We asked some of the most inspiring folks we know to tell us what they are inspired by.

Annabel Lee | Artist

Some things I’m inspired by- Relationships- particularly my relationship with myself Art that forces you to deal Overcast weather Smoke The smell of diesel fuel Natural light Short stories The human body People who contribute to culture by just being themselves Dissecting mental illness Looking at Addiction Simple combinations that always work Old Perspectives / growing pains Sex and everything surrounding how we get there and what it is Fresh pages in a new journal New York City People vs. the state Grunge Being a human and also an artist and how they feel separate Spaces that feel lived in or charged up The city The woods Local artists that I’m surrounded by Rihanna. Read more>>

Perla Maarek | Fashion Photographer

I am inspired by a lot of visual things, but I would say most likely the light. I am a huge fan of the golden hours and sunsets, to me it’s magical. I am also inspired by beautiful outdoor wild locations, like the beach, desert, nature, mountains, flowers, trees etc… but sometimes an abandoned vintage gate can also catch my eye. Music inspires me too, I think visuals goes with sounds like a pair. And as fashion photographer also some type of fabrics inspires me like lace and see-through fabrics that lets the famous light shining through… Read more>>

Alexey Bever | Photographer

I am inspired by many people, things & places. As a photographer, i’m looking for anything to make the image that I have in my head just different from what any other photographer may be thinking. This can be the angle, edit style, composition and so much more. When I was first beginning my photography path, I would for sure say I had inspiration from a photographer named Clark Little. He was a fellow water photographer and that got me to get into ocean photography. I then branched out to other photographers from all over but mostly local. The friends who I capture with today give me a ton of inspiration; with its from an image they just shot or a spot they showed me. This year, I would say the most inspired idea I had was since we are all staying social distant. Read more>>

Stacy Brecht | Entrepreneur & Business Professor

I’m inspired by creativity, innovation, and individuality, which are some of the reasons I love Los Angeles. It’s a city full of dreamers who push the envelope in business and entertainment. Art in various mediums speak to me and inspire me, but performing arts, namely live music and dance arts, are lifelong interests and passions that inspired me to dance professionally as well as open my public relations company, Carder Brecht Communications, LLC (CBC). I started CBC in Los Angeles more than a decade ago with the goal of helping others achieve their dreams while sharing my artistic and business abilities. In addition to providing public relations services to help artists, businesses, and nonprofit organizations shine in the media, CBC is helping entrepreneurs build their companies. Read more>>

Emre Sabuncuoglu | Classical Guitarist

Music, in and of itself, has always been an inspiration although I’m equally inspired by the sheer power of music to move each of us on many different levels. We’re consciously and subconsciously affected by it every day. It plays in the background of our favorite movie scenes or in our fondest memories. But performing music you love on your very own instrument propels that notion to entirely new heights. I derive an incredible sense of joy and satisfaction when expounding upon technique and enabling individuals to perform the music they love. Our students at LAGA, their progression and inquisitiveness are a source of constant motivation. It’s been a decades-long pursuit. And yet, I feel I’ve only scratched the surface. Read more>>

Tasha Chang | Director of Education & Food Enthusiast

Definitely my eldest daughter. Watching her run tampered my heartache, as she prepared a cocktail of meds and pre-meet rituals to manage her asthma. Her unwavering grit carried her and after four years of high school, became the MVP of track her senior year. Watching her struggle was difficult, having the desperate urge to help and guide her. Being an unwilling spectator was my role. However, my soaring joy was a daily enamor of her inspiration to press on. The grit to proceed, to sweat, and to continually innovate is what inspires me. I started my business at the age of 44, devoid of any business training in my academic arsenal, naive and nowhere to go but to survive. The passion of helping students and properly advising them from a teacher’s milieu pushed me to provide an educational center that our community was lacking. Read more>>

Brandon Jay Scott | Variety Artist, Magician, Songwriter & Creative Visionary

I am inspired by the opportunity to bring joy to others and enrich their lives in some way. It inspires me to be a catalyst, stimulating a shift in perception in people to reconnect with their inner child ,awaken their clown chakra and embrace their past and future selves. In creating projects, inspiration can come from an idea, a dream or the need to problem solve. I often draw inspiration from nature,people, art, music and life in general. Read more>>

Jeff Victor | Pop Culture Artist

Movies and pop culture are endlessly inspiring my art. I take visual cues from everything. From old films like Sunset Blvd and Wizard of Oz, to new pop culture trends like Stranger Things and the Mandalorean. I even did a series of drawings I called “Classics of Crap”, where I illustrated fan art from “bad” movies that rarely get seen, let alone celebrated by artists, like Ghoulies, Showgirls, and Troll 2. When Mad Max Fury Road came out a few years ago, I was so absolutely blown away by the artistry of that movie, it’s all I could draw for a while. I even did a bizarre mashup between Mad Max and Beauty and the Beast, with Belle as Furiosa, Beast as Immortan Joe, and even Belle’s father painted white and leaping to Valhalla. It was very strange. Read more>>

Bhagya Wijewardane | Director & Owner

The main person who inspired me, at the very outset of my journey in this life, was my great grandmother, my father’s grandmother. I was lucky enough to interact with her until I was 5 years old. My mother shared her story with me. All throughout her life, she had possessed an extremely impressive potential for creating wealth for her and her decedents. According to my parents, she had eventually ended up creating a massive real estate empire, which has been rather unusual for a woman at that era in Sri Lanka. I want to mention my parents who guided us through everything. Read more>>

Chantel Vaultz | Founder, Author & Teacher Trainer

There is a quote by one of my favorite authors, Ntozake Shange, where she states: “I write for young girls of color, for girls who don’t even exist yet, so that there is something there for them when they arrive.” This adage speaks to my why: my inspiration. Creating a book club started out as such a private thing. My best friend and I as roommates, swapping books we loved, then fervently discussing them. And starting all over again. We realized this process was as therapeutic as it was fun. We learned so much from the books we read, and then we learned even more from one another. I realized this was an experience we couldn’t simply keep to ourselves. Once Sistahs R.E.A.D. was formed, it took on a life of its own. Read more>>

Hilary Thomas | Artistic Director & Lineage Performing Arts Center

I am inspired by the resilience, courage, and passion of other people. I find myself continually motivated to share interesting stories that I hear through movement, music, and dance. Through connecting with others regularly (which has unique and obvious challenges these days), I am energized. Through making art, I am energized. I am so lucky to be surrounded by a community of artists who are eager to collaborate and connect just as much as I am! Read more>>