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.

Janet Taylor | Organizing Expert and Speaker

Back in 1992 I was laid off of a job working in customer service. I decided that I no longer wanted anyone to have control over the money I made and after seeing another woman creating a business around what she was good at I started my firm in 1994. Read more>>

Debbie Vu | Multi-Disciplinary Artist / Fabricator

I choose to pursue an artistic career because I wanted to succeed in an unconventional field. My parents are the traditional Asian parents and their idea of success followed what they think to be conventional thinking in terms that success as being a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer. But I hope to show them that someone can be successful in a field that is unconventional, I hope to become a successful artist/gallerist. I was also inspired by my educational upbringing I was supported by my high school art teacher who was supportive in my work and helped foster my practical art skills and helped to develop my opinions on art. In addition, I wanted a career that involved working with my hands to create rather than working at a desk for a 9 to 5. Read more>>

Aidai Garnelo | Henna, Brow and Lash Artist

I perused an artistic career for many reasons. For starters, temporary body art is a beautiful form of self expression. I can show case my art on my body. I can create a space where I am my most confident self which allows me to connect with different people and create memorable moments that I couldn’t have had without my art. But the most appealing reason to me is that art is ever-changing. Just as I grow and learn, my art does the same. Read more>>

Yu$e | Recording Artist

I don’t know really, I was always good at coming up with little melodies and parodies of popular songs since a kid but I never thought I’d actually try and pursue something musically up until middle school, so I guess it was only a matter of time. Read more>>

Dona Irey | Actress

I have wanted to be an actress since I was very little. My mom has told me many times how when I was little, I would point to the television screen and say that one day I would be on it. the very first film I ever did is currently on Amazon! So, I was right!! I waited until my kids were grown before I decided to pursue my dreams. Read more>>

Tra’ Slaughter | Artist & Co-founder, Artists 4 Artists, 501(c)3

I’ve been an artist since I was a kid. My folks still have paintings I did in high school hanging in their home. Creativity has always been something I’ve had within and following that passion was just a natural path. I studied graphic design at the Art Institute of Houston, received a degree and worked in that field for a few years after graduating. For the past ten-years, fine art has been my main focus. Read more>>