By far the most common conversation we have with the folks we interview is about work-life balance. Starting a business or pursuing a creative career makes finding work life balance really tough because there is no clear start and end to one’s work day. We’ve shared some of our conversations on the topic below.

Caroline Liem | Casting Director | Coach | VP of Casting Society of America

The thing about BALANCE is that it’s like a scale, juggling work and life responsibilities along with joy, finding something must be left out or risk tipping the scale. The desire in the story of BALANCE is stillness and there is great value to be found there. It is in the quiet and in the moments between the lines where the magic happens. Lately, I lean more and more into HARMONY. We are our whole story, our entire voice; where we come from, who has guided and cheered and challenged us, are all part of our lived experiences. HARMONY keeps us in momentum, and allows for all our great juicy, messy, beautiful, thoughtful, and courageous parts to live in the same space as we keep stepping. Harmony creates possibility to bring forward a certain part my story when needed for my business – a project, a client – and another part personally, with friends and family, but it is all supported by my entire self, staying present by leaving nothing behind. Read more>>

Sarah Kim | Restaurant Owner

For the better half of my career, work WAS my life. I was pulling 80 hour work weeks and drinking too much during my off hours in an attempt to maintain a semblance of a social life- this kind “balance” was definitely not sustainable. Everything has definitely shifted since I’ve become the mother of two headstrong kids, and married my husband Johnnie, who’s also in the restaurant business and struggled with the same balancing act in the past. My life would be impossible if I did not value a healthy work life balance, one that puts a emphasis on life so that my mind and body are sharp and strong for work. Because my life and my business are still tied closely together I need to know when to put my phone down, stop checking my emails, take time off with my family, and enjoy some solo mani-pedi time in order for both to function harmoniously. I know that a healthy work / life balance can be a luxury, especially in Los Angeles, so I am very thankful that I can finally realize it for myself. Read more>>

Joan Wirolinggo | Artist

In the beginning of my career, I felt pressure to keep up with my peers and other artists that I follow in social media. There was a sense of guilt to rest while the others were working hard. So I would take on more freelance job or passion projects to keep me busy. It was really tiring. I have no time to recharge and spend with my loved ones. I come to realize that it wasn’t healthy for me. Since last year, I made a decision to set my priority right. I learned to tell myself that it’s okay to take some rest and enjoy doing what I like to do. I learn to have a set work hours and stick to them. Read more>>

Suzaine Aguirre Acuna | Director of Photography

When I was little, I remember my mom and dad seemed to have it all together – family, friends, careers. And I remember thinking, when I’m older, I’ll know how to do it all, just like they did. I’ll be able to balance my life and career.

Since I started working in film and photo, my work life balance has definitely changed. At the start of my career, I was fresh out of college and wanted to take everything on. I worked on all the sets I can be on and tried to learn from my experiences. Back then it was easy to prioritize work and a career in production. Not yet married and no kids, that was a pretty easy feat to do. Flash forward to 11 years later, with work, plus one husband, a toddler, and a brand new baby – lots have been added to my balancing beam. Read more>>

Piper Olivas | Photographer & Creative Consultant

I think this question is especially relevant to this past year during the pandemic. For the first time in my adult life, I’ve had to really slow down, almost entirely. It’s been extremely difficult, because it’s like, you’re driving your car and suddenly the car starts to break down, and eventually you have to pull over and get out and realize the car isn’t going to get you anywhere anymore. That’s kinda where I’m at right now. I was studying full-time to get my art degree, all while working a full-time job and doing an internship- and preparing for a solo show. Read more>>

Lucas Passmore | Fashion Photographer

Unfortunately, my work/life balance has kept ebbing from distinct parameters, becoming increasingly blurred. In the professional creative commercial arts– especially freelancers– creative-mode is work-mode… and work-mode is creative-mode. Because your last gig IS your last gig, you’re always planning/thinking of when, what, and how you’ll land your next job, aka, paycheck. And a critical part of that plan is how you’ll be creative. And as any creative person will tell you, that’s not just a button you push and something wholly new, exciting, and original comes out every time, on demand. So, your mind is constantly churning, attempting to land on viable options, concepts, ideas– and when you do– just how the hell you’re going to pull it off… again. And thus a skewed balance begins to favor “work” creeping into all aspects of your life. Read more>>