We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Maenpaa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matt, why did you pursue a creative career?
I don’t know where I would be without creativity and it has, in many ways, informed most of my life. I wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, but the arts have always fascinated me. The creative spirit drove me into a culinary career as well, working in fine dining as a cook and chef and making art on a plate.
When I rediscovered my love of photography several years ago, it began to radically change my perspective. Moving from capturing the wonder of landscapes in and out of Colorado to working with human beings, I found a whole new world of beauty.
I think everybody has their own sublime beauty. Helping folks see themselves as a work of art is an act that brings me immense satisfaction.
That act of sharing beauty also carries over into my writing, be it fiction or my professional work as a journalist. Maybe particularly my work as a journalist, writing about arts and culture in Colorado. Helping people feel seen, giving them an opportunity to make their voice heard, there aren’t many things that can beat it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Foolish Endeavors is a funny name for my business, but it is a very real experience many artists and creatives have had. “What are you doing with your art? Do you think this can be a real job? What do you actually do?”
“Making it” as an artist or creative is a constant challenge, balancing out the pursuit of what interests you and drives you with maintaining a steady income. My own foolish endeavors over the years have served to fuel me, to learn new things and seek challenges.
As a writer and journalist, I have this unique opportunity to dig into other artists stories, work and passions, to share them with readers. To take my love and understanding of the creative world and help highlight other voices. I think it’s a pretty powerful thing.
It becomes something else with my photography, where I try and bring the same level of passion and creativity to any shoot – be it a live concert, event photography or working with a variety of fashion models. I find new ways to frame a shot, or learn something new about lighting in different environments.
Whether its written word, photography, or a combination of both, each new project is an opportunity to learn something and find growth.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Boulder County is a lot of territory to cover in just one week, never mind the rest of the state. Longmont is home for me, so let’s start there. Coffee and a pastry from JavaStop to start the day off, then probably take a drive up through Lyons, veering off for the scenic vistas of the Peak to Peak. Maybe take a hike around Mud Lake or Caribou Ranch, followed by a stop in Nederland for a bite at Crosscut.
Take the drive back down to Boulder and wander Pearl Street until we find some food and libations. But that’s just one day, right?
We’ll find some live music. Hit up the breweries and distilleries. Spirit Hound in Lyons is always a favorite. Sneak in another hike or two, be it Hall Ranch or Bear Peak. Laze in the shade at Union Reservoir reading books.
I’ve been in Colorado for over a decade and never get tired of finding amazing places. A week is never long enough.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Who would any of us be without support? This Shoutout is for my best friend and wife, Zoe Lee. Through 13 years of marriage and a decade of parenting, she’s pushed me to challenge myself and pursue sometimes lofty goals. And she’s an amazing writer in her own right, independently publishing nine sweet romance novels over the past few years.