Artistic and creative careers are among the most rewarding, but they also come with unique challenges. We asked some of the city’s best creatives to tell us why they choose to pursue a creative career.

Vian Borchert | Artist

I pursed an artistic and a creative career since I feel being creative is an intrinsic part of my making. Art for me is like my first language. You see, I was born into an art household. Art runs in my blood and veins. For me, art comes as natural as talking, walking and eating. I was born with this gift. Art chose me, and in return I have embraced my natural talent and harnessed my skills by furthering my artistic ability through art education and choosing to embark on this artistic path. Read more>>

Henry Noble | Actor-DJ-Creative

I remember a teacher in grade school, asked me to go on stage and read a monologue from a play. At the time, I had never done such a thing, so I decided to give it a try! – When I finished, I remember the look on peoples faces, the raw emotion and feelings that were present. The words had obviously moved them and peaked their interest. I too! Felt something I had never felt before. At that point, I realized the power of storytelling and how it can affect people.. Read more>>

Justin & Austin PARKWILD | Artists, Songwriters, Producers

We don’t think it’s as much a choice, as it is a calling. We knew as a career that music would be an exceptionally hard field to get into, let alone be successful in, but at the same time we have a love and passion for music that drives our desire for creativity and the pursuit of success in music. Life is beautiful, but also exceptionally challenging at times, and our aim is to help people through the tough, and also be the soundtrack for the good. There is no better feeling than connecting with people through our music, and that is the most rewarding part of doing this. Read more>>

Suzy An | UI/UX Designer

I grew up with creativity being an outlet for many facets of my childhood. I used it to play and entertain my siblings, cousins, friends, and myself. I was a visual learner and dyslexic growing up, so I used it to help overcome my struggles with reading and writing. I trained my right brain to work with my left—leveraging creativity to learn in a way that worked for me. My parents had always been supportive of my creative passions. They didn’t see my interest in art as simply a phase or children’s play, nor did they get frustrated that I needed more attention in academics. I was still young, and they knew that I had many more opportunities ahead—very progressive coming from first-generation immigrant parents. Instead, their open-mindedness helped me realize that while I might not be good at expressing myself in words or good at memorizing my times tables, I could use colors, shapes, and composition to express my thoughts and find visual ways to learn. Read more>>

Aaron Tucker | Cinematographer, Filmmaker

I spent most of my free time growing up watching tv, movies, music videos, etc. Around my mid 20s and a few years into my first job out of college, I felt pressure to think critically about my future, the things I enjoyed and why. That reflection taught me that I have some sort of inherent love for stories, how our journeys teach us about ourselves and the world, and the emotions we experience along the way. Around the same time, I had also gotten my first camera to mess around with. The more I learned about photography, light and moving images, the more I realized that they stimulated me in a way I hadn’t been before. I think it was these things that ultimately motivated me to seek a career in photography direction. Read more>>

Colleen Finazzo | Professional Dancer & Personal Trainer/ Fitness Instructor

I started dancing at the age of 3 when my mother put me in dance classes. Dance has been in my life now for 27 years and it’s something I truly cannot imagine living without. The passionate, love, and need for dance only became more apparent and grew more as I became older. Through all of the hardships it’s brought me, the joy and love of dance is something that has remained. Watching dancers perform on stage, in front of live audiences, tv, movies, and film fills me with huge motivation and almost an envy to want to be up on that stage with them. It’s a satisfaction indescribable. Read more>>

Zachary Karem | Writer and Director and other stuff

Being a writer makes me happy. That is the first and most important reason why I do it. The second reason is because I know that I am good at it, which is also the reason it makes me happy. I didn’t always know this though and was not always so confident in my storytelling abilities. Yes, since a very early age, I have been a hopeless romantic for life itself and felt that one day I would be very good at whatever I chose to pursue as long as I put in the work and filled it with passion and understanding. This sturdy self optimism may seem like a hindrance to some but to me, it has been one of my strongest mental monuments, it has kept me going in the face of rejection and constructive failures. Finally, the third and arguably more important reason, regardless of its numerical placement, is that writing helps other people. There is a good reason the phrase “no friend as loyal as a book” exists, and it’s because good writing can allow us to truly connect to another living being in a more direct and fundamental way than any other medium. Its beauty is in its unabashed totality and honesty and I just want to be a part of that. Read more>>

Ray Suda | Illustrator & 2D artist

Art and drawing was the only thing in life, except for family, that I refused to give up on. Just like many other artists, I started doodling when I understood how to hold a crayon, and I loved it with no condition. I left drawing for a little when I moved to Hong Kong from Japan, and made friends normally and played outside just like any other children until I got into primary school. Being a mix-cultured kid, I faced my first obstacle in making friends in a Japanese dominant primary school and Japanese community in Hong Kong. Don’t get me wrong, I got teased here and there for being just a little different, but I was never bullied. The problem was that I had nothing in common with the rest of the Japanese kids in school. They read certain magazines from Japan, watched shows from Japan (their parents paid for cable that will connect to Japanese tv, or simply their grandparents sent VCDs every month), while I read anything that I felt interested, and watched anything that was on TV in Hong Kong. Read more>>

Jamal Ademola | Artist & Filmmaker

Someone once told me that they couldn’t date an artist. When I asked why? They said “Because artists are impractical, not living in reality” I responded ” You do realize that I’m an artist right? ” To which they reacted “Oh but you’re different”. I can only surmise that they felt this way because I was not starving at that particular moment. It’s complicated. In the western world dreams are nonsense, but in the indigenous world, dreams are wisdom. I suppose I am an unwitting investigator of dreams, curiously seeking to find the meaning in things. The arts has a way of forcing you to discover yourself, which becomes a reflection of the greater collective, society and culture to which we are all interconnected. This to me is a very spiritual practice. Read more>>

Conrad Schmidt | Game Designer & Vis. Dev. Artist

Hmm, what came first, the passion or skill? When I was two years of age, my mother took me with her to a drawing class. Her charcoal sketches are excellent. I also remember seeing life-like sculptures gathering dust in the closet. She never perused art as a career but is distinctly creative. When it came time for presents, art supplies were always the go-to. So, I guess it was an early path. That, and I could draw better than my second-grade teacher. That’s what the other kids would say anyway. I suppose if I made them laugh instead, I might have pursued a career as a comedian. Read more>>

Cedric Williams | Rapper, Singer & Songwriter

I chose this career path because I am a lover of art. Ever since I was a child, I was always into creating things. Making art, doesn’t feel like work to me. It makes me feel like I’m living in a dream. Read more>>