There are so many factors that affect how our lives turn out, but one of the most interesting is how our backgrounds give us unique strengths and perspectives that affect who we are as adults. We asked rising stars from the community to tell us about their background and upbringing and how they feel it’s impacted who they are today.

Ryan Borthick | Photographer & Musician

I grew up an only child in Aurora, CO. My father was a full-time drummer in Blues bands along the front range so one would say I had a very non-traditional household. My mom would get me off to school and go to a traditional day job and, since my dad was working late hours, he would be up for his morning to pick me up after school and we would have the afternoon together. That lead to us having a very close family dynamic and in high school I started working freelancing in the Blues scene with him. So whereas most people grow up observing their parents working in a traditional context, for me being a freelance artist was the norm. I also have been fortunate that my parents have always been very supportive of pursuing independence in that regard. Read more>>

Elliot Lang | Illustrator, Number 38 Owner+Chief Creative Officer

I was born in Boulder, and grew up in Wyoming. I spent my summers in Alaska, finished college in Denver, and then moved to New York before coming back to the west for good. I didn’t appreciate it until I was away from it, but I think being immersed in the wide open spaces of the west beneath the open skies made me hone in on every detail of the landscape, and dream up stories and characters that could inhabit those expansive places. I think that might be a big part of my subconscious. Spending my summers in Alaska helped shape my love of the outdoors and wildlife, and that solitude I found as a kid left a lasting impression upon me. Read more>>

Priya Laasch | Entrepreneur and mindset coach at Illuminaissance

When I look back at my upbringing, I am always amazed what I have done with my life so far…. it is a world away from my childhood! I was born in Germany in the 60’s into a very strict household. Both my parents were born in the war, they barely survived and had very little education. They really did the best they could with what they had, and their mindset was intensly narrow and geared toward poverty. I grew up very frugal and as long as I remember I always heard “We can’t afford this. It’s too expensive. Money is the root of all evil. We are poor but happy. Look at those rich people, they got lucky….” Very young I realized that I did not like being on this planet and that I did not like my upbringing. I thought “This is so constricted. This is not my life. What am I doing here?’ Read more>>

Bianca Roman | Aspiring Professional Creative

This question always comes up especially in new introductions and it’s so hard for me to give a simple answer because in reality, I’m from many places. In short, I was born in Chicago, IL, then moved to a small town in Virginia, graduated high school in Texas, spent my first college semester in Las Vegas, then moved out to Colorado following my family and where I am currently located. I’ve lived in 13 different houses, seemingly always on the move. I’m one of the first people in my family born here in America. I come from a biracial and tri-cultural family who has helped shape me into who I am today. My rich and complicated history and upbringing is the core of who I am and who I plan to be. I am a creative, an artist, a storyteller, a creator of worlds. I try not to fit myself into a box because if I’ve learned anything about my world constantly changing, it’s that life is what you make it. Boundaries are non-existent. Read more>>