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.

Ashley Johnson | Choreographer, Dance Educator, Consultant

I pursued an artistic career because dance gave me so much as a student, creator and a performer, I wanted to give that back to my community. I fell in love with dance in 8th grade. My childhood was a rollercoaster and at that time of my life I needed a way to express myself and build confidence… Soon I learned this craft was personal. I knew this was something that as long as I put the work in, I could grow in any capacity. The more I grew in foundation, the more I could play as an artist. Read more>>

Iam LACED | Artist

When I was younger I always wanted to make music and be one of the best to do so. Music puts me in a good place in my mind when I listen to it and I want my music to put everybody else in a good head space when they listen to it. Read more>>

LaTasha Scales | Model

The main reason I pursued a creative career in the modeling world was to help boost my self esteem along with other girls who looked like me. I group up in a small Kansas town that lacked a black community, which lead to some self esteem issues growing up. I didn’t want other lil black girls to feel like they were less than Read more>>

Daniel Rocha | Artist

Hi, my name is Daniel Rocha a metal artist born and raised in Houston. The reason why I decided to pursue an artistic career is because of the amazing people that I met along this journey. One day when I was sitting around in my apartment where I used to live rambling though some of my earlier artwork that I created during high school, I realized I came so far from not knowing how to draw during my youth to competing in art contests. Read more>>

Dayana Carolina Chang Ledesma | Illustrator and Animator

I have been drawing all my life, I knew I wanted an art related career when I was very young. At first it was fashion designer, but later I discovered it is way more enjoyable to draw characters doing something or to communicate an emotion through an illustration. But art for me is a way to keep all the wrong things happening right now, from the outside of my mind, away from my thoughts and have a little moment of calm. Read more>>

Louie Yanez | Dancer, Choreographer, Dance Teacher.

This is kind of hard to answer but I believe I was born to be a dancer. I grew up hearing the saying “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” , and that’s what caused a click in my head to want to pursue professional dancing as a career. I always saw these dancers working in music videos, award shows, tv shows, etc. and thought to myself that’s going to be me one day. I also started to pursue dance as a career because I saw the ways it helped me find myself in different aspects of life. Read more>>

Shaquille Drayton | Entrepreneur — Fashion Designer, Creator & Stylist

I never decided to pursue a creative career, it’s just something that has also been within me and apart of me. My career is way more than just a source of income. It’s a lifestyle, a way of expressing myself while motivating others through fashion to take on life’s obstacles & overcome them. Read more>>

Kanika Blair | Digital Artist & Creative

Being an artist & creative is something that I flowed into naturally. I’ve always been interested in the arts since a child…lets just say its apart of me. As a child back at home in Chicago I was exposed to music, poetry, theatre, talent shows, beauty pageants. Growing up I also met a lot of other artists, entrepreneurs and creatives back at home which watered my interest and inspired my creativity. Read more>>

Michel’le Lewis | Wardrobe Stylist & Designer

I pursued an artistic career because I have always been heavy into art and fashion! I’ve always been intrigued by the different elements of art and all that you can do with fashion, so I decided to teach myself how to paint and sew. Read more>>