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.

Erica Bartlett | Plastic Surgeon

Plastic surgery has always excited me because it combines not only surgical skill but an artistic eye. There are many principles in surgery that never change, however, in plastic surgery those basic skills and principles are used as the foundation. Everything else comes from designing a procedure that fits the patient’s goals and expectations. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I enjoy the challenge of making a surgical result fit the patient. No person is the same, so it would make sense that no surgery should be the same. In that regard, plastic surgery allows me to use both sides of my brain. The left side, the analytical side is imperative because as a surgeon you must be very algorithmic and methodical in your analysis and evaluation. At the same time, the right side of the brain, or creative side, allows me to use an artistic eye to design a result that not only meets the patient’s expectation, but mine (and I have very high expectations). It makes my field very challenging but also at the same time very rewarding. Every day comes different people, with different goals and desired results, and the marriage of both art and science is in constant interplay. This is definitely a career that never gets boring. Read more>>

JT “Jody” Morse | Writer/Editor/Photographer

I am at heart an artist. My pulsing core consists predominately of waves of art, clumps of creativity, and wisps of imagination. Yes, I am a mother, a wife, a friend, a woman, a writer, an American, a Houstonian, etc. But underneath all of those layering labels and roles, I am an artist. Expression, empathy, and connection are my why for living and my why for being a writer. Read more>>

Drea Gonzalez | Texas Photographer

As cliche as it may sound, I chose an artistic career to ignite every part of me that brings me life. Whether it’s the smile on someones face when they see their pictures, or the feeling I have seeing a shot through my cameras viewfinder. It was all inspired by a feeling inside that can’t ever be described. Having an artistic career has broadened everything I know to be beautiful, and has completely changed my definition of what beauty is. Beauty can be driving down the Texas roads of Big Bend during sunset with a Shiner in hand, but it can also be a special someone sitting across you at the table while working. Art allows you to categorize whatever you want as art, so long it moves you in the direction that makes you feel alive. If it leaves you breathless, paralyzed, speechless, and/or happy, it is art. There is nothing right or wrong in artistry, it’s just a story with a different cover. Read more>>

Kathryn Legendre | Honky Tonk Musician

There was a long time I didn’t think a career in music (at any level) was realistic. I come from a family who encouraged financial security, and music never seemed to fit that element of my life. It wasn’t until after I graduated college, that I embraced music as an avenue for me to explore deeply, without any strings attached. Read more>>

Felipe Barajas | Owner of “Felipe’s Creations” & Cake Decorator, Baker

I believe that I pursued an artistic or creative career because making a cake is not just mixing ingredients. it is a lot more than that. Being able to come up with a design and create something wonderful that is going to make my customers happy is priceless. I strongly believe that there is art in what I do, whether its on the inside or the outside of the cake, its all art. I am also a very creative person and I love to come up with new, fresh ideas that will ensure my customers love the experience. Read more>>

Abby Mitchell | Freelance Illustrator & Character Artist

At its simplest, I pursued an artistic career because I wanted to spend my life following my deepest passion. I knew that I wanted to be an artist for a living ever since I was a very small girl. I remember growing up, I would be constantly spending my time illustrating stories I had written for myself, designing colorful characters, and watching animated films/staring at concept art religiously so that I could recreate what I had seen. I even began steadily selling commissions when I was only 14! As a young adult, I lost some confidence in my abilities and tried branching out into other more “stable” career fields for a few years, but my heart always led me back to art. I realized that I needed to spend my life doing what makes me happy, even if it involved uncertainty and risk. Deep down I knew that my passion lead to fulfillment and success. Pursuing a freelance art career has honestly been one of the best choices I have ever made in my life: because I’m happy. Read more>>

Benjamin McVey | Painter & Sculptor

I have always been drawn to art making. As a young boy, I used to sit at my grandmother’s kitchen table on weekend mornings drawing for hours while she sipped her coffee and read the newspaper. I knew I wanted to be creative for a living, so when I went to college I chose Communication/Graphic Design as my major. Fine arts classes were required and I found myself spending a lot of outside time working on studio projects. After graduation, I reluctantly left the studio behind to pursue my career as an art director in advertising. Five years went by before I seriously drew again. While living and working in New York City, a friend suggested that I sign up for an art class at the Art Students League. I found that I still had a natural ability for drawing and my desire to learn more grew. And I wanted to paint. Not long after, I was taking more classes at The League and eventually left my full-time advertising job, only taking freelance assignments so I wouldn’t starve. The more I drew and painted on my own, and in classes, the more I knew that I wanted to be a full-time artist. Read more>>

Victoria Sheffield | Principal Designer

I decided to pursue a creative career because being around beautiful design brings me joy and peace. I see beautiful design in nature when I see the shape of a tree as the branches gracefully meander and extend their path toward sunlight, or the patterns of light glistening off water. I’ve always been fascinated by the structure of a bloom with the varying parts each supporting the other to produce shape, texture, and color. I find the same principles apply to architecture, interior design and artistic objects. The organization of parts and pieces in a way that brings a pleasing, functional balance that improves our lives. Interior design is much the same way in that the functionality of the parts can be so pleasing to the eye if arranged and implemented correctly. I have always been aware that my surroundings affect my mood and my ability to still my mind in order to enjoy a sense of well being. I’m sure many people are not affected as acutely as I am by their physical surrounds, but I would be willing to bet that most people who hire a designer fall into this category! We are the day dreamers, the ones who stop in their tracks to watch a butterfly. Read more>>

Chelsea Sargent Lira | Chef-Owner Houston Grazing Tables

I knew I needed to think outside the box and how I wanted to live my day to day life. I value my time so much and by creating a job that I had control over my time was all I desired. Yes there are a lot of moments of time where I sometime wish I did not had to do said “work” but because I turned my passion into my career, I get to have both. I get to work like we all have to do to achieve any goals, and I have a lot of time to keep being creative and adding products to my business. Read more>>

Alexandra Robinson | Artist & Educator

I have been making things as long as I can remember, my parents always provided me with paper and tools to draw with. I grew up with the vernacular as identifying as a creative person or artist. A formative memory I have is in about the fifth grade I had a collage exhibited in a local museum/gallery. The class had been working on a mosaic collage and we were given an option to stay inside during recess to work on it. I remember staying in to complete it so that choice seemed important. Somehow various artworks were chosen to be shown to the community. I remember going and seeing it hanging in what seemed such a professional way. Today that artwork hangs in my youngest daughters bedroom. Amazingly, it somehow survived a lifetime of Army moves. Also, my parents were both elementary and high school educators and now I am a university professor. I don’t think of myself so much as a teacher but I certainly am one. Everyday I get to look at, talk about and make art with students. Read more>>

Patricia Castle | Visual Artist

As long as I can remember I’ve always been a artist at heart, but I didn’t know for years…what my artistry was. I love music, Dancing, writing, Photography, Etc. But taking pictures is my thing and I kinda just put all of that passion into one and create. Read more>>

Delisa’e Malone | Beauty Entrepreneur

It gives me life! Helping other women look and feel their best self. Enhancing the beauty that’s already there. The Gemini woman is said to be pretty, witty, and one of the most creative signs of the zodiac which is myself. I’ve always been fascinated with beauty specifically, makeup it’s my passion. Being a self-taught makeup artist prompted me to go to cosmetology school allowing me to expand my knowledge and flourish. False eyelashes always stuck out to me they’re so extravagant the way they draw attention to your eyes. I want women to embrace femininity and feel the best versions of themselves glamorous, luxurious,confident, sexy and empowered. Read more>>

Taylor Thi | Singer/Songwriter

When I was just about 3 years old, my dad took me to. a James Taylor concert and that’s when I spoke of wanting to become an artist. Well, at the time I said popstar and ever since then it stuck. Music allows me to express who I am, it’s my therapy and has saved my life at times. It’s been the one thing that keeps me up and going. As cliche as this sounds, one of the reasons I want to continue to pursue music is to help people. I’ll always remember working at a tanning salon when I was 18 years old and this dad brought his 15 year old daughter in to meet me. She walked in and bursted into tears as i’m sitting behind the receptionist desk as a bunch of ladies for waiting to get in the tanning beds. She hugged me so tight and couldn’t believe she was talking to me. The next day went by and her dad came back in. He looked at me, said thank you and told me his daughter said to him “I want to follow my dreams because Taylor is following hers”. After that I knew that was the reason I do music. I get to inspire people and the fact I could do that through my music was an incredible gift I was given. Read more>>

Jenna Rosee | Musician

I wouldn’t say I pursed an artistic career, it pursued me. It’s always been apart of my life. I grew up around music and it’s something that I will forever love. Growing up my dad was a huge music lover and he wanted to be a musician himself. I had cousins that were into music and other creative ventures. I would say that I was born to have a artistic career because it was always in my heart. Read more>>

Savannah Mayfield | Event and Floral Stylist & Makeup Artist

For me when I decided to leave my steady corporate paying job. I wanted it to be for something that made me happy. I wanted to be somewhere that my ideas were being accepted and not turned down. I wanted a career that I could be creative and make things with my hands turning something from a before to an after. I found joy in event planning and floral design, That’s why I founded my own event styling company “Blooms and Cheers”. Read more>>

Beata Bober-Gorzkowski | Self Though Resin Artist

Laughing as I’m reading And thinking of answering this question . Reason why is because my eighth grade art teacher once told me “Beata focus your energy somewhere Else as I don’t wanna fail you so I’ll give you a passing grade yet you do not have one artistic bone in your body” with that said that was the end of me trying to go into arts and crafts. It wasn’t until years later when unfortunately I had to be on my own and become very creative of how to stretch a dollar and make it go along way. That’s why and without thinking about what my art teacher say I got into flipping furniture painting them restoring them and eventually selling them to help me and my boys get through a tough times.Since then I decided to pretty much try every craft an art that there is. I was always very passionate about art and always wanted to prove myself that I can do it. Although I have not succeeded in many of the arts and crafts that I have tried I ultimately found my biggest passion which right now is my current business. That is fine and functional resin artwork. Read more>>