couple of years trying to break into the downtown Phoenix art scene. I learned quickly that a great sounding idea doesn't necessarily equal success. Most of the time the business of being a creative individual takes a lot of hard work, more than you'd ever imagine.

Good work should always come from the heart and soul. The projects that I'm most proud of are ones that felt so real and important to me. There's no better feeling and not a more genuine product than one you've created naturally and with passion.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more professional outlets to showcase artists' work. More approachable downtown venues would create a more accessible environment to higher-end collectors and consumers.

See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:

100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez 90. Chris Reed 89. Shelby Maticic 88. Olivia Timmons 87. Courtney Price 86. Travis Mills 85. Catrina Kahler 84. Angel Castro 83. Cole Reed 82. Lisa Albinger 81. Larry Madrigal 80. Julieta Felix 79. Lauren Strohacker 78. Levi Christiansen 77. Thomas Porter 76. Carrie Leigh Hobson 75. Cody Carpenter 74. Jon Jenkins 73. Aurelie Flores 72. Michelle Ponce 71. Devin Fleenor 70. Noelle Martinez 69. Bucky Miller 68. Liliana Gomez 67. Jake Friedman 66. Clarita Lulić 65. Randy Murray 64. Mo Neuharth 63. Jeremy Hamman 62. La Muñeca 61. Kevin Goldman 60. Emily Costello 59. Kerstin Dale 58. Vara Ayanna 57. Nathaniel Lewis 56. Ruben Gonzales 55. Lisa Poje 54. Bobby Zokaites 53. Frances Smith Cohen 52. Julie Rada 51. David Miller 50. Xanthia Walker 49. Kyllan Maney 48. Cary Truelick 47. Constance McBride 46. James D. Porter 45. Allyson Boggess 44. Abigail Lynch 43. Ashley Cooper 42. Jaclyn Roessel 41. Brandon Boetto 40. Melissa Dunmore 39. Gavin Sisson 38. Rossitza Todorova 37. Monica Robles 36. Josh Kirby 35. Jesse Perry 34. Yai Cecream 33. Nathan Blackwell 32. Carley Conder 31. Ben Willis 30. Nicole Michieli

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