Artists and creatives face innumerable challenges given that their career path often doesn’t come with a playbook, a steady paycheck or any form of safety net. It’s definitely not easy and so we asked a few of the artists and creatives we admire to talk to us about why they chose to pursue an artistic or creative career.

Tanya Renee | Natural Hair Care Specialist

As a creative, working for other people was always difficult. I remember, literally sitting at my desk, drifting off, in deep thought, thinking about what it would be like starting my own business and working for myself. I did this for about 2 years before I said, “Step out Tanya! If you fall, just get back up! You got it!” And there in lies how I got started. Read more>>

Kelsey Baker | Intermedia Artist & Gallery Director

It’s really the only thing I’ve ever been passionate about. As a young person, I had real difficulty imagining myself doing anything else, but struggled for a long time with committing to the risk involved in pursuing a career in the arts. It’s certainly not a decision that comes along with security or an easy path to success. In the end… I just wouldn’t be happy with myself if I didn’t give it a shot. I was hell bent on making it as a working artist, and *only* doing that for a long while. I still support myself by taking commissions and selling work, but now that I’ve gotten experience teaching art, and am helping to build Contracommon, a nonprofit arts organization focused on supporting emerging artists, I can imagine several paths for the future. Read more>>

Amelia Rico | Actor/Filmmaker/Director/Writer

Ever since I was a child, I knew I wanted to be an actor. I never entertained any other career choice at all. I had no back up plan. This was what I was going to do and that was the end of that conversation. After high school, I moved to Houston to study acting at The University of Houston and quickly discovered that nobody was going to hand me an acting career. As a BIPOC woman, there were simply no parts for me. At school, despite paying for an education in acting, I was ignored and even denied auditions. In the Houston theatre and indie film scene I would get directors stopping me to tell me how great I was and I thought at first that this meant I would get cast, but after a while realized it was their way of letting me down easy because they knew they would never cast a BIPOC woman in whatever role I was auditioning for. No. If I wanted to be an actor, I would have to do it myself. So my husband and I created Ricornel Productions. At first we made short films starring me, got myself some reel footage and built up our hands on experience. Now we create films, promos and demo reels for actors and theaters all around Houston. Read more>>

Symia Shyne | OG Shyne

It was more like a gravitational pull. I never thought of this as a career, it’s just something i’ve always enjoyed that I’ve learned how to manage. I’ve always been artistic. Even as a kid, I’ve been drawn towards things art, cultural, and expression wise: clothing, drawing, music, video games, & etc. Those are just a few things as a kid that i truly enjoyed, and that still resonate in my life today heavy. Read more>>

Amanda Garcia | Visual Artist

I decided to persue a career as a visual artist because i came to realise that i couldn’t keep my sanity without creating things. Read more>>