We asked some of the city’s rising stars to reflect on what made a difference in their journey. We asked them to tell us about what they think the most important factor has been behind their success.

Jack Druffel | Composer for Media & Musician

Something I swear by working with tight deadlines, I turn my phone into a digital timer and put it next to my monitor. Having the deadline tick away in front of my eyes is a great motivator as I work well under pressure. Keeping a daily/weekly to-do list has also helped me stay on top of the day-to-day while not losing focus on the bigger picture. I’ll usually review the week before and prepare for the week ahead each Sunday. Something integral for me, I need to stay active by climbing, usually at my local gym, and going on weekly hikes. That helps to balance out the long days in the studio. Read more>>

Madeline Abatemarco | Production Coordinator & Character/Prop Designer for TV Animation

For me personally, I’ve found that success is something that happens gradually over longer expanses of time rather than short bursts or clusters, and so I’ve adjusted my thinking patterns and habits to reflect on that idea. I’ve put much less time pressure on myself when it comes to success, and I think by doing so it’s helped me feel more comfortable to take more risks and maintain a better work/life balance because I’m not feeling as though I constantly always have to be “on,” or that in a week’s time I need to see tangible progress in myself or my work. Read more>>

Travis Marks | Storyboard Artist

Here are some habits that have really helped me, and hopefully they can help you too! 1. Practice drawing fundamentals (film studies, life drawing, anatomy studies, master copies etc) everyday for 30 minutes. BE CONSISTENT. You can’t learn what you think you already know, and with art, you can’t get good at it simply by understanding it conceptually. You have to do it to learn it.
2. Journal for 30 minutes everyday for processing emotions, learning about myself and others, and taking the time to note what I’m grateful for. Read more>>

Shiloh Eyes | Artist, Producer, Songwriter & Engineer

I’ve always been pretty self-disciplined. The process of making music can be very experimental and loose, but a big part of it is just plain hard work. You have to be meticulous and focused for very long periods of time, and sometimes you need to go for as long as you can, until it feels right, and that’s not always easy. I also work as an engineer, which also requires long periods of intense focus. Producing music can feel no different. Read more>>

Nidhi Jarmanwala | Production Designer

“If you have passion for something just go for it even if the journey seems difficult, sooner or later you will figure it out. But don’t let the flame inside you fade away.” I believe in always working hard and letting your work decide the results. Always try to give your 100 percent and don’t expect something in return. Right people will always notice you. And when times are tough try and avoid negative self-talk. Read more>>

Celia Rivera | Actor, Director, Disruptor, Theatremaker

Believing in myself more than anyone else (Inner thoughts and self talk is so crucial, especially when things get really challenging), Asking trusted colleagues to provide honest and thoughtful feedback on my work, Making sure to rest and actively stepping away from the work I do (Productivity is intentional and being productive means being intentional about rest), Being able to discern and build relationships with colleagues who believe in the values and vision of my business, Finding moments to affirm and thank colleagues and partners for their contributions, Finding enjoyment in my work, Initiating cold intros, follow ups and asks (You’d be surprised how eager people are to connect and build relationships), Being intentional about centering and working with historically excluded folx. (my work will ALWAYS be better for it and for my community), Making time to celebrate the wins! Read more>>