Often we don’t have to reinvent the wheel to learn something new – we can just ask experts in the field who can draw on their experience to enlighten us. Below, we’ve shared insights insiders from various industries have shared with us.

Jay Fett | Cosplayer

I think folks not directly involved in the cosplay community probably underestimate how challenging it is, both physically and emotionally. Building anything is a challenge, but it’s also challenging putting your cosplay on, going out and dealing with it for 6+ hours at a con. There’s always the struggle of “is this accurate enough” or “do I look good as this character,” not to mention how uncomfortable and difficult some of these things are to wear! It’s really taxing, not just slipping on a Halloween store-type costume and going out. Read more>>

Marcela Bazana-Weber | Floral Visionary & Artist.

I work with flowers. They come in bunches. Each of my arrangements have 6-10 different items. Each of these items much be driven to, purchased, driven home, processed (trim, remove leaves/thorns, fluff pedals), and then eventually arranged. I work for 5 hours and spend $100 before anything is made. Read more>>

Jared Steingold | Musician

Your favorite musical artists can take months even years writing an album. In this fast paced world of social media I only have about 10 seconds to capture someone’s attention. I’ve spent the last two years meticulously crafting pieces of music that include multiple genres, techniques and instruments to create fresh tunes unlike anything the average listener has ever heard before! It can be difficult at times to fit such complexities into such a short amount of time but I love a good challenge. Read more>>

Tiffany Madera | Dance Scholar, Filmmaker, Performer & Producer

As far as my industry I navigate between different worlds creating my own niche. Specifically, Raks Baladi dance (known as bellydance), social practice and documentary film. Raks Baladi goes by different names for a myriad of reasons including patriarchy, colonialism and imperialism. The dance and performance style is wrought with conflict from within the cultures of origin as well as its globalization. That tension lends to a powerful aesthetic offering when a dancer fully embraces the politics of the dance and owns her body. Because of the commercial aspect of Raks Baladi, most outsiders are unaware of how political the dance form is, and how it is a stand for women’s liberation, creativity and agency. This takes on different meanings across cultures. Honoring the women of the cultures of origin of the dance and using an intersectional feminist framework is central to my work. More concretely, pushing aesthetic boundaries of the craft from a performance studies perspective while centering the context of Egyptian cultural norms is a unique and fascinating challenge I explore across disciplines. Read more>>

Moizenvelli | Visual/Recording Artist

There are many things about the arts that people are not aware of, but one of the main things people on the outside looking in don’t understand is how much time you have to put in networking & building relationships. I feel as though people underestimate the power in that & just solely focus on their craft & that’s it. & though that’s important so is taking the necessary steps to let people know about your craft. Read more>>

Monica Delgado | Floral Designer & Founder of Simple Florals

The amount of work that it takes to concept and design a floral experience that doesn’t look like everyone else’s. 1) Design – It can sometimes take 6-8 hours or more to create a moodboard and color palette. This step is the most crucial to nail the perfect aesthetic that reflects who my client is. 2) Floral Purchasing – In order to get the perfect mix of florals for a wedding , I use over 5 – 6 different floral wholesalers or sources. 3) Foraging – this is a crucial step in order to get flowers and greenery that don’t look like everyone else’s. I’m constantly in the lookout for foraged goodies around the neighborhood. When I find something I like , I take pictures and when ready I’m able to track the location of these pictures and get unique finds. Read more>>

Jessica Higgins | Managing Partner, Curated Financial

Finance is far more like entrepreneurship than the average person realizes. There are the old-minded institutions, the disruptive innovators and every shade in between. Most of which are valid, but there are always a few scammers at the bottom (like alt-coins, for example) looking to take advantage for a quick cash-out. This does not mean that all disruption and innovation is negative, of course. In fact, the alternative and emerging markets are simply where the institutions will be a decade later than those of us at the forefront. Read more>>