If you’re in the creative space and are looking to relocate to a space where you can turn your passion into a long-term career, you will want to head out west. For a long time, California has been known to produce the best in the entertainment world. Think of a blockbuster movie; chances are you’ll be thinking of a picture shot and produced in Hollywood.
But as prolific as Los Angeles has been in film and the arts, it is not the only Californian city known for creative exploits. San Francisco has a thriving live music scene that gave birth to the likes of Led Zeppelin. The Golden City is also a leader on the tech front, home to many thriving startups.
Important as they are, these are not the only cities that can bring out the creativity in you. Here are some of the cities you can retreat to for artistic inspiration.
1. Oakland, California
Few cities in the world bring together established, and aspiring creatives like Oakland does. This is the place you can easily connect with like-minded folks over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Whether you’re a songwriter or desire conversation about comic book characters, you will find no shortage of ambient places to do so.
There are numerous Oakland events and workshops to look forward to throughout the year. If you wish to learn a skill to help express your creative side, you can make plans to attend a workshop at renowned venues like The Crucible or American Steel.
Besides its strong sense of community and thriving cultural scene, Oakland wins points for its affordability. Many people prefer to set up tent on this side of the Bay because living and working here costs much less than in the more glamorous parts of the State.
2. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is known for its pivotal in the birth of the hippie culture back in the 60s but has always held a reputation for an out-of-the-box approach to life. The city has lost none of its creative allure over the decades, drawing myriads of professionals in the tech and entertainment space.
The city is home to highly anticipated celebrations of live music like the Bay Area Music Festival, which has attracted global stars ranging from Pussy Riot to Post Malone. Summer brings the opportunity to watch the San Francisco Symphony, among other renowned entertainers, on stage for free at the Stern Grove. It also hosts a large number of galleries and art museums.
3. Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is undoubtedly the nation’s creative Mecca, drawing thousands of innovative minds from all industries every year. Aspiring singer-songwriters, rappers and specialists in all genres make their way to the city, hoping to become the next sensation. And with good reason- it is where you are likely to find a kindred soul who shares your vision and your passion. Or the industry bigwigs who can propel your career to the next level.
And it might not cost you as much as you think to start your new life here. Following the dispersion from big metropoli caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, housing prices have dipped.
4. Portland, Oregon
Can you get the hippie vibe of San Francisco in some of the more verdant parts of the country? Yes, you can. Portland has earned a reputation as a culture-drenched, cosmopolitan city that you can’t help but fall in love with.
When it comes to live performance venues, you will be spoilt for choice. If you want to see what’s hot on the Portland indie scene, pop into Mississippi Studios, one of several venues where music is celebrated at its rawest and best. The eclectic entertainment scene goes hand in hand with a huge variety of eateries, bars and coffee shops.
There are few better environments in which to dream big and find like minds to help bring your ideas to life.
5. New Orleans, Louisiana
This city is celebrated as the cradle of jazz and is known for its rich musical history. Greats from Louis Armstrong to the Marsalis family hailed from The Big Easy. You can’t talk about Mardi Gras celebrations without bringing New Orleans into the picture – no other city’s parades have as much vibe and color.
With the cost of living here being significantly lower than in Los Angeles and the other big cities out on the West Coast, you will find it easier to settle in New Orleans. And you will find many other young creatives in the tech and art spaces to share ideas and grow with.
A Good Place to Start
This list is by no means exhaustive; there are many other cities that breed creativity and innovation. But it’s a good place to start if you feel the urge to get your creative juices flowing and have no idea where to go. As you consider each city think about what it will take for you to move, live and raise a family there.