What is your life’s purpose?
I want to support independent artists and help people find creative projects that inspire and bring meaning to their lives.
How are you living your purpose?
I co-founded a company that expressly exists for this mission: Smarthouse Creative, a marketing, PR, and digital strategy agency that focuses on events and creative projects. We work with artists and event producers to help them connect with and build their audiences. We work with many exciting, under-the-radar projects that often don’t have the budget to immediately reach the large numbers of people that events with big name acts or giant advertising spends can. So we work strategically and really get to know each artist to best help them make connections and get the word out about the good work they are doing.
Though we work with artists and projects from all over the world, it’s really special when we get to contribute to projects from our hometown of Seattle. Currently, we are helping get the word out about a documentary called Big Sonia, about a 91-year-old spitfire (and Holocaust survivor) who travels the country spreading her message of compassion and peace.
We are also about to launch another Seattle-made documentary called Gold Balls, which shares the world of ultra-senior tennis competitions. These are people aged 80 and over who are still out there, playing tennis every day, staying active and inspiring us all. Everyone should definitely check it out when it comes out later this year!
Another project close to my heart is Chatty Catties, the best talking-cat movie of the year! The movie, in addition to starring the charming Leonard the Cat, also features the vocal talents of deaf and hard-of-hearing actors. It’s definitely a project that doesn’t come along every day, and we are thrilled to bring it to audiences later this summer.
I am lucky enough to make my living working with incredible artists and audiences who seek out and appreciate the work they produce.
How did you find your purpose?
I’ve always been interested in films and making movies, and enjoyed making work while in high school and college. However, after entering the workforce, I didn’t think my niche was on set. I really enjoyed the “behind the scenes” world of arts exhibition and filmmaking and found I could be of most use on the more administrative side, and that I could be an asset to other artists, helping them have successful events and launches of their projects.
Working and volunteering among other artists and creators help me build a network of like-minded individuals and be around people who set an example of how one can live a balanced life built around meaningful work. I was able to find a niche where my presence matters.
What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
Try everything! Go to talks, read lots of different books, seek out independent films and inspiration from places you might not expect. Figure out how you can contribute with your unique skill set and motivations. Ask yourself, what makes a day great? What drains me and what energizes me, and why? Where can I contribute something that matters?
What resources do you recommend?
Find Your Calling, program by Martha Beck
Finding authentic work
A Job to Love by School of Life
Fearless at Work: Timeless Teachings for Awakening Confidence, Resilience, and Creativity in the Face of Life’s Demands by Michael Carroll
Odd Jobs: Portraits of Unusual Occupations by Nancy Rica Schiff
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2017: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles
Ryan Davis is a film publicist and communications professional with ten years experience in film and arts marketing. Named by Media Inc. as one of Washington State’s most influential women in film, TV, and media, Ryan has worked in almost every aspect of the film business–from production and festivals to distribution, exhibition and sales. She has placed stories in outlets ranging from CNN and The New York Times to community newspapers and local radio.
Ryan worked for Arab Film Distribution/Typecast Films where she was part of the production and release of the Academy Award-nominated Iraq in Fragments. She has worked for a variety of nonprofit arts groups and organizations, including heading the marketing departments for Northwest Film Forum and Northwest Folklife, and was the assistant director of Couch Fest Films from 2010-2014.