We asked some of the brightest folks in the community to open up to us about the most important lesson their business or career has taught them. We’ve highlighted some of those responses below.

Nik Pennington | Photographer

The most important lesson in life that I have taken from this career is to love process and practice more than results. That is not to say I don’t care about results, but I find that hinging my happiness or expectations on results is not as fulfilling or efficient. I value effort and preparation far more than results because no matter the result of anything, work or life, if I prepared and gave my full effort I can be happy and fulfilled even if the results did not go my way. For example, if I want to consistently work I have to consistently put myself out there with proposals to new clients or continuing to serve existing ones. Read more>>

Christopher Bailey | Creative Director and founder of 1-OFF RECYCLED GARMENT PROJECT

Because my brand is about recycling and upcycling old things into new things, the most important lesson that I have learned is that the recycling symbol is also a representation of the energy in your life. Exactly what you put out will come right back to you and that is why it is important to have compassion for others. Read more>>

Jacob Acosta | International Recording Artist

The most important lesson is definitely knowing that you’ll never stop learning and growing if you want to be successful. Success isn’t just about accomplishment, but also trial and error. Always choose what you love to do as your career. If you have to work a little harder to make it come to pass then do that, or you may regret it later. Always work towards what you feel is genuinely true to yourself as an artist or business, because not everything will yield a monetary payoff or mass cultural appeal. You should connect with those who recognize what you are trying to say with your voice, but also with what people’s personal experience is with what you produce. Read more>>

Tuby Akinlosotu | CEO / Director of Events / Master Event Designer

I believe that anyone can have a great idea and decide to start a business but it is not for the faint at heart. Being a business owner comes with a lot of ups and downs that are not all planned for. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic was utterly unexpected and caused many in the event industry to completely shutdown. Right away, I began to think creatively and pivot my ideas. I created a micro-wedding package, we downsized from two locations to an offsite commercial warehouse facility and set up a showroom in one of the warehouse units. We did whatever it took to stay afloat. Our marketing strategy quickly changed and we understood what needed to be done for the given time. Read more>>

BILL_L47 | Mulit Media Expressionist Artist

I’m inspired by healing . My path of healing through my life’s traumas and tribulations has inspired and driven me to the core of healing and that’s TRUTH . My work reflects many things going on in my life ( both past and present ) ,what’s going on in the world (both past a present) and bringing to light the truths and history of so many things we have been taught or know through systems that don’t have everyone’s best interest at heart . It’s not until the truth is seen and accepted that we as humans can start to heal . That’s both at a personal level, mental health level in our society . We have alot of bad teachings , habits and fears to break and let go of . I’m here creating to connect and help us stand in unity. Read more>>

Meg Harper: full time Artist Specializing in Joy Filled Animal Paintings

I love this question. It hits right to the heart of the matter. There are so many people who stop themselves before they even try because “they don’t know how to do something”. Their dreams are clear yet they are not taking action. We get all caught up in the “how” not realizing you don’t need to know everything all at once. Martin Luther King said ” you don’t need to see the entire staircase to go up it, you just need to see the first couple stairs”. I believe that whole heartedly! The biggest lesson owning my own business has taught me is I’ll figure it out. There is nothing I can’t figure out. If I get stuck, I’ll reach out to someone, or do research, etc. There is nothing standing in my way except me thinking I am not enough. I’ve learned I’ll keep figuring things out. Read more>>

Jerry Jacobson | Artist

I am inspired by the act of creativity itself, just making something by hand everyday. It might be working on an ongoing project. It might be starting a drawing or painting with little or no pre-conception, purpose or intent. Chuck Close has been quoted as saying that “inspiration is for amateurs” and I agree completely. My experience is that artists that wait for inspiration are unlikely to accomplish much. Work makes work. Read more>>

John Randall Nelson | Painter, Sculptor & Public Artist

Where do I find inspiration? Improvisation. I’ ve found that my best work comes when I don’t really care about the outcome, When I‘m just playing with ideas and materials. Free play, a willingness to improvise with the raw materials, whether those materials are words, paint, steel, fabric, whatever. I never know exactly how an artwork will turn out and that mystery inspires the work. Intuition and “working with what’s working” keeps the momentum as the piece emerges naturally. By letting go of specific outcomes, you occupy a space open possibilities, where there are no mistakes–a great place to find inspiration. Read more>>

Freddie Lash | Photographer & IT Recruiter

There are a lot of different channels in which I get my inspiration from. I’d say my biggest inspiration is my fiancée hands down. Before, I never truly understood what a muse was until I met her. She really pulls out my creative side and allows me to express what I want my art to say. I have also found a inspiration in art museums. Seeing how other artists’ approach a canvass or a blank slate of marble really gets the juices flowing. Recently, I started collecting old paintings at thrift stores and have them hung up in my apartment giving the place a museum-like atmosphere. Lastly, taking a look at old film photography from 30-50 years ago really turns on my imagination. Read more>>