Artistic and creative careers are among the most rewarding, but they also come with unique challenges. We asked some of the city’s best creatives to tell us why they choose to pursue a creative career.

James Hargrove | Recording Artist

Self expression gives me the ability to channel my ideas and pain in a way people can relate to. When I’m performing or recording music it’s always a way to inspire. Read more>>

Stephanie Licona | Creative Makeup Artist

I have always been an artsy person, it started off as little sketches on my homework pages and every notebook I could find. When I got into makeup it gave me an opportunity to bring my drawings to life. I love being able to transform myself into random creatures and characters. Read more>>

Amanda Tucker | Interior Designer

I have always leaned towards the creative, ever since I was a child. My mom was an artist and I used to hang out in her home studio and watch her draw and paint. I always loved being creative and artistic myself, and initially wanted to work in a career that allowed me to use my talents in this area. As I got older, I was convinced that I had to have a “professional” job and ended up in law school. Then, after 14 years in the legal arena, I realized that my creativity had been severely stifled and I wanted to get back to what I am much more passionate about. Read more>>

Joshua Collins | Artist & Educator

I was not pursuing this path at first. I took art classes in public school every grade level and enjoyed them greatly. Not to get into it much but being shy and loner effected my emotions. Art, I feel was always a way to freely express and be true to me. In high school and Community college I was not sure of my path in life. I just knew college would be a good step to have for any career path I choose. During this time, I just started creating because I found freedom in creating. Graduating with my associates helped manifest a path for me. My thought was to create and help. What is the best way to stay in art and help at the same time? Education was my path. I struggled greatly in early years of life. I found joy, appreciation, and care through art. I want to teach and help through art. Channel the struggle of life to the creative process. At the same time I want to explore what I can offer as an artist as well as teach. Read more>>

Jasmine Magno | Artist

I have been contemplating this question more often recently as my viewpoint has changed as I’ve changed. Before, my answer was quite simple. I pursue an artistic career because art is my main avenue of self-expression. It allows me to communicate with society in ways that I cannot do verbally. I wanted to make a career out of it because I love the way art can connect people on such deep levels. Even though I still strongly believe in that pursuit of an artistic career; now, I feel as if I pursue an artistic career because it’s ingrained in my nature. Before it seemed more of a choice to study art and at any moment, I could change my mind and pursue a career in the STEM fields like my brothers. However, in the past few months I believe that I have crossed the threshold of no return. Perhaps it’s my stubbornness that drives me to show the world and myself that I can do it. The pursuit of any other career seems absurd. I am art. It is what I know. Read more>>

Mark Leavens | Studio Artist and Teacher

My pursuit stems from a desire to inspire others and to create images that leave a lasting impression. This motivation comes from those who initially inspired me. From an early age to studying art, and even now as I continue my studio practice and engage in my role as an educator, this desire to inspire came from those who influenced me from the beginning. My mentors, my teachers, my fellow creatives all pushed me in this pursuit, a strong desire to leave behind my mark. Read more>>