We asked some of our favorite folks what makes them happy and why?

Javier Carlos | DJ Entertainer and Video Creator

Over the years I’ve always asked the question: Are you happy? Friends, family, even teachers. There’s probably no shortage of people in my life that have heard that question. Truth is – I am just a curious person. Even in school, I was once given the award “Inquirer of the year”. Though I continue to ask it, I rarely think to ask myself this question. Am I happy? What makes me happy? At first sight, I think of my childhood memories and about the first times I discovered my passions. Filmmaking, entertainment, and being in front of others. I think about these experiences and wonder why I am not actively putting myself in more situations where I can be happy. Read more>>

Danny Upshaw | Creative Native

During these times my optimistic side is great at finding happiness in the most obscure settings. My weeks are planned out by compensated side projects and self fulfilling projects while I’m not working my main day to day job at a local advertising/design agency in Tempe. The unexpected delights are what make me happy, that’s a very vague description but it ranges. It ranges from everything from how the light peeks through the buildings in downtown Phoenix to randomly running into friends while out n about in the city. The unexpectedness of situations is very exciting to me and gives me great joy to try and find the positive side to any encounter. Read more>>

Neil Milligan | Aspiring Painter and Conservationist

I’ve always liked being outside preferably covered in a layer of dirt under a tree and by the water. As a kid the back yard was my natural habitat. I had to be outside building forts with my friends, playing with toy swords, or even just lying on the grass and watching the cottenwood sway in the wind. Looking back that cottonwood seems like and omen of future adventures. It’s a relatively rare tree to see in Ohio and a very special tree to western rivers. Cottonwoods only grow along or in waterways and have been used to track down river oasis in the desert for thousands of years. When I was 16 I left my Ohio cottonwood for the summer to raft guide. Read more>>

Josh Adams | Shua Photography

What makes me happiest is when I deliver photos to my clients and see their reactions. Especially wedding photos. Knowing that my clients are over the moon with the images I produced from their most special days. Being married myself, I know the feeling of having awesome photos of me and my wife for the rest of our lives. Read more>>

Valerie Nieto | Artist, Writer, Tattoo Artist,

I picked this question, I think, because it was the hardest question to answer. What makes anyone happy? That is a hard question. I will be honest, it took me like a week of thinking about it to try in put into words my answer. So here goes…..lol The knowledge we live in a world of endless possibilities makes me happy. I am one of those people who thrives in chaos. I am never content. When everything is going great and perfect, I am looking for a change. The thought of normalcy or complacency makes me depressed. I love the idea that I am ever evolving and I wont be the same person at the end of the day that I was when I woke up. Read more>>

Lisa Zou | Writer

Learning more about art, film, and music makes me happy! This includes going to museums, playing an instrument, or watching videos on film history. Although many museums are currently closed, the Musical Instrument Museum has reopened. The Heard Museum, on American Indian art, is also open. Both are located in Phoenix and I highly recommend visiting if you haven’t been. I find browsing these spaces inside museums to be a curated yet exploratory experience, and especially enjoyable if it’s a topic I am not very familiar with. After delving into Chinese and Korean film history recently, I realized that there is so much cinema outside of the Western canon that we in the US are not exposed to. More and more international movies are now available to stream on Netflix, so now is the time to watch! My recommendation is Tigertail, which is directed by Alan Yang. Read more>>