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.

Mz Blue | Rapper/Actress/Radio-Host

I chose to pursue a creative career because I have been involved with arts/entertainment ever since I was a kid. I would find gigs in the newspaper and have my parents take me to them. I also took acting and music in school and was always performing for school talent shows. Of course when I grew up I went where the money was, and that was oil & gas because it paid the bills. However, I still held close to my dreams in the art/entertainment field. After an un-expected turn in my career I was able to start my very own radio station in 2019. I strive on being my authentic self so pursuing a creative career allows me to do this. I have never really liked being restricted or following what some believe to be the norm. I enjoy being my own boss and setting my own rules. I have connected with a lot of interesting and talented people being an artist (Rapper/Writer) and also by having my own radio show. Read more>>

Creature Hii | Music Producer & Recording Artist

At one point in my i really felt like i wasnt capable of doing anything, or keeping a job. Nothing stuck. I didnt care about any hobby or task to stick with it. Then i started dabbling in music production and for 2 years i kept my head down and it became my passion. I didnt care about anything my whole day revolved around making sure i had energy after work to stay up and work on music. To get better and to challenge myself every week with a new genre. It came natural and gave me goosebumps whenever i would hear the end result. Read more>>

Avisheh Mohsenin | Artist & Economist

My formal studies are in Economics but I was always exposed and drawn to visual arts. As I started my career in economic consulting it became clear soon that I was missing the creative side. I picked up photography and printing which morphed into mixed media and collage making. The freedom that came with letting go of constraints was addictive. I challenged myself to create the best I could within the limitations of technique and time. Art making has been not only a source of balance and grounding but a means of transcending. Read more>>

Alex Rosas | Visual Artist, Web-Designer & Dad

It’s something I think I was born to do. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else to earn a living nowadays. I had many “regular” jobs before I went to art school… I was a cable guy, dishwasher, door-to-door salesman, etc. but sometime around 2006, I decided I was going to finish my degree and “get paid to be creative” for the rest of my life. Read more>>

Willie Moss | Recording Artist & Registered Nurse

Music has the power to take you places, literally and metaphorically. By hearing a certain song can take you back to a place that can be either dark or bright. For me, as an artist, it’s my objective to deliver content that puts people in a positive space. Look around the world, there’s plenty stuff going on that can affect you negatively if you allow it. I’ve always had a strong passion for empowering others. By releasing music, I am able to encourage others to think optimistically by speaking to them directly. God has blessed me with a gift that I can use to help people see what they CAN do. Life for some can be a short ride. It’s a blessing to have the opportunity to help others either enjoy the journey or motivate them to achieve their goals. Read more>>

Grace C. Okoro | Author & Writer

I’ve always loved creating, but my creations came through my writings. I started writing music at the age of 10 years. It was just something that I and my siblings did for fun. We wanted to be the next destiny child. When I turned 18, I started rapping and expressing my gifts of writing in that way. As I got older, I wanted to find a way in which I can be impactful, and inspire individuals, so I started a blog and my writing took off from there. Fast forward into 2020, and everyone is required to be at home on lockdown. The inspiration to write a book came, and by the Grace of God, I wrote my first children’s book “Mercedes Jacobs Is a Fifth Grader”. I believe through writing books, I can reach people of all ages. Success to me is not the amount of money you make in life, but the amount of impact you had on an individual’s life. My goal in life is to encourage others and bring hope through all I do. Read more>>

Dena Novak | Artist

Recently I’ve been thinking about that question a lot as my child hood elementary art school teacher just passed away Susie Berkson was my role model and what I wanted to create for myself I wanted to create a space full of Cat Stevens sunlight and art. And I’ve tried to do that as an art teacher for many years and I really enjoyed that and my own personal art has traveled along with me ever since I can remember really as well I’ve always considered myself an artist. I.e. i’ve always really just loved making art and as a young child I used to go to the art institute of Chicago a lot and it was really influential and when I was able to go to college I was able to go to the yard institute Chicago for two years and that was incredibly instrumental in my becoming a painter and ceramicist and kind of now my new iteration is an abstract painter.?.?.?. I’m not really questioning the painter part here I don’t think I’ve ever really been anything else but an artist. Read more>>

Ernesto Marenco | A Visual Poet

Because, the art have the power to transform the reality. Also the art is a style life. Read more>>

Sabri’A Price | Visual Artist

I always knew I was meant to do something ..different. I was always a super sensitive child with hella empathy for all living things and I could see the beauty in everything. So, it was very difficult for me to fit in when I worked 9-5 jobs; I would quit a lot, haha. I hated doing things I didn’t wanna do and that didn’t interest me. After I graduated college, I realized that I reeeeally didn’t want to start the whole job-hunting, resume, professionalism, corporate thing. I decided to go full time with my art, which was more of a hobby and side hustle for me since 2016. Read more>>

Amanda Gorski | Interior Designer

I have always been drawn to the creative arts. As a child I always wanted to be an artist. I chose creative electives at an early age, preferring art class to additional physical education classes or technology classes that the majority of my class would take. I feel deep within me an urge or need to create. When I am doing something creative, whether it be interior design, painting, drawing, photography, I am at my happiest. It gives me this little bubble that I can get into and block out the noise of everyday life. Which currently involves an infant, a toddler, a puppy and a husband! Not that I need to block these individuals out, but I spend my day thinking of them and taking care of them. Sometimes I feel like I give my all to other people. I spend my day doing things for others, taking care of others, performing for others. What I love most about interior design is creating a space where others can feel their happiest. I am a firm believer in the theory that your environment is sacred and will directly affect your mental and psychological state of mind. Read more>>

Agnieszka Russo Sowa | Abstract Artist

Inspiration often comes to me from my family or from random events and conversations, but the driving forces behind my work are feelings and nature. The mountains surrounding the beautiful countryside of my childhood home in Poland first awakened and nurtured my artistic spark, thereafter I’ve been continually inspired by places I’ve lived or visited such as Italy, Scandinavia and the spectacular natural beauty of the United States. The natural world moves me to express my inner self, and in doing so I find myself in communication with nature, a communication which then extends and connects to those who see my. Read more>>

Joseph Marinick | Painter/ illustration/ Sculpture/Actor/Musician

I decided to pursue this journey, within the arts, because I believe it was an escape and a way I could showcase my thoughts (conscious or subconsciously.) later in my mid 20’s I realized art in general can have a physical affect on an individual. I took a liking to that. Also, the Philosophy of the Japanese- Ikigai. Read more>>