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.

Lupita Balderas de Chavez | Cookie Artist & Content Creator

When I started my cookie business, I never thought that it will take a turn into an artist or creative career. Being a food Engineer I enjoy so much the biochemistry part of making cookies, it is really interesting to learn all the reactions that need to happen to make a delicious cookie, but after years of mastering my cookie and icing recipes, I started to focus more in the artistic part of making cooking per se.. And very recently I have discover that one of my top character strengths is Creativity and how important is to use your character strengths in your daily job.. When you have a job where you can use your top strengths you are able to enjoy more the time you spend working and that also helps you to feel more joy on what you do. I feel so privilege to have the opportunity to share my creations on YouTube and inspire others to be creative. I have a very creative mind and I am so happy that I can channel that in my cookies. Read more>>

Meghan Shogan | Stone Carver & Gallery Owner

I was interested in science and the liberal arts, but I needed to be hands-on and have some freedom for creativity or creative problem solving. Training to become a craftsperson seemed like a good compromise where I could grow a career in a bustling industry (construction) working with my hands and still get to be creative. I thought that I could eventually use my craft skills for more unbounded artistic expression, once I was proficient enough in my trade. I started training as a stone carver in 2007 and have not stopped learning since. It is challenging physically, creatively, and intellectually, especially with the mathematical side of setting out architectural forms. While I was working as a stone mason and carver, I paid attention to all other aspects of the construction business so I could be adaptable in my career. Read more>>

Emary Uzomah | DIY Doer & Accountant

From a very young age, I’ve been interested in creative designs. I love working with my hands and being able to express my vision in a creative manner. I was conflicted when I started college as to whether I should choose a design career or a fail-safe career. I chose the latter, accounting. Although I do like aspects of accounting, I found myself daydreaming about design a space or doodling a design I’d like to later execute on my time off. I had many co-workers and friends who encouraged me to showcase my creative design process online but I was too frighten. I would see other women Instagrammers who would do DIY (do-it-yourself) projects around their homes and use these power tools that you’d typically only see men use. It was so inspiring to watch them turn their Pinterest ideas into reality. Read more>>

Julie Willan | Artist

Every since I was child I had a passion for drawing and riding horses, I started out training horses. I don’t think I ever thought of art as something I would pursue as a career. Drawing to me just felt as natural as breathing. I was not exposed to pursuing art as a career but was presented with an opportunity in my early 20’s and have never looked back. For 28 years I’ve owned a faux finishing business which allowed some creative outlet, but nothing has touched my creative side like Fumage has in a long time. I continue doing the finishes although my fine art is moving in the foreground to become my main focus and is definitely who I am and what I was meant to do in my life. Read more>>