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I Moved from LA to DSM USA so I Can Live Life Without Compromise

February 20, 2018

Video produced by Applied Art & Technology.


Working for Hollywood film studios in Los Angeles and New York is not something most people would associate with living in the Midwest. But I get the best of both worlds. As a resident of Greater Des Moines (DSM), I’m part of a thriving community of artists. I rent space at Mainframe Studios and attend events at the Des Moines Social Club. I also freelance on Hollywood movies, without having to deal with Los Angeles traffic! 

Having spent my college and postgraduate years in the Los Angeles area, moving to DSM for my family was a big and welcomed change to my story.

DSM offers it all 

I have had great opportunities in DSM, like teaching at Des Moines Area Community College, being a guest at Comic Book I-Con and RodCon and creating artwork for the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Blank Children’s Hospital. I get a good work life/family life balance. My friends in California tell me they’re jealous. I share how my commute is short, my house is twice the size for half the cost and the school system my kids go to is awesome.  They always wish they could have that too. I tell them they can by moving to DSM!

Of course, I miss aspects of Los Angeles, but DSM works for me because I’m able to follow my passions as an artist. In a smaller town, I may not have access to great galleries like Moberg, art stores like Creative-Coldsnow or public art like the Pappajohn Sculpture Park. In a bigger city, events sell out, venues are too crowded and neighborhoods are hard to get to. DSM is, to quote Goldilocks, “just right.”

DSM residents continually seek to make our community a better place. To have a region that’s putting great events and experiences out there for everyone to enjoy is amazing.

Video produced by Applied Art & Technology.

Family life

I have young children just entering the school system and it’s been fantastic. The families here are active and involved.  The innovative day-to-day school activities and the special after school events make for a rich environment. My kids have loved every teacher they’ve had and the support from other parents has been impressive. 

DSM is the best place for me because I get to have my dream job and I also get to have a great family life.  

DSM makes me feel like I’m home.

Are you interested in moving to Greater Des Moines (DSM)? Click to request a Relocation Packet. Or, kick-start your career by checking out the DSM USA Career Center. It has over 10,000 jobs listed!

Adam Van Wyk

Adam is a Hollywood storyboard artist living in Des Moines, Iowa.