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

Duanghathai “Ferrari” Sotthisaowaphak: Visual Development Artist (Part time home-cook and silly-dancer!)

Things that make me happy are more likely to be something ordinary. Like waking up before the alarm, having a call with my family, cooking up something unexpectedly so good using only whatever is left in the fridge, catching a bright blue sky when glancing out the window, or finding my favorite seasonal fruit that finally arrived at the farmer’s market. Read more>>

Lenise Jackson: Aerialist, Pilates/Yoga Instructor, and a roller skater!

What makes me happy is hanging upside down and performing. I love the feeling and empowerment I get from getting my body to do things that I have never done before. Aerial Arts, dance, and working out have always given me a light. I also enjoy helping peopling get over physical and mental obstacles. Read more>>

Jhonny T: Creative & Designer

Loved ones. Sharing the joys of life with those I love…As I get older I understand and appreciate more and more how lucky I am to have the people that I have in my life. I’m constantly reminded by this crazy game of life that all things are best enjoyed with those I love…that these moments, and these relationships are priceless, and true happiness that can’t be bought. Read more>>

Megan Simon: Animation Storyteller

Beyond being around my loved ones nothing brings me joy like creating for animation and the visual arts. I love the challenge of problem-solving. I love to experiment and discover. I love using visual imagery to tell stories, build tension and get a response out of my audience. Read more>>

Oli Cohen: Cinematographer

What makes me happy? Why? Small acts of kindness mean a lot to me. There’s a humbling beauty in it. Hearing positive news, being able to help others and seeing others be successful all make me happy. I get more out of giving than receiving these days. It’s important to be able to add value even if only in a small way. Read more>>

Destiny McFarlane: Fitness Instructor/Coach

Man. The concept of happiness was really a foreign idea to me. I always questioned what it was, how to obtain or if it was even obtainable, This was largely in part because I used society’s definition of happiness. Money, clothes, cars, and the works, It was then that I figured out that happiness is subjective. Read more>>

Maya Bello: Software Engineer & Social Media Content Creator

What makes me happy is seeing people win! I remember during quarantine when I started posting tik toks and I got comments on my videos like “I’m going to major in Computer Science now” and “Granny is going to learn to code.” Those comments make me so happy because I once didn’t see myself in tech. Seeing so many people, who don’t look like the typical programmer, excited about diving into this space warms my heart and makes my day. Read more>>

Miriam Katz: Actor, Writer, and Teacher

People make me happy. I am forever interested in how people function, what they care about, how they speak, the choices they make, and what they’re striving to do. I’ve stayed connected to many friends from childhood and am also constantly connecting with new people. Read more>>

Johanna “Jo” Aranda: Mom, Wife, Educator & Business Owner

I am a big believer that joy and happiness can be found in the smallest of everyday acts. I am a morning person. I wake up with a lot of energy and ready for the day. When everyone is asleep, I read a book, journal, catch up on Instagram and Facebook, clean the house, brew some coffee, and prior to my knee injury would go to the gym. All of that brings me joy. Read more>>

Alex Wilke: Music Producer & Songwriter

I’m happiest when I’m able to connect with other people on a deeper, more complex level than that of just an acquaintance, colleague, etc. It can be as simple as that rewarding feeling when you buy the perfect gift for someone and their reaction tells you “wow, you really get me.” Read more>>

Jordan Tate: Multimedia Designer & Creative Entrepreneur

The things that make me happy are the things that I value. I value my spirituality, loved ones and time more than anything. When I make time to spend with family and friends, I don’t take that time for granted. Read more>>

Holly McClintock: Handbag designer and leather craftsman

I live for the moment I get to watch someone fall in love with something iv’e made. I get to stand back and say nothing while they turn it over in their hands and run to find a mirror so they can see themselves holding it. When someone has that reaction to a thing that you did you know you’ve done your job right. Read more>>

Eric Schackne: Producer, Composer, Music Director, Teacher,

I make me happy. That’s one of those big life lessons for me, learning that my relationship to what I perceive as outside my self is my reality. Every day I have a choice to do my best to remember my worth. I’ve experienced extreme bliss on stage with lights so bright that I couldn’t see the massive audience watching and screaming along. Read more>>

Stephanie Aguayo: Artist/ Stylist and Costume Designer

In my work what makes me happy is challenging myself in new ways. A lot of the work I do with textiles and color requires tests, research and investigation. The work can become meditative and also chaotic, in the process I find I always return to the why of my work, which is– a deep need for expression and connection. Read more>>

Juli Agajanian: Licensed Psychotherapist & Certified Eating Disorders Specialist

What makes you happy and why: As an only child, my love language has always been quality time. I love getting to know people, connecting with them, and laughing (loudly) with them. When thinking about my dream career, psychotherapist was just the obvious answer. Read more>>