We love asking the folks that inspire and excite us about what inspires and excites them. Check out their responses below.

Brenna Daly | Actor

Inspiration is a shift or change in your perspective of life. On an everyday basis, I feel inspired to be a reflection of the world and all of the people and perspectives we come to encounter. Thriving off of the energies of those around me brings so much joy and happiness. The creativity and passion of others bring me back to being a kid on the playground, ready to jump and swing and dance with everyone around me. Being a witness to life and everything it has to offer is why I strive to be a part of it. It’s intriguing to see resourcefulness, innovativeness, and originality. My true inspiration is drawn from art. I love to create, see others create, and feel uplifted by knowing the world is a place filled with imagination. Read more>>

Tom Bajoras | Cofounder

I’m inspired by elegance. What I mean by “elegance” is a combination of beauty, simplicity, and function. One normally thinks of elegance in connection with clothing, architecture, cars, etc., but I believe it can apply to anything that’s designed to serve a purpose, and that includes software. When I’m presented with a problem, I don’t just want to find a solution; I want to find the most elegant solution. For software this means the simplest, smallest amount of code that completely solves the problem. The parallels in the arts where I find inspiration are Bach, Japanese poetry, and farm-to-table cuisine. Elegant solutions don’t just satisfy my artistic ego; they also have real economic benefits to our clients: Elegant software is less prone to problems, more durable (as the software needs to work with future versions of hardware and software), and it is more easily maintained by future developers who weren’t involved in writing the original version of the software. Read more>>

Danny Kirschenbaum | Art Printer, Framer, and Supporter

People who think different. I recently had a client call who was looking to buy a printer cable. We don’t sell cables but he figured we’re a print shop, we probably have printer cables. The right offer and he gets what he needs. He had nothing to lose and didn’t care if we said no. So we invited him over and tried to help him out as much as we could. Following through on weird ideas inspires me. We all have ideas that we talk ourselves out of. These are the ones I want to explore and see what they can turn into. Read more>>

Haya Zoubi | Photographer & Candle Maker

I am inspired by, in no particular order: People: Oscar Wilde, William S. Burroughs, Madonna, Jim Morrison, Malcom X, John Cassavetes, Bret Easton Ellis, Guy Bourdin, Marlon Brando, Angela Davis, Sid Vicious, Anton Corbijn, Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Arthur Rimbaud… Places: Los Angeles, Paris, Barcelona, St. Tropez. Also, I’ve been to Shanghai once, and I would like to go back again. Books: On The Road, Black Swans, A Season in Hell, Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime, No Exit, The Beautiful and the Damned, Glamorama. Movies: Apocolypse Now, Valley of the Dolls, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, The Godfather I Music: A Clockwork Orange Soundtrack. Read more>>

Evan Sloan | Writer, Actor and Digital Creator.

I’m inspired by stories. I consider myself a journeyman of sorts and by that I mean, I like to experience all walks of life. All types of people. Everyone has a story and the most incredible thing about that is that you’ll never know what’s going on in anyones life at any given moment. People are filled with and made up of emotions and when given the chance to tell a story, most people open up. I’m always inspired when someone opens up their world to another to share a story, whether it be a triumph or a failure, a story of love or a story of loss, it’s a story that gives you a glimpse into that person’s life and any preconceived notions you may have of that person can dissipate just but hearing what they have to say. It helps you understand where they come from and why they are the way they are. As a writer/performer working in the entertainment industry, I find it extremely important to listen. You’d be surprised at some of the stories that exist out there. Read more>>

Ece Diler | Painter & Illustrator & Artist

I am inspired mainly by humans’ complex emotions and how they manifest themselves to the outer world via tattoos or fashion, or behavior. Being interested in human emotions automatically makes me interested in the situations that humans go through. Also, Nature and its beauty, the shapes of the fruits or colors the flowers bring me so much inspiration. Everything is so interconnected in the world. So a simple fruit can deliver so many emotions to a human. Just think of a person who is eating strawberries for the first time. Read more>>

John Austin | Professional Lyric Adept

Experience is the best teacher. Living life is the greatest muse. Traveling, people-watching and engaging different people inspire me to write about the similarities and contrasts in different sub-cultures and nationalities. those things inspire me. The highs and lows of falling i love and that consequential heartbreak have inspired many a classic poem, painting and song. (Vincent Van Gogh went waaaay too far and even cut off his ear for it lol.) But i say that to say the entire spectrum of the human condition (joy, fear, melancholy, anger, sadness) all lend to creative expression. Read more>>

Alexandra Dwek | Philanthropist

I am very inspired by people who are civically interested & motivated to make a difference in other peoples lives through philanthropy and often through their efforts and tireless commitment enact change. I respect and admire people who give their time and energy to help a cause, organization or charity. Of course I realize that all organizations need charitable contributions and donations in order to operate and I do not discount the enormous generosity some people provide but I am personally inspired by people who do both and are willing to give of themselves. Read more>>

Melissa Vargas & Cassandra Ybarra-Babcock | Love | Made|Visible Events & Designs, Co-Owners & Designers.

Some of the most beautiful and quietly important moments of our lives have been shared while sitting around tables with our loved ones. It’s from that feeling of joy through gathering and community in our lives that we are inspired to help build those experiences for others. We take to heart the old adage that people will always remember how you make them feel, and it’s armed with that belief that we aspire to create. Our own creative process is also something of a self-sustaining inspiration supply. The process of materializing a look from something we’ve imagined is exciting and rewarding! Each new project is like a canvas as we transition the look and feel of a space from where it is to where we want to be through different design elements. Read more>>

Kemal Cilengir | Street Photographer

My friends and fellow artists. Being out in the streets knowing that my friends are by my side documenting the same events or just out shooting street photography keeps me going. Everyday I am inspired by their determination and the images they create. Their consistency, talent, and growth gets me out of the house and back on the grind. Read more>>

Tam Nguyen | Community Leader & Family Business Owner

I am inspired by my family and the community of which I feel a deep sense of belonging to. For me making the world a better place for my children and the next generation drives me each day to make a difference. One such group I’m honored to be a co-Founder for is Nailing It For America, a 5 member group of Southern California-based professionals who have made an incredible difference at a time when society needed it most. Starting in March 2020 in response to the coronavirus crisis, the all-volunteer Nailing It For America group has worked around the clock to help those most vulnerable working with partners to collect and deliver more than 1.2 million personal protective equipment worth approximately $30 million to protect healthcare and other front-line workers across the U.S. We also partnered with Orange County restaurants and others serving over 70,000 restaurant grade meals to the most vulnerable isolated seniors, families in need, veterans and mental health recipients. Read more>>

Julian Pineda | DJ Prodijay Open-Format DJ based in Los Angeles

As a guy who continues to innovate and make moves to follow his dreams, Julian Pineda mentions “I am always inspired by others who took similar leaps. It’s an instant bond and a sense of understanding when I connect with fellow creatives and entrepreneurial peers. The highs, the lows, the daily grind & struggle not to mention the adrenaline rush makes visions much more worth the chase.” The pandemic lockdowns gave the Los Angeles based DJ some time to reflect on his music career while working on his mind, body, and soul. As stay-at-home orders were worldwide across the globe, people spent so much alone time with themselves like never before. Music has been used as an escape for DJ Prodijay from the outside noise. An everyday muse. DJ Prodijay describes his current search for new music daily through live streaming platforms. Read more>>

G’bari Gilliam | Dancer

I am inspired by the limitless possibilities of the world. I am inspired by new discoveries, the innovation, as well as, the natural and the organic. I love art because there is always a new take, a new idea, a new perspective. Whether it is in music, in Dance, or in physical art. There is a continuous drive to do something new. This pushes my own creativity as an artist. I am a professional dancer working in the Dance Industry, the Concert Dance world, and the underground street dance world. Seeing new movement, new choreography, new video techniques, get me excited. Each person is so different in how they take in the world, and through art you can really get a glimpse of the world through someone else lens for moment. You can see how, they see nature, society, technology, the human body etc. The world has limitless potential. Read more>>

Li Anne Liew | Photographer, Filmmaker, Graphic Designer

Whether “mundane” or a part of some “Top 10 Places to Visit” list, I find myself consistently inspired by different places. I’ve been inspired by the sights of driving by mountains at night, walking in a foreign city with a friend, and exploring the history of the country I grew up in. I like finding places that become special to me. I don’t care too much about “creatively invigorating” places. I find myself having a very fleeting amount of time, to which I am afraid that I have not done or seen enough of the place that I am in. It almost feels as if it were the end of the world, which is a recurring theme in my images. As a photographer, I often try to capture and remember the places I’ve been to as accurately as I can but it never really works out. Lately, in the post-production/editing process, I find myself altering my images, sometimes very slightly, sometimes more dramatically with less naturalism. I re-interpret these places to encapsulate how I felt in the moment I captured it, and at the time I am creating the final image. Read more>>

Kellie Wagner | Founder & CEO, DEI Strategist

People’s stories– about their lives, their upbringings, their families, all of it– is what inspires me in my work and life. While diversity and inclusion work is often looked at as being very ethnocentric-focused (meaning centered on different groups of people, be they racial, gender, sexual orientation, etc.), I actually look at this work as being very human-centric. What are the things that shape us? What are the monumental events that happen to us in our lives that send us down a certain path, but also what are the seemingly inconsequential details that mold the way we view the world? Stories, our own personal histories, and how they overlap or differ from others’ allow us to both connect and expand our understanding of the world around us. I could sit down with a stranger and ask questions about their life all day long and be quite content. Read more>>

Kyle McCammon | Music Producer and Songwriter

Visual art is very inspiring for me musically. I find a trip to an art museum refills my creative tank, if you will. I recently picked up a piece from an artist friend Joel Shackleford that’s hanging over the piano in my studio space. Alongside all of that, my non-music hobby is taking 35mm pictures on my point and shoot camera. For me, it’s inspiring to step away from music when I have the chance. I find it gives me more clarity when I come back to what I’ve been working on. Read more>>

Mykal Aubry | Artist

What inspires me and my art is my desire to expand and deepen my awareness of Self and existence, through my physical life. I am driven to express the momentum of my internal, energetic experiences onto canvas, with the imagery that I paint, to activate and support people in opening into a stronger connection with themselves and the universe. Also, to open to new states of being, through a more compassionate, intimate relationship to Self, leading to previously unimagined possibilities, to be embodied and lived. Read more>>

Narducci | Producer, Composer, Saxophonist

I’m inspired by creativity, originality, honesty/truth, and artistic greatness. I’m inspired by musicians, filmmakers, artists, physicists, martial artists, et al. The ocean, the cosmos, divinity, deities, metaphysics. Read more>>

Celeste Amidon | Writer

During the pandemic, I started frequenting antique stores. At first it was a time kill, but it soon became something much more. Over the past six months I’ve come out of antique stores with: a vomit bag that was sold as a promotion tool for an 80s slasher flick, a pair of old snakeskin cowboy boots, a ring with a watch on it, a plate with Teddy Roosevelt’s stern face on it, and countless other objects I hold so dear to me now. When you walk into an antique store, you find yourself surrounded by an idiosyncratic collection of items, all of which meant something to somebody once. You find relics from peoples’ lives: collections, passions, interests, gifts, heirlooms. You learn something, whether that’s why exactly people go nuts for old grandfather clocks (they’re fabulous), or what anatomy books looked like one hundred years ago. Read more>>

Kira May | College Basketball Player, Pageant Competitor, and Sociology Major

There have been so many things that have inspired me in life, good and bad. Being bullied for 12 years of my life due to my appearance and being tall, never thinking I would make it in life because I was jumped, harassed, and called transgender. I was inspired to stand up for myself and to never give up and prove to everyone that I can and I will make it in life. After struggling with bad depression and trying to take my own life In 2019, I decided to become more involved with bringing awareness to suicide which inspired me to start competing in pageants to have a platform of Suicide Awareness so my voice is heard and people know that they are never alone in any situation ever. My amazing parents who have never given up on me and pushed me to reach my goals even when I have felt like giving up. They Inspire me and reassure me that I am enough and it is okay to have bad days and to never stop fighting for what I believe in. Read more>>

Dolleesi | Singer & Songwriter

To be honest there are so many things I am inspired by, that I don’t know actually where I should start from. In my opinion everything starts from your environment. A major role for an unlocked mind in everything that you do are the people that you are surrounded by. It is really important to have people next to you who make you feel good about yourself and what you have accomplished so far. Though toxic relationships have been an inspiration for one of my original songs “Independently Me”, we should stay away from people who don’t love us.Inspiration is on everything that we see , we feel, we smell and we touch. We first have our health, and health includes mental. So open your minds and choose wisely for a better working mindset .I could say that the thing that I enjoy the most in my job and inspires me is traveling. Every time that I am on a tour I keep in my mind the best moments of it, trying to bring the strong emotions down to a paper. When I visit a new place and I meet new people, I get inspired from their stories, their routine and their life in a different culture. Read more>>

Dion Lewis | Multidisciplinary Artist & Creative Consultant

My inspirations always come from my surroundings. Being that I’m from Harlem & born in Chicago, I came up around a lot of different characters and situations which assisted in shaping the man I am today. I truly gain the most inspiration through facing adversity and conquering those challenges. I wake up every morning being thankful for life, especially during these times which serves me the most inspiration because without health, I have no mental wealth. Africa serves as my most desirable inspiration as it is home in my spirit. Read more>>

Lex Voight | Baffled photographer

I am inspired by humorous juxtaposition. Humans are constantly doing things which seem to defy all reason or sense, and often this can be in innocent or innocuous ways. Most times its a fault of our perceptions–what we assume about others, or what we have been taught. And its all crap. Humans….the world…its all so gloriously and confoundingly complex and the only thing to do about it is to smile quietly or even laugh a little and share our common humanity in the absurdity of little things. We’re all self-contradictory hypocrites in our own ways, aliens in our own worlds. Maybe showing that even a little bit, or giving people a glimpse into other people’s worlds, can do something towards a larger sense of community and empath. Read more>>

Ashley Keene | Music Artist

Ultimately, I’m inspired by powerful people who feel so free in who they are. Getting specific, Prince and his IDGAF attitude, Oprah, my mom, and Kill Bill. Rock and roll and soul music give me life and fuel my soul. Read more>>

Deidre Jericho | Songwriter, Filmmaker & App Developer

Anyone who is bold enough to be their true self in a world that requires posturing. Read more>>


Thomas Steward | Playwright & Founder of The Pop-Theatre Company

What inspires me as a playwright is the idea that live narrative storytelling is one of the great legacies of humanity, that we can solve big questions when we come together and tell stories about those questions. When I first began formulating the concept of Pop-Theatre I thought a lot about how Shakespeare often used stories already familiar to the audience when writing and always made sure his plays had a mixture of both comedy and drama on some level. I believe these resulted in Shakespeare, being able to present stories that could be relatable to anyone in the audience. Thinking about how Shakespeare gave the artform such a broad audience made me think about how the everyday person views the theatre. I believe that in our culture today to many people seeing a stageplay can be an intimidating prospect and my ultimate inspiration is to use theatre as a unifying tool by creating stageplays about accessible concepts but that play with those concepts and the artform in creative ways the same ways. Read more>>