NYC, LA, San Francisco…these are the cities you’ll find young, creative professionals flocking to in droves in order to make their dreams become reality! But why pay an arm and a leg to live in a tiny shitbox of an apartment, just to have your dreams crushed along with your bank account?

There’s no need to sit by and watch as your savings dwindle as swiftly as your hopes and aspirations, and with these smaller cities offering culture and community at a fraction of the cost, you too can afford to fail as you hopelessly attempt to make all your dreams come true! Here are the 10 best cities (besides the actual best cities) for aspiring creative professionals to fade into obscurity and oblivion before going back to school for a physical therapy degree!

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans Artists

Ahh, the Big Easy! This beautiful port city is rich in history, art and culture! Known by many as “the birthplace of jazz,” New Orleans can also be the birthplace of your life as a working creative, or at least, your podcast that eight of your friends back home will assure you “really has potential.”

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City

The beautiful landscape that surrounds this underrated gem is sure to inspire the artist within! Plus, the low cost of living will leave you with plenty of time to hone your craft after working your day job, which will only require a reasonable 40 hours a week, as opposed to the stifling 60 or 70 required by a city like NY or LA! The minimum wage is lower, but so are the expectations.

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Kalamazoo Fountain

Equidistant from Chicago and Detroit, this small Midwestern city is big on charm, low on expenses, and about as good a place as any to pretend you might have a shot at making it! Home of the 2002 recipient of the “Library of the Year” award, Kalamazoo has all sorts of other wonderful free stuff to offer, like the crippling suspicion that your parents misrepresented the scope of your artistic talent and you would have been better off going into Real Estate like your sister Bianca. She’s getting married next month.

Austin, Texas

Austin Cities For Creatives

For anyone chasing musical dreams, it only makes sense to join the other hundreds of thousands of people struggling to make it in “The Live Music Capital of the World!” With hundreds of venues showcasing live bands, and over one million people to move and shake with, you’ll have ample opportunity to receive texts from well-meaning friends with real jobs apologizing for not making it out to your show, again.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville At Night

More like CASHville! That’s something you’ll have plenty of opportunity to save in an affordable city like Nashville, which will come in super handy when you eventually find yourself seriously considering that ‘Plan B’ your mom has been talking about since your second semester of art school.

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus Sunset

With all the heartland charm Columbus has to offer, you should have plenty of people to shock with your all-nude one woman show! Bad news: they might be too polite to write the inflammatory reviews you were hoping for. Good news: No news is good news! Or was that any press is good press?

Omaha, Nebraska


I know what you’re thinking – Nebraska? Seriously?

That’s all.

Des Moines, Iowa


See, I’m beginning to think it really doesn’t matter where you end up living. You may have noticed that a lot of these cities look almost identical from the outside, and that’s because they may as well be. Like Des Moines, for example. It’s a city in a state in America, and you can have an address there and whatever. You can also probably get an Ambien prescription pretty easily, which helps.

Durham, North Carolina


God, it just pisses me off, you know? How much more rejection can one person take?! Like all of that “work hard, be nice,” stuff Conan always talks about out of his big rich, Simpsons job-having, late-night show hosting LYING MOUTH…can really go a long way in a town like Durham! You can co-work in a coffee shop in Brightleaf Square, or any other such revitalized area of its historic downtown district! Or, you can see what happens when you wash down your Chardonnay with 37 Klonopin.

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City

Whether you have the talent or not, success is never guaranteed, but you wanna know what is? The Gateway arch! Constructed in 1965, the St. Lou-oh Goddamnit. What is this one? Kansas City? Well, it’s cheaper than NY or LA, so…that’s pretty much as good as it’s gonna get. You should probably become a dental assistant.

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