“If you stand for nothing, you fall for everything”

We asked the community to tell us about the values and principles that guide their lives and businesses.

Kimberly Carrillo | Dogtographer

The value that matters most to me is empathy. I say empathy because to me, that’s what helps the world be a kinder place, for everyone. When we step out of our own shoes and try to feel like what it may be in the other person’s shoes, can really humble us. When I photograph my clients, I do practice empathy. I think to myself, how would I want to be photographed at this moment? How would I feel if I was the client? Are they comfortable? Happy? I don’t know what that client may be going through at the moment, but I want that hour or two they are spending with me, to be less stressful, fun even! Most of my clients are dog parents/guardians. I want not only for my human client to be comfortable and happy, I want my furry client to be less stressed as well! Read more>>

Jackson VanDerPol | Musician & TikTok Comedian

The most important principle to me in pursuing any kind of artistic outlet is making sure that it’s genuine. I feel like sometimes we get caught up too much in how well our product performs in the realm of social media and we end up chasing the numbers rather than passion for the art itself. Read more>>

Keri Brown | Abstract Painter

Honesty is what I value most in a person. Having the integrity to be honest with yourself first and foremost, and then in relation to others and through your work. Being who you truly are in all that you do, and owning it. If we’re being genuine, others will know and sense that – either because they are also, or they’re not and maybe it will encourage them to follow suit. It’s hard and scary to be vulnerable sometimes. Not everyone responds well, or maybe not the way you’d hope they would, but do we really want to keep living a lie? What do we get from pretending everything’s ok when it’s not, or from wearing a mask all day (no pun intended :))? Plus, doing the hard and scary stuff is usually where we find the treasure. Being true to all that we are is the place where, when someone loves us for that, we can genuinely feel appreciated and valued. Read more>>

Travis Rice | Artist

I think autonomy is a value or principle that matters the most to me. I initially studied architecture where clients, budgets, and zoning often dictated the aesthetic of a piece of design, and while, at times, I may have to deal with all three of those factors in some way, I still have, as an artist, autonomy. Autonomy is why I became an artist. I found in architecture that clients got in the way of good ideas and I hate to compromise. I want to either fail or succeed on my own terms and I have probably failed more than succeeded but that is part of the process. I think if I ever had to start taking direction for what I create as an artist, I would probably stop making art all together and become a security guard or something. Read more>>