cities for creatives portland2

Where is Creativity is Still Thriving? 6 Great Cities for Creatives and Eclectics

What exactly does it mean to creatively thrive, anyhow? I’d like to say it’s as simple as just having adequate time and imagination to devote to your most recent Lego masterpiece (if you’ve deemed yourself too “grown up” for Legos, then I can’t help you), but there are several different aspects that affect the ability to reach that coveted pinnacle. Creativity, if you’re lucky enough to be blessed with it, seeps through your pores and spills out into the world, in one form or another, be it in the way you accessorize, the ideas you come up with for your niece’s school projects or in the voices you make for your dog. It’s a constant beat within us, desperate to break free of barriers and soar. For as long as the human race has existed, creativity has moved us forward, offered solace from our struggles, and given a voice to the beauty within our souls. But unless you’re exceptionally lucky, it’s become increasingly difficult to make a decent living within an artistic field (even in the best cities for creatives).

In cubicles across the country sit stagnant many of the world’s would-be brilliant creators, because they were taught to learn a ‘proper skill’ rather than nurture the buds of their imaginations. As a society we’ve equated success with money, judging the weird kids until they give up or make their first millions. But in pockets across the nation, there are still places that beat to the rhythm of callings found. Places where not only can you live at least somewhat comfortably, but also relish the creative energy of other passionate people who haven’t shoved their dreams into smart Ikea shelving.

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In cubicles across the country sit stagnant many of the world’s would-be brilliant creators, because they were taught to learn a ‘proper skill’ rather than nurture the buds of their imaginations. As a society we’ve equated success with money, judging the weird kids until they give up or make their first millions. But in pockets across the nation, there are still places that beat to the rhythm of callings found. Places where not only can you live at least somewhat comfortably, but also relish the creative energy of other passionate people who haven’t shoved their dreams into smart Ikea shelving.

Okay, okay, already, so where are they?? I’ve compiled a list of a few of our favorite cities for creatives, but unlike many lists, however, there’s no particular order categorizing these places according to statistical rank. Instead, I’ve used my own catch phrases to set them apart. Why? Because I’m creative. Go ahead, gasp.

cities for creatives boulder

“SNOWY NERD-TOWN: A GREAT PLACE FOR BEARDS” – Boulder, CO

A city of readers, (as determined by amaZon.com), Boulder is quickly climbing the list of places where creative types thrive. Sure, it’s kinda cold, but 100-degree heat is overrated anyway. Besides, with all that tech-industry innovation going on, shoveling snow ain’t nothin’. (Photo: Boulder International Film Festival)

cities for creatives durham

“MORE THAN GOOD BISCUITS. BUT ALSO: BISCUITS.” – Durham, NC

Smart Southern kids abound in this “Kerlahna” college town. Perhaps it’s being home to Duke University what contributes to why Durham is so diversely cultural, but whatever works, right? Those kids are probably also in at least half of the bands comprising the city’s happening music scene, too. At 48.4% of the workforce, the “creative class” in Durham is most certainly booming. And guess what else? It’s preeetty. (Photo: HistoricBrightonLeaf.com)

 

cities for creatives corvallis

“BICYCLE HEAVEN” – Corvallis, OR

So you’ve never been to Oregon. Well, then honey, you haven’t lived. Okay, I’m pretty sure that last statement was false. You’ve probably lived at least a little bit. Maybe you’re so good at “living” that you’re reading this delightful publication in your quirky penguin underwear that you bought at that hipster store that smelled of basil and dreams. But give Oregon a chance. Corvallis has been deemed in past years not only one of the “safest” cities in the U.S., but also “most bicycle-friendly” and “most creative”. It’s no surprise. Bicycles + Safety = fun times for all. And when you’re having fun, creativity just dances. Kind of like you do every time you’re alone and hear Kanye. (Photo: VisitCorvallis.com)

 

cities for creatives Portland

“THE OREGON TRAIL. GET ON THIS WAGON, ALREADY.” – Portland, OR

They made a show about it, mmkay? It’s cool. People do things there, like drink craft cocktails and eat organic vegetables. It’s also famously home to a stellar music scene and a host of hip local businesses, not to mention the kind of sense of community that really adds fuel to the creative fire. If you were perhaps looking to find a painter with a nose ring who also knows a thing or two about woodworking, Portland would be the place. (Photo: TravelPortland.com)

 

cities for creatives ithaca

“WHERE BOSSES ARE MADE” – Ithaca, NY

In a 2010 study, Ithaca reigned as the “brainiest city” in the U.S- and it’s no wonder. It’s home to Cornell. Ever heard of it? (It’s good enough for Carl Sagan, yo. That’s what’s up). The “creative class” comprises 44.6% of Ithaca’s workforce, making it a fine place to hone those sweet chess moves. (Photo: Cornell University)

 

cities for creatives burlington

“NOT A COAT FACTORY” – Burlington, VT

Vermont. It’s not just for log cabins. Boasting a diverse economy, Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, is home to plenty of Earth-lovin’ green economic development, which is just one of the reasons why its growing population of creative types has made it home.

 

 

This article was originally published in the Spring 2014 Issue of VETTA Magazine.

Eclectic Vignette
editor@eclecticvignette.com

Life is short. Mix it up. EV is a lifestyle publication for intelligent readers with impeccable taste; a beautiful collection of trends, objects, places, art, nature and culture #curated for #inspired living.