We asked some of our favorite folks what makes them happy and why?

Stevie Chun | Watercolor and Mixed Media Artist

There definitely isn’t just one simple answer to what makes me happy. I think happiness is complex and has many layers. One layer of my happiness is knowing that those closes to me are doing well and are happy themselves. I struggle to stay happy when those around me are in pain. My art is an outlet for my emotions and when others connect with my work I feel happiness. Being able to connect with other individuals who I may never have spoken to before connecting over my work gives me joy and is another layer of being happy. Also what makes me happy are my animals. I have many animals at my home and each one brings happiness. My husband and I have two dogs and a cat. We also have five indoor birds, seven chickens and two koi fish. Having to wake up each day just to care for these animals brings purpose to our lives. Seeing them healthy and happy brings me happiness. These are just a few layers of what makes me happy. Read more>>

Amerah Simone | Fashion Designer & Photographer

What makes me happy about my swimwear brand is, when my customers wear my products & tag me to see, recommend me to their friends, and come back to buy more. I’ve never too much stressed about how much money i made, i just really wanted to see people in my products. I love seeing all different body shapes in my swimwear, i love seeing how happy and confident my customers look. Read more>>

Jena Kirmse | Adventure Travel Blogger & Personal Trainer

The things that make me happiest in life have always been the same. There are really five main factors that lead to my happiness. All are fulfilling in their own way and all are necessary to maintain my happiness.Traveling the world makes me extremely happy and fills my heart in a way that is unmatchable. I absolutely love exploring new cultures, meeting new people, understanding their lifestyle, and learning ways that I can improve my life through the things other cultures and countries teach me. I am so fascinated by how open and loving people can be, even when you don’t speak the same language, and somehow you still understand each other through body language and laughter. I love exploring the geography of each country and how shocking the landscapes can be! I love being absolutely mind blown to find crystal clear swimming holes in a land you thought was only filled with barren fields or snowy tree-filled mountains right outside of the Sahara desert. I thrive off of being shocked by the world’s beauty, educating myself, and in turn others on what our planet has to offer. Read more>>

Shaneika Goodman | Serial Entrepreneur

There are many things that make me happy. However, if I had to choose one thing, it would be helping others and instilling hope. I find great joy in communicating with others about finding their niche and purpose, as well as acknowledge their talents and skills. I have encountered many individuals who are bright, with amazing talents but lack confidence in their ability to succeed. I love uplifting others and helping them to see the good in everything. There are a lot of people who will provide their opinions about reasons why things may not work out and what roadblocks they may encounter, however I help individuals see why they should pursue opportunities. When it comes to being successful, challenges are expected and there may be some fear. I always tell my friends and family to “do it scared.” I love when I can have these talks with others and it changes their mindset almost instantly and they become motivated to take the jump. When I hear all about their success stories weeks, months, and years later, it is so fulfilling and this is what makes me happy. Read more>>

Frida Cano | Artist & Curator

Being in sync with the rhythms of the Universe makes me happy. I believe that when you allow yourself to freely flow in life –just like water flows all over the planet– then everything makes sense, fear is gone, and insecurities vanish. Then one can really start enjoying the present time, whatever it is. Read more>>

Narbeh Leon | Scenic Art Designer/ Director

It all started way back in my toddle years where I began feeling the need to create anything I can with whatever I had, meaning, I took a simple paint brush and doodled all around my parent’s bedroom walls which would give me an adrenaline rush to keep going as much as possible. During the recession I had a setback where I continued my education toward in management at California State University of Northridge (CSUN). I then had an epiphany that it was not my calling so the road led me back to my original passion for arts. One of the happiest moments was my time spent in Pasadena City College as I studied product and architectural design and began to flourish from then on. Read more>>

Antonio Vasquez | History Teacher & Musician

What makes me happy is having the time to explore my interests and spending time with loved ones. I became a teacher, not just because I love working with youth but also because I realized there were no jobs out there that would give me a whole 2 months off during the summertime. I decided that, though teaching is a very hard job to do, is rewarding in the sense that you get to shape future generations but after you get a whole of it it could also afford you time to explore whatever you’re into. For instance, the thing I want to learn the most about is instruments. How to play instruments to make music and eventually perform. For anyone who dares to go on that journey, there is a realization after a few months of dabbling in it that it will take you a while before you can even get decent at it. I thought to myself, what do I not mind doing with my time that brings me satisfaction always? The answer was music. Read more>>

June Jung | Tattoo Artist and Painter

I feel happy whenever I receive positive feedback about my art — paintings or tattoos. I’m not much of a talker and creating art is my most expressive way of interacting with others. To get a positive reaction means having a deep personal connection. Furthermore, to see that my art has brought happiness to others makes me feel that I am making a possitive contribution to the world. Read more>>

Luis Miguel Lopez | Freelance Photographer & Filmmaker

One of my favorite things to do would have to be taking road trips with my closest friends. Every single trip I’ve taken with my friends has always resulted in endless stories of nostalgic memories. Taking photos with my camera and making videos cements those moments in our timelines; Nothing brings me greater joy than to look back and reminisce on the memories we’ve made along the way. It lets you track your own personal progress and gives you hope for your future endeavors. Read more>>

Justine Lutz | Professional Commercial Dancer

I think it is always evolving just like the entity a human is. We are all sponges absorbing so much everyday. But I feel the biggest consistency of happiness for me has been traveling. I started traveling for dance at 13 years old. I remember the feeling of true inspiration when I landed in New York City for the first time. The amount of people crammed on a sidewalk. The variety of style each individual exuded. Everyone on a quest. I would look up and the buildings felt like they could touch the clouds. The honking taxis or police sirens. New York City is ruthless. You get ran over if you are too slow. Traveling is just dynamic! It keeps me feeling incredibly small. I love being a constant student. Traveling forces me to be out of my comfort zone. Even though my career in dance is full of risk and uncertainty, traveling challenges my patterns and habits. It’s harder to hide when you travel. A physical home or people that keep me safe is a way I hide in Los Angeles. Read more>>

iHee Nam | Animator & Motion Designer

I think happiness really does come from the simplest things in life. For me, it’s just being able to do what I like to do. It could sound uncomplicated, but the opportunity is not always given and present to everyone, so I think it’s really precious. Being able to do what you like, even if you experience failure, and to feel any type of emotions, all these things are what makes me happy, because it proves that I am alive. I am grateful for the fact that I can feel emotions and empathize with people, and to know that I’m breathing and living onwards, especially at a time like this, living day by day. I think everyone should give themselves a pat on the back. Read more>>

Haley Bartels | Screenwriter

The thing that makes me happiest is the Eagle Rock Dog Park. It is, unquestionably, my favorite place in Los Angeles, possibly in California, possibly the world. It’s a spectacular park (Shade! Turf! Always at least 20 dogs!), and a great place to go to get away from your keyboard and/or a story that just won’t break. Everything feels so high-stakes and stressful in this industry sometimes, so it’s nice to have a place to go and watch dogs play and remember not to take things so seriously. Try to stay in a grumpy mood as you watch a Great Dane put a Dalmatian’s whole head in its mouth, or a chunky Frenchie haul ass to fetch a stick on his teeny tiny legs, or a Pitty mix stare motionlessly into a gopher hole for a full hour. It cannot be done – your heart will lighten, I guarantee it. Read more>>

Stacy-Ann Dougé | Baker & Cake Designer

I get to wake up everyday and do something I love. I get to live my dream, which is to bake and create something amazing for each and every customer. I’ve always been passionate about food, but the fact that I get to live my passion is an unbelievable feeling. It’s a liberating feeling. I trust my customers and they trust me to bring their visions to life. I am happiest when I fulfill an order for a customer, and I see the delight in their faces when they’ve seen their cake. I am happiest when they’ve taken a bite of a slice of cake or eaten a pastry, and I get a text message or call saying how good it was. That’s what makes me happy. Read more>>

Meredyth Hunt | Certified Hand Analyst

In the natural world, finding a welcoming tree that I can climb into and sit for awhile brings me deep peace and happiness. Staying long enough in that tree until the birds get comfortable and continue building their nests or eating their prey (both things I have witnessed) is such a rare pleasure. In my personal world, playing a game with friends makes me astoundingly happy. It doesn’t even really matter what the game is, although I am partial to games where the players have to act things out and I end up crumpled on the floor. Read more>>