Deciding to pursue an artistic or creative career path isn’t for the faint of heart. Challenges will abound, but so many of the artists we speak with couldn’t be happier with their choice. So, we asked them about how they made the decision in the first place.

Chelsea Billingsley | Crochet Apparel Designer

I chose a creative career because this is the language that I understood the best.I know that it sounds very abstract, but the truth is, the fiber arts(fashion design) has allowed me to express and communicate in ways that universally others can understand. Crochet for me has been this meditative process of looping that I truly enjoy. Art and the skill of crocheting is the place that I feel most freest. It’s my lane to do and be whoever I want to be. I said this once before and I still stand by it to this day. In a creative field, I have the ability to create and manifest the life that I want. Read more>>

Claire Yixuan Zhang | Costume Designer, Maker, Historian

Growing up, I’ve always loved creating things with my own hands. Back when I was at school, I would finish up my homework as quickly as possible, so that I could spend hours carving complicated patterns on rubber stamps, or making jewelry out of epoxy resin. At that time my favorite hobby was probably drawing and making pretty dresses, first out of garbage bags and then real fabrics. Also a pretty nerdy academic type who loved reading about history, I naturally got into costume history and historical reconstruction, which allow me to both study and recreate beautiful garments from the past. Read more>>

Kelsie Mathews | Singer, Actress, Comedian, Model, Writer, Producer, Photographer

I was raised in an artistic family. I was in my first reenactment at the age of three weeks. My parents met in theatre in college, and my mother became a drama teacher, and used to add extra parts for me. My grandmother was in a band with her 11 brothers and sisters, and used to have me occasionally sing with them. My mother taught me how to play the flute at a young age and my grandmother taught me the piano and guitar. So you could say I was born into it. My grandmother always told me I belonged in New York or Hollywood, so I chose the one with less snow. Read more>>

Natalie Nielsen | They/Them – Experience Designer

From a young age, I looked at the world and I knew that things could be better. Design-wise, certainly, but socially as well. Taking a creative path afforded me the opportunity to create work that could make an impact, influence, and connect with people in long-lasting ways. For me, this is through placemaking and spatial storytelling – theme park design basically. The spaces we inhabit hold so much power and when thoughtfully designed they can make us feel empowered or disillusioned, included or excluded, and so much more. And as an experience designer, I can connect with people in deeper more meaningful tactile ways that have the chance to leave a mark on their minds and maybe even change their way of looking at the world. Read more>>

Kenzie B | Crystal Jewelry Artist and Healer

There was a moment in my life where I sat on my bed and said to myself, “What is my hobby? What is my niche?” I wanted so desperately to find something that I can call my own. I’ve always been a naturally artistic individual, but it seemed as if my creative interest came to a halt. Shortly after that moment on my bed, I became inspired by the art of yoga and meditation, thanks to some friendly yogis at Equinox in Santa Monica, CA. Along with that came the interest of essential oils and crystal healing. My journey began almost immediately after purchasing my first Black Tourmaline ring that was handmade by a local artist in a beach city. Intuitively, I knew that this was it! This was the creative route I was destined for. 2014 is when I began my handmade crystal jewelry journey. It all started with a question and now not only can I call it my niche, but my calling. Read more>>

Preston Bruner | Actor and Writer

Ever since I was about 2-3, I was almost a always in front of a television. I’d sing the theme songs, memorize a bunch of random lines, and usually learn a few things along the way. As time went on, I ran into the Canadian drama Degrassi, and I became SO enthralled with the storylines. It was much more than your typical drama. It made you think. It made you feel. It made you open your mind. You learned. It wasn’t until I watched that show as a teen that I realized that’s what I wanted to do. Not necessarily be a Canadian teenager, but teach the world different things. To provoke thoughts, feelings, and ideas through storytelling – and acting is, in my opinion, the best version of doing so. Read more>>

Ryan Matera | Writer

I’m not sure I ever did, or at least I can’t remember the moment when it became inevitable. But it surely has, and the thought of a traditional career seems as implausible to me as putting on a moon suit and sipping tea with Jackie Kennedy. It’s just not gonna happen, for so many reasons. A lot of people “pursue” artistic careers, and those people are getting very successful all around me, and I think they could have applied their talents to a wide range of fields and done equally as well. My life has resembled more of a mindless stumble, where in every moment I’ve been intensely focused on details and experiences, and only occasionally do I look up and wonder where I am. There’s a cliché with a bit of truth that goes, “the way you do one thing is the way you do everything.” Personally, the way I do everything is the way I’m doing this one thing. Read more>>

Rebecca Ann | Fitness Instructor

I worked for 4 years in a Law Firm in my early 20s. During my time there I realized it was not where I saw myself for the rest of my life. Although the pay and benefits were amazing, I was unhappy with the work I was doing. I knew I had to make a change. Read more>>

Isue Shin | Filmmaker

The first thing I loved to do was to draw. I’ve always been moved by different artistic forms, whether that be movies, photographs, paintings, or sculptures, and I wanted to channel that into the way I led my own life. Read more>>

Manuel Rivas | Sound Designer & Music Producer

I’ve always been into music but didn’t really understand what I wanted to, or could do with it. I had worked in customer service, factory jobs, etc and it always made me feel absolutely miserable being there. I know I wanted to do something more with myself, a career in something I’d actually love doing but wasn’t sure what that was until I went to my first audio engineering school and discovered post production sound design!. Read more>>

Justina Biosah | Actress, Artist & Writer

Since i was six years old i fell in love with the arts after watching a Bollywood movie with my mum. I loved everything about the arts, the music, the acting and the creative process. I soon fell in love with the telling stories through musicals, movies and music. It was a passion that just got strong over time and i knew it was something i was destined to do. Read more>>