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.

Jennifer Ayala | Writer, Poet, Emotional Expressionist

In reality, I have not fully pursued a career in writing. Although, a girl can dream a little. Writing to me has been one of the most liberating things I have ever decided to share with my little world thus far. Deciding to share it with my followers on Instagram or WordPress was something I never planned on doing, but one day I decided to send in an idea to UNIDAYS and they asked me to write a couple more for their website, I think in that moment, I was given so much hope. I thought that if just this one person believed in me and my writing, then maybe others could find it valuable, maybe someone else could relate. So although I do strive for more in my writing and poetry, I am also happy to just write for me and the feeling I receive when I put the pen to the paper and allow the words to bleed from my heart. Currently, I am writing for the Dateline newspaper at the University of Houston Downtown. Read more>>

Samuel & Kimberly Barker | Members of Folk-Rock Band Brightwire

From a young age, I was always interested in artistic endeavors. I would draw as a kid, build things out of clay and the like, but creative writing was where I first found a medium I excelled in. For the longest time, I wanted to grow up to be a journalist and story writer, so I always had composition books full of ideas lying around. When I was 15, I was up late watching 120 Minutes on MTV and saw a Primus video. I knew at the moment, I wanted to play music. I talked my mom into buying me a bass guitar for my birthday that year and I never stopped playing. Music provided a way to take my love of creative writing and give it a soundtrack. I loved it more than anything I had experienced to that point. As I grew older, I had “normal” jobs, and still do, but eventually, I really poured myself into honing my songwriting craft and making music something more than just a hobby. By the end of my 20s, I was playing 60-80 shows a year and I’ve carried that workload up until the pandemic stopped everything last year. Read more>>

Cyrus Rodas | Voice Actor & Audio Engineer

I wanted to pursue a career in acting and storytelling ever since I could remember. Being a creative, in general, has always been a big part of my life since I was young, from acting, music, writing, film, and pretty much any artform that allowed me to express myself. During the early stages of my acting career, a colleague of mine suggested I try voice over, which was something I was always curious about, because of my fondness for animation and video games, but never thought to consider as a career path. So, when I had the opportunity to experience the world of voice acting for the first time and discover I had a hidden talent for it, there was no question. I was in love! From then, I knew that I wanted to be a voice actor. Read more>>

Christy Campbell | Photographer

After receiving my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree I took a corporate job to help get on my feet and pay off some student loans, I quickly realized that a job like that just wasn’t for me. I began working in the service industry and while doing so I focused on my goals as a creative and where I wanted to take my career. Photography has been a passion of mine since I was twelve when my parents gave me my first 35mm film camera. For some time I was unsure where I wanted to take my photography and what I wanted to say with it. As I began exploring all the avenues of photography from creative portraits to weddings I fell in love with seeing how happy people were when I delivered their portraits. Currently, I focus on fashion, branding, and couples photography. Through my work I aim to create images that focus on diversity and inclusion. Having a creative career is challenging but far more rewarding than any other job I have ever had. Read more>>

Quinton Boughton | Cinematographer & Photographer

That’s simple, it became my passion. From about Kindergarten until basically my junior year of undergrad, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to be a lawyer. It was something that I always found interesting. As a little kid I’d come home from Kindergarten and watch Judge Judy with my grandmother. As a youth, I was involved in Teen Court in my community. In high school criminal justice classes, etc. I even joined the national prelaw frat, Phi Alpha Delta. But while I was in undergrad, things didn’t go exactly according to plan. I received some misinformation about available law classes that my school offered. My chapter of Phi Alpha Delta had big plans to do courtroom visits, mock trials, the works but none of those things actually happened while I was there. So while I always really liked law and enjoyed the steps that I had been taking so far to prepare myself for law school, I hadn’t had the chance to develop a real passion for law yet. Read more>>

Chelsea Lazard | Artist/Creator/Poet

It was originally not in my plans to pursue a creative career. I started painting as an escape from everyday life and eventually it just blossomed into something more. Once I saw that people were really taking a liking to my work, it made me want to keep going. So I guess, in a way, I have all of my supporters to thank for that. I do not regret my decision to take on art as a full time hobby and job. Read more>>

Rachel Wilkinson | Writer & Creator of Lifemancy

Out of sheer madness? There are days I ask myself the same thing. Why would anyone do this to themselves? Making a living as a writer and creator not only requires discipline and dedication to honing your craft, it also means becoming an entrepreneur, a marketing strategist, a web designer, a project manager, and an accountant, too! Next thing you know, you’re balancing a stack of ten different hats on your head, haven’t taken a day off in a month, and only then do you ask yourself, “Is this worth it?” My answer is always yes. One day that might change, but until then, there’s no other choice for me. Trust me, I’ve tried to find literally any other career. Anything other than Writer. But there is nothing as powerful as changing someone’s life with a story. It’s magic. I can write about me or a character who faced their fear, and three months later, someone will tell me it inspired them to face their own. This is how I want to serve others. This is how I want to do my part to change the world. Read more>>

Max Solorzano Pinto | Dance Coach & Professional Dancer

I decided to go after an artistic career after that at a really young age I realized that i didn’t wanted to have an office or corporate job, I feel better teaching people how to dance, creating routines and filming those creations. Read more>>

Delene Moreno | Brow Artist

While attending high school I realized book work was not my thing when I graduated high school I panicked trying to figure out what I would do as a career. I was offered a job in the legal field as a paralegal I spent years behind a desk and a computer doing paper work. Unfortunately I got tired of living that life and I knew I was meant to do physical work with my hands I had a good eye for things so I began my career as a brow artist. My now career consists of both artistic and creativity. Read more>>

Monica Puryear | Artist

I believe that art chose me! Even as a young child I was always drawn to colors and patterns that existed in nature. My maternal Grandfather, Willie Hasse, was an artist in Germany before WW2 and even though I never had an opportunity to meet him (he was taken prisoner by the Russians), I was fortunate to have some of his work in my possession and felt a connection to him that exists to this day! After receiving a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the University of Florida in 1977 I worked in galleries and created work that helped me grow as an artist. My work has been exhibited in Houston, Austin, and Georgetown as well as galleries in San Francisco., where I resided for ten years before returning to Texas. Currently my work can be viewed at the Gallery off the Square in Georgetown and is in the exhibit “Let’s Talk” at the Downtowner Gallery in Round Rock, Texas. In February of 2020 my painting, “Ulrike’s View”, won best in show at the ReImagine Exhibit in Round Rock, Texas. Read more>>

Alyssa Martin | Children’s Alternative Athletics Director

I don’t think I could help but have a artistic career. I have made it a habit to put my art into everything I do, including work. Art breathes life into me and creating it to share and inspire others has become an innate part of my livelihood. Read more>>