Sika Degbo, Prioritizing Friendship

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While growing up in the suburbs of Maryland, going to school and having a set schedule made making friends something I didn’t have to put work into. I met people at school and we would hang out, do nothing, and get into some harmless trouble to pass the time. It was so easy.

Jordan Reabold, Discovering a Label-Free Me

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About a month ago, I found out my 15-year-old sister was the victim of cyberbullying. She sent me endless screenshots of a conversation conducted within a group dedicated to belittling her, to which she gained access after months of this happening right under her nose. My hands trembled while I read the horrible names they called her, saw the ruthless memes they took the time to create about her.

Alisa Banks, Origins

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Germany – a girl is outdoors playing. In a few minutes, the playground will clear when a birthday party is announced. The host informs the girl that she’s not invited. She returns home. Later, the girl peers over the dining room table as her mother cuts out a length of flat fabric covered with drawings and pins what will be sewn into dresses for the girl and her baby sisters. Sometime later, the girl’s dad sits at the same table, this time covered with newspaper, and fills areas of a board outlined in shapes and numbers using a paintbrush and oil paint from small containers to reveal an image.

JoAnna Mak, What Happens to a Dream Abandoned?

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As a kid, I was spontaneous, taking on “big” projects at my imagination’s whims. I was inspired by what I saw around me, and sought to imitate what I admired. At four, I set my sights on emulating the storybooks my parents read to me, sagas I eagerly memorized and devoured. Armed with a limited vocabulary and pink colored pencils, I made my first venture into the world of novel writing.

Melissa Grounds, Back to Truth

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If I know anything for sure, it’s that creativity has been a constant throughout my life. I enrolled in every art class available, driven by an inherent desire to learn the skills required for every medium. As my creative foundation grew, I began combining mediums to build different styles of work. This then developed into research and self-taught skills in order to reproduce specific pieces I liked.

Melissa Preston Jessell, Capturing Stillness in the Chaos

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My craft as an artist is creating images, either through photography or video, and pointing at aspects of our lives, things deeply relatable, calling them into question, or, at the very least, asking for these aspects to be paid some attention, some awareness. I have been taking photos all my life and making videos since I was 17. When I was very young, I just wanted there to be photos of me in my parents’ photo albums.

Mills Brown, Shaping Nostalgia

Since childhood, I have been the most content when I’m in the midst of an all-consuming project. Like many children, I spent long afternoons making up games, putting on plays, constructing secret hide outs, and telling stories. I loved that sequence of making something new  – the original moment of inspiration, a period of hard work and complete dedication to the project, the excitement and nervousness of sharing my creation with an audience, and hopefully that sense of fulfillment upon completion.

Emma Marty, Gems in the Imperfections

When I say I’m a silversmith, the average understanding is something straight out of Game of Thrones.  I’m pictured in a dark workshop, dawned in thick leather gloves, apron and a heavy welding mask while stirring a huge cauldron of molten metal or hammering a sword with sparks flying about.  Truth is, these are exaggerated and large-scale versions of the craft…but why break from this badass version of myself!?

Chef Cisero, An Appetite for Experimenting

My style of cooking is quite a fusion of cultures that have influenced me throughout my life. The earliest influence was my grandmother, who is from Tennessee. Her good BBQ and Southern comfort was always present at the dinner table. I loved being with her in the kitchen as she cooked. When I was 12 years old, she began teaching me how to cook Southern soul food. Pretty soon, I was experimenting, making up my own dishes.

Christina Blok, Curating Comfort

I’ve had a lot of people ask me, “How did you come up with the idea for your business?” The answer is usually simple: it is what I love, packaged together and shared with like-minded people.

For the past year or so, I’ve been running Muse Monthly—a monthly subscription box for books and tea. I pair together a novel and a tea by theme, both meant to be enjoyed together to create an experience, and send them out to my subscribers, or Muses. It’s a simple concept, but Muse Monthly is actually so much more than just filling up your bookshelf and pantry.