Happiness is everything. Where there is happiness, everything else is possible and so we asked the community to tell us what makes them happy.

Christine Wong Yap | Artist and Social Practitioner

This is an interesting question, and it’s implicit in the study of positive psychology, which I’ve studied on my own for over 10 years as research for my art practice. Rather than what makes me happy—which we humans are generally bad at guessing at—I have been thinking about what nourishes my soul and what makes me feel most alive. For me this looks like having authentic connections with other people, and often there’s some experience that grounds us in our bodies. Maybe that’s walking and people watching, maybe it’s hiking or boxing or dancing, or maybe it’s visiting a museum or architecture site. Read more>>

Halie Nam | Story Artist and Illustrator

There’s a lot of things that makes me happy. Probably too many for me to remember on the spot. I like trying new things. I get to learn a lot while trying it out for myself. And by the end of it, I get to show off a new trinket or a neat fact! But sometimes it gets a little lonely during the process. I recently graduated and I already miss being in a room and talking to my fellow classmates. But then I remember I can talk to my friends on Discord while I work. It’s really exciting showing them my process, when I mess up or when things are going as planned. Whatever happens they’re all really supportive about it! It makes the whole process much more fun. I think what makes me the most happy is having friends to share my neat new stuff with. Read more>>

Michael Abiuso | Musician, producer, composer, CEO at Behind The Curtains Media

Hello there and thank you for having me! I find joy in seeing other people happy, excited and inspired, so in-return, that allows me to piggyback off their happiness. I’ve noticed in most cases that all parties involved in this industry are quite lucky as happiness seems to come easily here. Reason being is that no one is here for a paycheck (you can find much larger ones of those in nearly any other industry), but more-so for the sheer love and passion of art and the need to create and be creative. That sounded way more hippy-like than I’d ever want to be portrayed, sorry. Read more>>

Sulaiman Enayatzada | Creative Director & Photographer

Happiness and it’s causes evolve over time. I used to believe it was static and constant, but as I got older I noticed that what once sparked joy will later becomes monotonous. “Why is that?” I would wonder I would jump from career to career, believing that I would magically land on my dream pathway. But this was a fantasy, and the reality was that the answers were within me all along. Read more>>

Emily Thebaut | Executive Director of New Opera West

At a young age I started singing. My mother told me I was a very vocal child, always experimenting with my voice, making funny sounds and constantly singing. I started out in choir, then moved to musical theater and then discovered my love and passion for opera. I decided to pursue a career as an opera singer. I received my Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory and my Masters on Music from San Francisco Conservatory. I had always intended to pursue a career as a performer and this is exactly what these degrees and programs prepare you for. Read more>>

Sheba Khodadad | Antique and vintage rug collector and dealer

I’m happiest when I’m in a state of flow, which is when I am fully present and absorbed in whatever I’m doing. It’s when I am mentally and spiritually stimulated, and accomplishing the goal that I am immersed in with no anxiety or uncertainty. I guess you can simply define it as being “in the zone” because you meet the challenges in front of you, apply yourself fully and then look back and realize that time flew by. It’s a liberating and joyful experience for me to hit that certain rhythm and it sort of feels like nothing else matters. Read more>>

Evgeniia Tikhonova | Actress

Acting, dancing, movies, chocolate, and nature. Acting is something I have been dreaming about since I was a child. I remember myself performing in front of my family – dancing, singing, making my own theatrical performances. I truly enjoyed reading poetry and recoding myself, performing all characters at once by changing my voice. It makes me happy because my art entertain people, make them laugh and smile. Regardless of how significant the impact is, if I can make one person’s day better it would be a win for me. Read more>>

This is a Moment Podcast | Hosted by Paige Elson and Imia Hawkins

What makes us happy is storytelling–whether that is through music, TV, or movies. We both grew up with a love of the entertainment world and were fascinated with all its parts. We find joy in dissecting elements of art and pop culture and, of course, fangirling over our favorite artists. Our podcast, This is a Moment, gives us the opportunity to celebrate our favorite moments from the past, connect to moments in the present, and get excited about moments for the future. Read more>>