We asked some of the city’s most brilliant and creative minds to tell us about the most difficult decision they’ve had to make.

Jing Han | Film Editor

To me, moving to the US is the most difficult decision. To pursue a career as a film editor, moving to the US is an obvious choice. However, that means living away from my family, building connections from the ground, totally different culture, and a lot of things I need to adjust myself to. I still don’t think I’ve thought everything through now that I am here. It was really scary when I made the decision. But I’m glad I did anyway. Read more>>

Bryan Proctor | Videographer/Photographer

The decision to walk away from my safety net, in aerospace, is easily the most difficult I’ve had to make. The conviction surrounding this decision is real. It is palpable. It is an every day journey between elation and struggle. Being an engineer for 10+ was incredibly safe…until COVID. As I’m swimming on this river of safety, its covering up the sharp rocks and danger that lies below. With funding for projects all of a sudden vanishing at the end of 2019, I got to see the lack of creativity I was allowed in my positions. Read more>>

Shiva Howell | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Art Therapist.

I have a career that consistently reminds me of the power of human connection. The impact you have on one person has this ripple effect on everyone around them and I think we all need to be reminded of that. Magical things happen when you show people empathy. I work with people who have endured some really horrific things, and that doesn’t mean that they are the ONLY ones who deserve empathy! There is no hierarchy in pain… everyone has their tragedy and everyone deserves compassion. Even the “bad guys” have their story and are ultimately responding to their environment. I’ve learned to not judge people’s behaviors and to respect everyone’s journey. Read more>>

Kylie Shaw | Visual Artist

Before I started my business, my art was always a hobby that I did in collaboration. However, I’ve learned that every hobby has the potential to fuel a passion and while there are pros and cons, in today’s society we can turn those passions into businesses. That shift for me is something that I am still working through and setting boundaries has been a huge lesson for me, in my career and in my personal life, especially these past couple years. I think the most important thing I’ve had to learn is balance. With the waves of the creative industry, it is really hard to do this and it looks different for everyone. I have learned it is important for me to still make time for personal art and my other hobbies. Read more>>

Saif Love | Singer/Songwriter

There are many lessons my career has taught me over the years. If I could break it down into two things I’d say first, you are your own toughest critic and second, consistency is key. When you’re creating a piece of art, it’s very easy to be insecure about it or think it’s not good enough. You’re literally taking a small idea from your mind, creating it (in my case music), and sharing it with the world. Read more>>

Gia Carello | Independent Singer/Songwriter & Founder of The Aeipathy Project: A Passion Movement

I would say the decision to keep fighting for my dreams and goals as an artist has been the most difficult. It’s not easy to wake up every day and tell yourself “Okay. You’ve got this, just keep going and don’t give up. It will all be worth it someday.” A lot of kids I grew up with wanted to become doctors, teachers, lawyers or be in other college-dependent careers, which is great if that is your passion, but when you say you want to be a singer or in the entertainment arena, most people will just brush you off or politely advise you that maybe you’re dreaming too big. Read more>>

Joy Ira | Mother of a singing champion, Community and Church Volunteer

My name is Joy. I’m a mom to my daughter who is a singing champion and dancer, a worker in the financial services for almost two decades, and a Church volunteer. The most difficult decision I’ve made was when my mom passed away in 2018 from Multiple Myeloma cancer. She was everything to us — our guide, strength and mentor. We’ve built our dreams together and part of it was to give back to our community by sharing our talents. Read more>>

Rachel Becker | Actor & Writer

I had to bring myself to the realization that at the end of the day, I have to be my biggest supporter. For way too long I relied on what other’s thought of my choices and career. There will always be at least one person in the room that will disagree with your actions no matter what you do, but they aren’t the ones living your path. Everything you do from the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed has to be intentional. Be choosy with who you let into your precious personal bubble. Once you lead with that mindset, your career and private life will flourish. Read more>>