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.

Ana Quintero | Make-up Artist

I have always been attracted to the creative world wether it was dance, photography and now with makeup but the main reason was perspective. Perspective is not just something you can speak but I think it’s amazing to see everyones different point of view and their own way of expressing it. You’re able to create and share your ideas with many others and connect with them. Read more>>

Angie Goeke | Singer/Songwriter & Not In Our City Executive Director

When something is so engrained in your being- runs thick through your blood- it’s hard to pursue a career in anything else. (And I’ve tried)! I have found that I am happiest and most productive when I am pursuing my music and using my creative mind to make an impact in the things I care about. For me, I finally realized that there was no use in fighting a career as a singer/songwriter. At my very core, it is simply who I am. It is merely authenticity and integrity to who I am created to be for me to pursue a creative career. I love every minute of it, even when it means embracing failures, criticism, and financial hardships. Read more>>

Tristan Presley | Freelance Photographer and Videographer

Being completely honest, it wasn’t based in a resentment towards working for other, nor was it a drive to work for myself. Simply, it was almost a form of rush I would get when at the end of the day, I could look back and see the things I had created, compare them to y past creations, and see my growth as an artist and as a person. Also being able to provide people with a service they couldn’t obtain anywhere else, drove me to truly take this on full time! Read more>>

Brooke Wilton | Fashion Mogul; Founder of the East Austin Handmade Arts Market; and Radio Programmer / DJ as Baron Mind

I’ve always had a driven creative compulsion. I attended the High School For The Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, majoring in Visual Arts, and had a widely ranging liberal arts education at The University of Texas at Austin; full of classes in visual arts, audio production, film, photography, and creative writing. Then I started playing in a number of bands here in Austin (where I still live) while I fostered a technical career at Apple and a number of other tech companies from the early 90’s-on. But something was always missing. I felt that my creative potential was going largely untapped while I was surrounded by grey cubicle walls, so I got back into doing art and photography a bit and started doing some local arts shows. Then the econopocalypse of 2008 happened and suddenly NO ONE was buying art. Read more>>

Afi Ese | African American Contemporary Realism and Figurative Conceptualism Artist

I recognize the importance of positive black images in daily life and use my work to help direct the Black narrative and experience in an honest and transparent fashion. I want each piece to leave the viewer feeling culturally empowered, especially the youth. I try to embed bold fresh images in the minds of viewers and hopes to replace some of the miseducation and misleading imagery that plagues my community. Read more>>

Wytessa O’Neal | Conceptualist-Surrealist Fine Artist and Creative Designer

The reason I chose an artistic/creative career is quite simple.. it chose me. For my entire life, art and creativity have been thorough stepping stones through life. When I was younger, like grade school, drawing and designing came so naturally for me. Every blank piece of paper was a catalyst for artistic expression. If it were construction paper, notebook paper, and even magazines, I HAD to create some sort of drawing on them. As I got older, art was this weird but cool thing about me that set me apart from other people. It was an attention grabber, it could wow a crowd, seemingly effortlessly. I saw it as an extension of me, like a super power of sorts. Sometimes, I was just a normal person surrounded by friends. At other times, I’d tap into my creativity, and I became a loner with a broad audience. I began to see how my creativity gave me an undeniable mystique, this inevitably brought me to reckon with my identity. Read more>>

Jamar Carrington | Photographer

I’ve always been artistic with everything I do, no matter what is. I chose to pursue photography to show others the way I see things around me, with my photographs, I can only do so much. I have the ability to see beauty in some that’s not beautiful, and I really hope I’m able to show people the beauty of simplicity it’s amazing. That’s the reason I chose a creative career. Read more>>