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.

Shelby Lynn | Photographer

It’s honestly funny, photography kind of fell into my lap and we’ve been inseparable ever since. It all started 7 years ago when my husband and were practically babies. I was a stay at home mom, he was a lance corporal in the United States Marine Corps. We were barely making ends meet. I bought a cheap camera on an income tax return, started doing little photoshoots to help make some cash, and the rest is history. Read more>>

Katie Byrd | Photographer

I started Aura Photography in 2018 as a part time job while in cosmotology school. I have always struggled in tradition work environments. It felt like no matter how many times I changed jobs or thought I found something better, something was always missing. For a while, my mental health depreciated and I felt such a lack of motivation to keep going. When I picked up my camera and started creating, it saved me. It gave me freedom and the ability to finally bring to life the visions I always saw and felt so deeply. Photography gave me purpose and passion. Read more>>

Bobby Diamond | Jazz Pianist

Art is what gives life excitement and feeling, it gives meaning and purpose to the little tasks we do each day. Getting to be someone who provides artwork in any form to the world is a blessing in itself, but getting to create music is the most satisfying thing there is. Read more>>

Sean Burns | Actor

It gives me the most freedom to be anything I want to be. It gives me power. Being an artist feeds me creatively, it was something I didn’t know I needed until I found it, it filled that void in my life and continues to do so. I get the privilege to work with people who are just as invested in the art of storytelling as I am and that to me is such a privilege. Read more>>

Nazeleh Booker | Brand Ambassador / Influencer

Honestly, growing up I always had an interest in arts. I wrote poetry, plays, and short stories. I used them as way of self expression and escape. When I wrote the troubles of life simply melted away. I felt that I could express things that I sometimes wasn’t able to vocally. After high school I put writing in the backseat and started using that same artistic expression within my wardrobe and makeup. In doing that, I noticed my confidence grew. With the noticeable growth in confidence other women in my likeness would want to know where I got my clothing, makeup, and accessories. That’s when I knew I had a natural knack for Influencing. The rest is history. Read more>>

Cliff Gordon | Musician, Producer, Educator

Self-expression and autonomy. Read more>>

Demetrius Jackson | Professional Image Enhancer

I decided to pursue a creative career because I know the way my mind flows and I would not want to put a ceiling on that. I feel like since I have always been so quick to lose interest in doing “work” that doesn’t excite me, why settle for that when I don’t have to. I can truly say I love the process behind everything I do and that’s my purpose. Read more>>

Stephen Kelly | Painter

I didn’t choose a creative career necessarily. Creating art is just the only way I’ve ever been able to communicate my thoughts and ideas to the world. It is my journal, a form of therapy, and a secret best friend. Whenever I take a prolonged break from producing work, my world slowly begins to fall apart around me. It is as essential to my psyche as exercising. I will be creating art in some form or another until the day I die, regardless of whether or not I am making money off of it. Read more>>

Jordan Hannah | Screenwriter, Director, Cinematographer

Various family members commented from an early age that I was always funny and always had a story to tell, one which would get longer and more complicated in the telling and that would change overtime. As a kid in Houston I had different kinds of artistic experiences such as studying improv, competing in a comedy competition, and participating in opera. As a young adult, working various retail jobs, although they brought in needed income, left me miserable and anxious because it required me to go weeks without doing anything creative. Read more>>