We asked some of the city’s leading artists and creatives to tell us about how they decided to pursue an artistic or creative career. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Tori Brawner | Professional Photographer

Entrepreneurship goes back at least three generations that I’m aware of. My dad, grandfather and great grandfather were all entrepreneurs. We all wanted to make something special, create, and provide something amazing for others to enjoy. I started working for my dads antique refurbishing shop; Brawner Restoration, when i was 7 years old. A business that my grandfather started, with knowledge that was passed down from my great grandfather. They were all extraordinary creators, and where my passion didn’t fall in the same category as theirs, photography called to me. It’s the thing that makes my soul sing and it gives me comfort that i am following in my families footsteps of being a creator and business owner Read more>>

Michele Lauryn | Owner, Baker, Decorator of All Things Sweet by Michele Lauryn

I grew up with a family that is all about the food at family gatherings. I’m the oldest of my siblings and I helped out alot around the house and in the kitchen. I have a grandma that would decorate cakes for our birthdays and would teach me how to cook and show me her ways when it came to baking especially. I always loved learning how to do things like she did. I was going thru a rough patch in life and I would find myself watching Cake Boss at night and it was just always so mesmerizing watching a cake get decorated. One day I just decided I’m going to make a cake. Read more>>

Jennifer Simpson | Brand Consultant

I’m a born creative. Since childhood, I have loved to draw, perform and create something from nothing. I lived through a professional career in banking and higher education. I learned a lot that I incorporate today, so I can never devalue the importance of that journey. Fast forward, nothing has been as rewarding as having my own business with clients love the results of my creativity. Read more>>

Jeff McKenzie | Audio Engineer

I have never been a fan of 9 to 5’s and that led me to working rotating shifts for many years. Being a fan of music for as long as I can remember and working on shifts gave me the flexibility I needed to explore my passion. It’s something about sound that moves me. I love that audio engineers really have no bounds. The sounds come together to create wonderful combinations of melodies and rhythms and it is the engineer that helps it all come together to create music that is pleasing to the ear. Read more>>

O’Shea White | Skin Care

Since I can remember I’ve always been creative ,whether it was writing poems, drawing, crafting I did it . Over time I found things to invest my time into like right now, I’m invested into becoming an licensed esthetician with her own skincare products. when growing up i suffered with acne & dry skin. I never looked into curing it until I got older and my skin gotten better . I started taking care of my skin and what can I do about making my appearance presentable. Read more>>

Natalie Vongsengdeuane | Lash Artist & Educator

I decided to pursue an artistic/creative career because I didn’t feel like a traditional job suited me. I truly believe if you do pursue a career doing something you love it will never feel like work. Read more>>