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.

Strati Hovartos | Photographer

I don’t know if pursuing a creative career was a choice. I think it has always been more of a passion or calling I guess. As a photographer I’ve always had my camera with me. When I was young, I was really shy and not comfortable around people so I used my camera as a sort of shield. It gave me a reason to be there and to interact with people or places. So when I was feeling socially awkward I always had a cover. Read more>>

Cali Rockowitz | Artist

Growing up, I always made art but never believed it could be a career path for me. I spent years subscribing to that “package” we’re all sold about what life should look like – graduate high school, go to college, get a corporate job, find a partner, settle down, etc. I spent almost 1o years on autopilot, not really using an ounce of creativity when it came to building the life that aligns with who I am. The one constant over those years though was my openness to change. I lived in 4 different cities and explored many different jobs and I’m pretty sure the overarching lesson of my 20’s was finding what I DON’T want in a career. Read more>>

Tatiyana Elias | Makeup Artist

by colors, textures and shapes. I loved art but I knew I wanted to create art on people. Finding my passion was easy for me because of my creative side so I dove right into my career full force. Read more>>

Kristin Scott | Entrepreneur

Being creative is my whole life. I have been bursting at the seams with creativity since day one. Again it is my whole everything. I am not normal, nor have I ever wanted to be “normal”. I was not the kid that hung out at the high school parties. I was scouring the streets and rummaging thru dumpsters to find anything I could get my hands on that was free to paint on. It has never been a choice, but to make things. Read more>>

Tiffany Book | Illustrator & Visual Development Artist

I’ve known for a majority of my life that I loved to draw and paint but I never took it seriously until I had to apply for college my senior year. I looked at every major from S.T.E.M to humanities but the only one that I truly had an interest and passion for was art. I didn’t want to live the rest of my life studying something I had little interest when I knew that could be drawing instead. I decided to take art seriously and pursue an education at Art Center College of Design because I love to paint and draw and it’s something I want to do for the rest of my life. Being able to do what I love all the time is a blessing and pursuing art has been the best decision of my life. Read more>>

“Manoj Rao | Sr. Buyer of Music at Target by day, Writer, Comedian, Actor, Producer and Talent Manager by night.”

This question makes it sound like you have a choice. If you have any creativity in you, if you don’t use it, it will effect your emotional state. It’s a calling. The sooner you realize you’re like this, the better. How you choose to exercise or utilize that God-given creativity depends from person to person. Because of my upbringing, I went the safer route with degrees and steady day jobs that pay all my bills, while relentlessly pursuing creative endeavors in my free time. I love building something from nothing, whether it’s writing a script, performing a 7-minute standup comedy set, producing a web series, helping my daughters develop and produce original music, or developing their talent- it’s all creatively rewarding. Read more>>