We had the good fortune of connecting with Maddison Cross and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Maddison, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Ever since I was a kid, I have always wanted to create art to share with others— be it through storytelling or gathering proceeds for charities I strongly believed in. Fame was never part of the plan for me. My main goal was (and still is) to spread kindness and hope through my works. Anyone can make a difference in this world. I choose my love of art and storytelling to aid me.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I create art centered around niche pop culture— mostly inspired by the likes of Marvel, Disney, Star Wars, 2000s “emo” music, and more!

My art style has a more cartoon style to these niche subjects, some designs referencing specific details in their respective medias (ie: subtle lyrical references, hidden jokes featured in medias, etc.).

I’m very excited and proud that I have recently started creating and selling acrylic charms, as I have always wanted to add like products to my website! I hadn’t realized until I dug deeper that there were so many options in regards to designs and styles for charms!

I started my journey as early as I could. Probably around second grade. I didn’t officially sell anything until 2017– when I was about 19 years old. I opened an Etsy shop and started out with stickers. Business was slow and sparse until November 2020 when I created a design in regards to the pandemic that many people enjoyed!

None of this was easy. It’s still not. A lot of research and late nights go into my business, but I really do enjoy every bit of it. There’s still a lot to be learned even now after over five years of operation. There’s always room to improve!

At the end of the day, I really want my artwork to make people at least half as happy as it makes me. So far, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback that shows it does more than half. That’s really encouraging! I also want to show inclusivity along with creativity for everyone!

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?
I’m more of a themed events type of person, but living in LA there is always something to do!

Some of my favorite places are LACMA, the Getty, Universal Studios/CityWalk, Amoeba Records, and The Americana. The Americana is the only odd one out because I adore their Barnes and Noble store! There is no specific order for these places either, but they all hold a piece of my heart.

LACMA and Getty are by far my favorite museums ever! The exhibits are always so fascinating and immersive in their own ways.

I grew up going to Universal Studios. I believe it’s the reason I have an interest in storytelling for studios like it. There’s also a lot of food options in CityWalk that don’t disappoint.

Lastly, Amoeba Records is a California staple! I’ve had some interesting luck in the store both as a music and movie lover. There’s some sort of magic and serenity in that store that I can’t find anywhere else.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to thank my grandma! She’s the one who really fueled my love for art more than anything! Especially at a young age with school projects!

I’d also like to thank my friends who have encouraged me— near and far; past and present. Thanks for always being in my corner!

Lastly, a special thank you to everyone who supports me online via social media and through my online store! All of the support means a lot to me, no matter what!

Website: betterwithapen.com

Instagram: Instagram.com/better.with.a.pen/

Other: Tiktok: betterwithapen

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