We regularly ask our interviewees what makes them happy because at the end of the day, what else really matters? We’ve highlighted some of the responses below.

Alexandra Kontrimas | Artist

One of my favorite feelings is sitting down for a painting and having this exciting feeling of “omg I have no idea how I’m going to do this.” I’m excited by challenges that I’m not 100% sure I can achieve. It allows me to be very present and active in the creative experience. Because I’m not totally confident in all the details of the task, it’s a constant discovery. I find the challenge extremely motivating. Whether it’s new materials, new textures, challenging lighting, something new – gives me something exciting to discover in the process. Although by now I’ve figured out the way to achieve these things is to 1) just get started, and 2) one step at a time. If some projects are extremely daunting I may do a few studies before getting started on the piece. This allows me to get acquainted with the materials, color palette, or some of the details that are new to me. The process of taking on new challenges creatively brings me a lot of contentment. Read more>>

Annie Anderson | Yogi – Coach – Adventurer

Everything about my life makes me happy! My kids are amazing people, their dad and I have a successful coparenting relationship. My pet dragon. I was terrified of reptiles until about 18 months ago. He reminds me how much I’ve changed. Motorsport racing. Who knew that the smell of racing fuel and burnt tires with the background noise of cars on track would be so exhilarating? Summer camp, fancy dresses, sling yoga, adventures. I am ridiculously in love with my life. Read more>>

James Mahon | Photographer

I am at my happiest in the very early morning with a camera in my hand. I rise early, normally at around 5am, and go for a walk. I live 2km from my local town, Athy. Most days I will walk to town with a small camera in my pocket. Sometimes I will take photos and other days the camera remains unused. It is a solitary time and I find it mentally uplifting. During my walk I mentally plan out my day ahead. My ongoing photography project “Athy before Breakfast” has it’s origins in these walks. I find it very satisfying to see the town come to life each morning. It provides great inspiration and photographic opportunities. Read more>>

Cristian Sigler | Artist

I miss riding my bicycle on the east side of Austin, TX at night after a long shift and not necessarily having a destination but just improvising with my whereabouts, wether it was meeting up with a friend for a drink or a mischievous make out session. Now a-days I just stick to coffee and cigarettes. And film, there’s always film. Read more>>

Fernando Moguel | Musician, Singer, Producer, Illustrator, Writer and Educator

Creating makes me happy. Whether it is writing a poem or short story, creating an illustration, producing a video, or composing a song, the process of creating something from my own imagination is something I have always loved. That process of turning an original concept or idea into something tangible is my state of happiness. It gets me in that flow state, the state of being completely engaged in the present moment. I think creativity and mindfulness are similar in many ways. It’s not to say that there aren’t stressful moments during the process of creation; in fact, the creation process often brings certain roadblocks and moments of frustration, but the moments are temporary and the reward of resolving the challenges is much greater and definitely worth the temporary frustration. Ever since I can remember, I have loved creating. As I child, and even as I grew older, wherever I would go, I would always carry a notebook to doodle, draw, write, or tinker with ideas. Read more>>

Ken Kiefer | Underwater Photographer

Coming up with a vision that we can work to create underwater images always makes me extremely happy. Using just the seed of an idea and pursuing the logistics and all the moving parts is very satisfying artistically. Read more>>

Jami Amerine | Author, Artist, Speaker

Happiness is being in my studio with the balcony door wide open. I love the weather in Houston. It is just right 90% of the time. The air inspires me. From my studio all I see is tree tops. I think people picture Houston as this desert like, squelching metropolis. It is a forest, a picturesque forest, the perfect location for creating masterpieces. Read more>>

Lys Santamaria | Contemporary Beadwork Artist

Following my inspiration and curiosity truly makes me happy. As an artist, I’ve learned to prioritize my energy and to listen to the way that my body feels. If I’m tired, I rest. If I feel energetic, I dive into a new project. If I lose interest, I let that project rest and focus on what is interesting. For me, this has been the best way to protect and cultivate my creativity. Although it might seem a bit counter-intuitive, it is surprisingly the best way for me to be productive. Read more>>