To pivot or to persevere? Or more bluntly – to give up or to not to give up? This is a haunting question, a question that has ramifications far after an answer has been chosen and it’s also a question that almost everyone in our community has had to face at one time or another. How do you know when to give up and when to keep trying?

Roxanne Karpatvolgyi | Freelance Illustrator & 2D Game Artist

I think you just know deep down that- doesn’t matter how hard life gets – you just can’t give up. 2020 has been a tough year for all of us, and it has challenged every lives on the planet and every career. I have been fired early at this year, and so I had my hard time deciding whether I should give up my dream, and I try to find a job, any job as soon as possible. Or I do not give up, and I keep going to reach my dreams, because after all that’s what matters, to fill our lives with things that excites us and makes us happy on a daily basis. And everytime, I reached rock bottom, I just knew that if I give up I can not be happy, so I’ve decided that I will keep going till I’ll success. So my advice is that you shouldn’t give up. If there’s something that you’re really passionate about, keep going, educate yourself, find new people who have more experience in that thing you’re interested in, and go for it. Read more>>

Ashley Duran | Freelance model and Bartender

Growing up I didn’t come from what many would say a rich family. Losing my mom in my late teens made me grow up a lot faster than others. It dramatically changed my life. I wouldn’t say I come from an easy way of life, but I have been and still face challenges today. Not that many people know that about me because I am a person who likes to keep to myself when it comes to feelings and emotions. I was always told to be strong, independent and don’t depend on anyone else. I wake up every day, and I ask myself this question, keep going or give up? I constantly remind myself that there is always going to be good days, bad days, and maybe just some of those days in between. Through all of life’s challenges, I am not someone who gives up even on my most darkest days. Read more>>

Yue Yu | Auteur & Visual Storyteller & Multimedia Artist

‘Regret nothing’ is the quote on a key tag I got from the ‘Distant Lands’ bookstore when I first moved to Pasadena. When I recall the crises and dilemmas of my past, present, and future, I have always been able to solve them. Despite the circumstances… it’s always been about making hard choices at each crossroads, having transformational moments, and finding myself. Cinematographer Affonso Beato (and frequent Pedro Almodóvar collaborator) taught me lighting with the ‘Gestalt’ philosophy, about “seeing things through an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts,” mirrors my view of the world. So, taking it further, I used light in my stories. My short narrative debut is about a drama institute student who can see auras–light emitted from those around her. Read more>>