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.

Rae Fort | Illustrator & Comic Artist

Art is something that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Coming from a family heavily invested in the arts, it was a part of me that I had been encouraged to express from a very young age. Something I’ve always loved about art is how it gives one the ability to share immense stories through a single picture. I had always been captivated by artists who were able to establish such detail in tone and setting through their work, and this later became a driving force in my growth as an artist and the impressions I wanted my own work to give to others. My aspirations in art are to tell stories through various forms of media. Read more>>

Crystal Smiley | Photographer & Graphic Designer

I think my decision to be a creative whether a graphic designer or a photographer was kind of a blessing and a birthright for me. Born and raised with the ability to draw, paint and be creative was something that I always knew would get me far. Pursuing an artistic career was a bit of a challenge but, I knew I would be excellent at it. Read more>>

Angie J. Emerson | Singer | Songwriter | Musician

At an early age, I remember being one with my surroundings and conveying that feeling through a creative outlet. Daydreaming felt so euphoric to me, that I believed if I worked hard enough, no matter how many times I felt I needed to erase that line or sing that song fifty times, I found solace. So that’s where my path was drawn from the very beginning. Read more>>

Mayra Yanez | Hair & Makeup Bridal Specialist

The reason behind my career of choice is the Art. The Art that is created on each Individual, while using a variety of pigmented colors and hot tools. When I first take a look at my clients they come in different shapes, different shades, and or having unique features; making them a beautiful piece of Art . When I am in my zone of concentration my clients become my canvas, and I am their painter, every stroke of my brush is gently and humbly applied; therefore bringing life into their skin and enhancing their beauty. I love what I do and my passion grows deeply after seeing my clients reactions. It gives me satisfaction and honor to be able to be apart of their special day. Read more>>

Carla Yeatts | Sculpture Artist

I chose the current artist path I’m on because I had a fire lit inside of me, a dream, an ambition, a hope and a glimpse of a magical little life. Thinking back, the most appealing thing to me as a kid, was to “become an artist”, but I never found a medium that really clicked with me as a kid, and as a teenager I never viewed art school as a practical choice for me, so I quickly put that idea out of my head. I did not choose to explore the idea again until my 30’s and falling into becoming a sculpture artist and monster/creature artist is something that found me rather than me ever actually envisioning it for myself.   Not to sound too intense, but when I made the choice to let go of my conventional job and lifestyle in 2015 to pursue art, it really was a matter of saving my life and my future sanity. Read more>>

Cody Half-Moon | Marketing Consultant & CEO of Half-Moon Media

I have been marketing businesses since the third grade, when I drew flyers and made business cards for pretend businesses for fellow classmates. Art, expression, and a passion for storytelling has always been a big part of my life, and I honestly didn’t even connect the dots and involve those skill sets into my career for many years. Throughout college, I did PR and marketing as a sort of hobby, volunteering at local museums and for small organizations to help them get radio slots, plan events, and create new marketing materials. In my career, I remember once I even re-designed a menu for the restaurant where I was a waitress. Read more>>

Ashley Gierke | Artist

Art is my first love. Making has been a continuous thread throughout the course of my life because of the way it makes me feel and its ability to connect me with others. My formal education was art driven, all of my jobs since have been as well. Out of college I was a fabricator at a studio specializing in museum exhibits—think realistic, life-size models of animals and dioramas (my boss was a taxidermist!). Then I became an art gallery manager, a production manager at a sign shop and now create artistic, residential interiors with Turnstyle Design. Making and selling art is always happening alongside these other endeavors. Creating is my passion and inherently feels like what I am meant to be doing in life. Read more>>

Naveen Tan | Photographer & Cinematographer

Art can be seen all around us. It is up to every individual to define what art means to them. I come from an engineering background and still have career in the more non-artistic side of things. I decided to pursue a more creative path at the same time as I feel there is an artist within me who is looking for ways to express myself. Everyone has unique creativity in their own ways. I let mine out through my lens. After discovering photography several years ago, I have been fascinated with what can be captured through the camera. Different people capturing the same image may have quite a different outcome. Read more>>

Ben Appiah | Photographer

A friend asked me why I do photography. Honestly, I struggled to find a profound reason. Then I realized, the answer is really simple. Photography is just something I enjoy and doing it for so long it has essentially become a part of me. At a point, I was taking photos just to capture memories. Nothing more than pointing and shooting. I started to understand photography can be more than that. From capturing/creating memories to expressing one’s own imagination. I started pursuing it more seriously to explore, experiment, and to share my fascination. Read more>>

Hilary Pradia Watkins | Recording Artist & Author

I wanted to pursue being creative because not being able to express myself makes me feel like I’m not able to be my most authentic self. Writing songs, books, creating videos is something that I absolutely love to do. Not sharing myself with the world creatively makes me feel like I’m not doing my part in contributing to society. Read more>>

Merrilee Challiss | Artist and Art Instructor

Why did you choose an artistic or creative career? In my case, having walked the path of the creative for several decades by this point, the route has always been circuitous, if sometimes oblique. Being a creative, means being open, adaptive and responsive to changing circumstances – being able to improvise, or pivot, is a most valuable skill. My path as a creative, for better or worse, seems fated. Just as it was clear from a young age that I had artistic leanings, my growing reticence as a young adult to conform to a “normal” job, further solidified my path as a creative. The process of making art is a way I “interface” with the world, working my way through ideas and concepts towards a greater understanding. Read more>>

Sarah Grimes | Model, Actress & Yoga Enthusiast

Growing up I never had a specific idea of what I wanted to be. Being in a house of 4 older siblings, I didn’t always get to express myself. I felt like I just needed to follow the steps of going to school and then college after high school. Eventually, Id figure it out right? Nothing stuck out to me as an area of interest. School was never something I was very good at and I wasn’t too excited about continuing schooling. I stumbled upon this creative field because of a good friend of mine. The pure joy and excitement I found when I began modeling was nothing like I’ve ever felt before. Meeting new creatives every day and working on different projects is so fulfilling. Read more>> 

Trulei Versatile | Professional Artist , Photographer and Creative Consultant

Simple, I love art. I could not see my life without me creating. I tried and it felt like something was missing. It brings me joy but it also gives me a way to bring beauty and joy to others which is priceless. Read more>>

Kevin Trent | Artist

The artistic and creative career found me, is the best way to explain my career pursuit. Drawing and doodling was something I would do often during my childhood. I drew a mural on the wall on my dorm room wall in college, but life happened, and creativity took a back seat. A couple of years ago, I turned to creativity to release stress and as a way to help me to relax. Eventually, drawing and being creative became an outlet for self-expression. Once I found my niche, creating became a passion of mine and something I wanted to share with others. This career has allowed me to teach and inspire others, but more importantly give back to my community. Read more>>

Veronica Cabrera | Artist

Art is in my blood. I walk through life thinking how I could add color to different spaces , places and peoples lives. I don’t feel like myself unless I’m exercising my creativity muscle. Read more>>

Ruth Rede | Makeup Artist

I always was fascinated by the beauty in people , I wanted to be involved and be a part of it. Read more>>

Max Diaz | Musician

I always grew up feeling different but very creative, painting, writing, drawing. When I turned that creativity to music at age 13 yrs old I instantly felt a connection and a found a new way to express myself and dig deeper In my creativity. Music was a new way to connect the art to people. Read more>>

Rudy / Francisca Djuliardjo / Sari | Small Business Owners

We both started our work life in “practical” careers. Growing up, we never thought of creative career as a choice. We both come from practical families. We were taught to choose a “sensible” career and then we can have hobbies to channel our creativities. We were doing okay with our careers but we always felt like doing something different. When God put the idea in our hearts to create the two-in-one bib and burping cloth – or the biBurp as we named it later – little that we knew this is that “different thing” we were searching for. In the beginning, we really struggled since we had zero knowledge of the industry. At various times, we felt like giving up. But God always showed His faithfulness. Read more>>

Anthony Hernandez | Actor | Poet | Writer | Artist

I’m not sure it’s a road that one chooses to pursue more than one that pursues you. The world asks that we pursue a career that may support current world structures and while they are needed and there is a nobility in providing for one’s own needs the Artist or Creative doesn’t necessarily have the safety of that choice. The Artist is born into this world with a wider aperture in how we process the world. It’ll tug at your Soul and submerse your Heart in every experience until you fully accept your obligation not in the World but TO the World. This life asks the Artist to embrace it with the full measure of empathy,awareness,imagination and confidence and to be unrelenting in that task. Read more>>

Isaiah Maldonado | Musician

Read more>>