To pivot or to persevere? Or more bluntly – to give up or to not to give up? This is a haunting question, a question that has ramifications far after an answer has been chosen and it’s also a question that almost everyone in our community has had to face at one time or another. How do you know when to give up and when to keep trying?

Alex Wilson | Musician

Artists tend to hit many walls throughout their careers; these can be external barriers in the form of paywalls and elite gatekeeping or personal barriers in the form of plateauing skill level or self-doubt. We hit these walls hard, disrupting our creative processes and overall drive to complete a project. Often, the entire validity of your practice is brought into question, which is enough for most folks to call it quits. My (hopefully) helpful advice to those of you in this situation, is to stop and take a break. This can be as short or as long as you need it to be, but try to give yourself some distance from your work. Give yourself some time to carefully consider how to climb your wall. Don’t forget that you can use your cool artist brain to find creative ways to problem solve and work around your barriers. Overcoming obstacles is how we grow as artists and people; you will likely make a new discovery or learn a new skill in the process. Read more>>

Danielle Levy | Foodie Extraordinaire and Restaurant Manager

I don’t believe in giving up. If it’s something you want, then you should always go for it. If you don’t seem to be accomplishing your goal, then ask for help. Seek those out who have succeeded where you have failed and ask for advice. There is always someone out there willing to give guidance and support. Reevaluate your goal and take a different approach. Never give up. Read more>>

Michelangelo Caggiano | Secret Harbor | Singer Songwriter

Growing up, I saw passion in my Mom and Dad. My Father is an amazing artist. He is an oil painter and sculptor. My Mother was a writer/author and playwright. I saw their deep desire to create, no matter what circumstance financially we were in. They often times would work all day on jobs that paid the bills and poured themselves into the early morning tirelessly creating and crafting their projects. I learned so much from observing their drive and constant yearning to create. My take away from childhood and early adult years is this: I needed to discover what my mission is on this planet is. It’s that one desire that never leaves me. I refer to it as a calling. If I couldn’t do that one thing, I wouldn’t be satisfied inside my soul. For me, my desire is to create and perform music that tells a story and touches people. This has been my watershed guide to most of my life’s decisions. With this defined, I learned there are many seasons in life. My wife is an artist, gardener and landscape designer. She has taught me many things as well. When designing a garden, she has the knowledge of what the plant or tree will look like years from now. Read more>>

Vangie Rodriguez | Artist

Creativity lives inside of me. I was born this way, so giving up isn’t an option. Yes, there were times that life got busy, like when I had 3 kids under four years of age and my job as a stay at home mom became my focus. The paintbrushes became buried under piles of Legos and Barbies; but the days of dirty diapers and preschool projects have turned into high school graduations and college applications, and my creativity accompanied us all of those years. It is impossible to give up a piece of your soul despite the distractions of life. Those parts of me embedded in my DNA, sometimes wait patiently and other times don’t allow me rest. Awake or asleep, inspiration comes. This gift that God has placed in my heart inspires me, heals me, identifies me and gives me hope. It will always live in me and for that reason, I can never abandon it. Read more>>

Chloe Chanel | Visual Artist & Music Producer

Knowing whether to keep going versus when to give up is a difficult choice. I don’t think there’s really ever a time that you should give up on something. Maybe you need to change course a little bit or change your approach, but I don’t think completely giving up is the answer. When I feel like something is getting too hard and I feel like I want to quit, I have a conversation with myself, a sort of pep talk. But most importantly, I ask myself some hard questions. 1. Why do I feel like giving up? 2. How important to me is this thing that Im considering giving up, and why? 3. How does this thing serve me and my purpose? Once I ask myself those important questions, I immediately have a clearer vision of what I’m doing and what I want to do. I can make a determination at this point because I’ve really taken the time to think about it and how this change might affect my life. 9/10 I choose to keep going after this conversation with myself. I usually also walk away with new ideas on how to approach working out the issues so that I can keep going. Read more>>

Jerry Silva | Photographer & Digital Artist

Within the photography community I always wanted to show others that you can make something beautiful no matter the location or equipment. In the photography community most people think you must own the newest equipment and have the perfect location. Some photographers get lost in this and nothing is being created because they are waiting for the stars to align perfectly and wasting time. Depending on how long you have been doing photography planning can be a big part but at some point you have to pick up the camera and take pictures. When I started photography two years ago I lived in north Idaho with a six hundred dollar camera. When meeting others photographers they would make jokes about my camera but I stayed focus on learning the craft. No planning in mind I would ask people to meet me to do photo shoots and walk around with them and if I thought something would look good I would take the picture. Read more>>