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The Artist Life In Bend Oregon: A Journey of Inspiration and Creativity

I found Bend by chance in 2017. I had just graduated Seattle Pacific University with an arts degree and very little spare change working full-time as a manager in retail. A friend recommended that I check out Bend, as he thought it would be an inspiring place for me. A couple of months later I drove down through the rainy mountain pass and checked out downtown Bend. I was there during a first Friday which was bustling and electric. I could feel how the community truly wanted to see artists succeed, which was something that really spoke to me. Between the landscape and the community, I was 100% in.

That summer of 2017 I made the leap. I knew maybe a total of 2 people who were acquaintances but I knew the risk would be worth it do something completely on my own. There is a deep calling in all of us to step into something bold in our lives, and this time was one of them. Leaving the comfort of home for something uncomfortable that could potentially expand myself further. 

After moving I got a small apartment and made the entire living room my art studio. I was obsessed with creating because of the majestic beauty all around. I soon found Smith Rock to be a sanctuary and a place of restoration on my weekends. I began snowshoeing, snowboarding and hiking through trails that left me awe struck with wonder. My art practice felt more inspired and authentic than ever before. 

My time here has been full of ups and downs, but I have expanded into a whole different person. Arriving here as a scared 23 year old and now at 29 years old becoming a bold business owner and creator wasn’t easy. This community has supported me in a way that I never could have imagined, and I truly can’t thank you enough for seeing my potential. Every interaction, sale and kind gesture has kept me going on this creative endeavor. There are times I’ve wanted to quit, or throw the entire thing out the window, but here I am showing up and you’re showing up right alongside me. 


The Artist Life In Bend Oregon: A Journey of Inspiration and Creativity

Bend Oregon Artist Kristine Cooper Panting Stories

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