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.

Rhian Bristol | Singer/Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist & Producer

I have been singing and performing in one way or another since I was 2 years old. I wrote my first song at 10 and have, over the years, continued to grow as a musician in any way I can. Today at 19, I am a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Music is organic to me, and I have learned that it is central to my happiness. Even when I was not pursuing music performance as a career, I had planned to utilize it in another field I felt passionate about – music therapy. Music is healing and has saved me on more than one occasion. Music has provided the safe space to fearlessly share myself and, most importantly to me, it has given me the opportunity to connect and support others. Bottom line – music makes me happy and at the end of the day the opportunity to make a living at something that makes me happy is more than I can ask for. Read more>>

Louise Androlia | Artist

Growing up as undiagnosed Autistic, I was always desperately looking for a way to explain my perception of the world to others. Creating and making things was, and still is the only way I know how to process the world or my own feelings. My primary interests have always been about observing and then playing with what I’ve found – Translating my experience into another form.
Making spells and potions, creating kingdoms for bugs and pets, playing piano and making up songs when I was a child became preferences in art, photography, psychology and classics at school. Read more>>

Jewel Bressler | Actress & Model

I’ve always been fascinated with movies. The idea that you can curl up on your couch with your cat and immediately be transported to a different world. Since I was a little kid I’ve wanted to be able to evoke emotions out of people and take them on a journey with me. The possibilities are endless and I think that’s what is truly fascinating about this career. I could be a princess one day and then a doctor next. It takes me back to when I was young and teachers would always ask “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I could never decide. My answers were all over the place and teachers would often tell me I need to be more realistic about my dreams… so I found a career where being anything I wanted was possible. Read more>>

Nino Bosikashvili | Painter/ Illustrator/ Graphic Designer

As a kid, when I was asked what I wanted to become, with passion I would answer that I wanted to become an artist. I’m not quite sure where this sensation came from, but I always felt that this was my true path and I would dedicate my life to this career. As I grew older I developed as an artist and I know it was the right choice because for me art is the ultimate expression of hope. Read more>>

Olivia Roberts | Writer/Director

I don’t remember ever wanting to do anything else; it was always going to be storytelling. I did try out other avenues just in case I was actually meant to be a paleontologist or something, but nothing else fit right, so it was an easy choice. It’s not that I didn’t realize how hard it would be, but I think you have to allow yourself to be in denial at least a little bit about how competitive it is. If you don’t, you might drown in self-doubt and practicality. There’s the occasional guilt that comes in, telling me that I should be doing something more useful to society, but then I think about what most people do in their free time: consume art/entertainment, and I remember how badly we need creatives. Art makes life enjoyable. Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of that process? Read more>>

David Mouery | 3D Animation Student

Animated movies have always been magic to me. I started to pursue a career in animation after I was already in college about halfway through my freshman year. I had originally gone to school for Communication Studies, however when I got to the campus, I was immediately drawn in to the school’s animation building. I was absolutely blown away by the fact that animation was a skill people went to school for and seeing this building full of students collaborating with each other and pursuing a career in animation was immensely inspiring. I ended up sneaking into some animation classes throughout my first semester, those being a history of animation class and an intro to 3-D animation class. By that point, I was absolutely hooked and I decided to go all in and drop my plans of being a Communication Studies major and pursue an education in animation. I have been a student of the 3-D Animation track at AnimSchool for about half a year now. Read more>>

Tennile Adams | Performer

Ever since I was three years old I have had a love for the stage. Not for being the centre of attention but for telling a story. It was a way to express myself and just be though giving myself and others a space to tune out the rest of the world for a few hours. It became addictive. The more years I went through school and the endless hours after school I spent singing, dancing and acting my little heart, the more that I couldn’t see myself fitting any other career role than a performer. It is the time that I feel the most free and even in this crazy world the time that I feel the least judged, which may seem a little strange since the audience is literally sitting there judging you but for some reason it worked for me. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Read more>>

Young Viridii | Music Artist/Songwriter/Producer

I chose to be a music artist because I fell in love with the creative process. Being in the studio, and finally finding that hook after hours of listening to an instrumental on repeat is what I live for every single day. I am the happiest when I’m in a creative environment. Throughout my entire life, I’ve been involved in music, whether it was singing at a talent show at age 4 to “Follow Me” by Uncle Cracker, or performing as Elvis in musicals in high school. Music is the fabric that weaves my life together. It allows me to understand my own thoughts and feelings better, and I love the fact that what I write and produce resonates with the people who hear it. Read more>>

Rastabwoykell | Rastafari rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer

I decided to pursue a creative career for 2 reasons. The first why was because I just wanted to help artists that I believed in whether it be helping them record their first song or shoot their first music video. The why slowly began to change overtime due to the Chicago Police stealing my camera and equipment and that became the reason why I pursued a career as a artist. Read more>>

Amber Bennett | Designer / Creative

Truly, this life chose me! I’ve always been a hands on learn by doing creative thinker. Before I learned to sew at the age of 13 I would paint, make collages with stickers, do nail designs on those press on nails from the dollar store and so many other little artistic hobbies. Read more>>

Ben Scholz | Drummer and radio promoter.

Making music was always a part of my life, and I just kind of kept going with it. Money has come from playing in bands and recording, but also from producing other people’s music and developing marketing strategies when it’s come time to release the music. Location also played a factor, in that after I left Portland, OR I chose to live in Chicago while going back and forth from NYC, and then migrating back to the west coast and settling in LA. Lots of music in these towns. Read more>>

Nana Adwoa Frimpong | Writer, Director, Producer, Moderator. Always a storyteller.

I’ve always thought of my decision to pursue filmmaking as an answering to a call or a surrendering to a vocation. I’m a storyteller at heart, and feel the most at home with a good book, watching a movie, or listening to my friend’s story. Read more>>

Jasmine Sharma | Actor, Writer, Activist

Look, if I had literally any other hard skills, I would go use them. But I like stories, and I like building communities with those who care about cooking and sharing and amplifying said stories. I like saying the line the way a writer heard it, or hearing the line the way I imagined it in my lil noggin. When all those words and moments and people get in a room together and make an audience of strangers laugh, catch their breath, then breathe out at the same time, it feels like a new kind of skillset showing off to me. I like that. Also, I believe in the power of influence. I am imagining a more equitable world in which historically excluded people are reflected in the media and artistry they built and continue building. Theatre feels like the way I can contribute to where we’re collectively heading. Read more>>

Camden Coley | Published Author, Model, Actor & Dancer

The career sorta chose me. I’ve always been a creative child; from performing shows for my family and friends to sharing stories. Entertaining has always just come natural for me. My parents put me on a journey to discovers my passions. I’m only 11 so I don’t have it all the answers just yet, but I’m having a ball figuring it out. Read more>>

Kristin Brin | Fine Artist/ Large scale abstract expressionism

I have to say that art and creativity pursued me. Instincts to create were within me since the beginning of my life. I was allowed to ‘make things’ growing up and I couldn’t stop myself from doing so when I came up with a new idea. I painted found objects and pursued inventions and products I have designed and painted for as long as I can remember. A creative career was meant to be for me. Kind of like water seeking it’s own level, it always comes down to some form of art for me. So the most difficult part was landing on which form of art and how to make money in the arts. Read more>>

Nora Harriet | Actor

At an early age Nora Harriet started showing signs of being very comfortable in front of the camera and wanting to perform. When she was 3 years old she landed her first modeling job for Finish Line in Ohio. After years of filming commercials and taking classes to pursue her acting career, we made the leap as a family to move across the country in the middle of a pandemic in 2020 to Los Angeles. We knew for Nora’s career to go to that next level, being in LA made the most sense. Read more>>

Bry-Han Solo | Pronounced bry-hawn…. Artist and creative.

I chose this career path because I have a very unique story and not only do I think sharing that, would be amazing for more then just me, I also think what I have been through may potentially help someone else with their own obstacles and/or struggles in life. Read more>>

Shaun Landry | Actor, Writer. Teacher at The Pack Theatre. Improviser. Founder of the hopeful Ledge Theatre Los Angeles.

My artistic career was always the hope since I was young. I always wished to be an actor since I first saw Cab Calloway in Bubblin Brown Sugar in the seventies….and improvisation when I first sat in the seats of The Second City Chicago. I wanted to be as expressive on stage as Cab and Lena Horne. I wanted to create theatre with an ensemble like Elaine May and Mike Nichols and Gilda Radner. Be in the same creative world as Bill Murray and Dan Ackroyd. Read more>>

Brea Gilchrist | Artist

I have been involved in art since I was 5 years old. My passion for drawing and painting has been evident since that age, so much so that I was able to take additional art classes outside of school from a young age. This interest and drive continued through my school years, and I made the choice to commit to an Art degree at the University of North Dakota come college. I believe that art is for everyone, whether you are the one creating it or absorbing it. It provides perspectives that broaden minds, as well as unites people in its experience. Read more>>

Maya Mason | Artist

It never occurred to me to do anything else. It all started with my family, who live, breathe, speak, and salivate art. Art was always the underpinning to our life. As a child, I relished fostering my own little universes, and rushed home to paint, write novels in longhand, and experiment with finding new uses for everyday items as raw materials for art. When I went away to college at Brown, I found myself painting in the only space available in my dorm room: my bed. I completed my English major in the first two years, before giving myself over entirely to the study of art. I spent six months studying marble carving in Carrara, Italy, and painting in Florence. Read more>>

Juhoon Hong | Computer Animator

Pursuing an artistic career completes my way of communicating with the world. Art is a tool to expand my personality that usually doesn’t show in front of people. I use my art as personas but at the same time as my self-portrait. I’m more of a listener and it is easier for me to express myself with something I can take time and craft through time. However, as a listener, I still wanted to share my thoughts and my stories with people. Pursuing an artistic career works perfectly in this sense. It allows me to tell my story to the world while makes me actively engage with other artists. By doing so, I can understand their way of seeing and thinking. This is the beauty of pursuing an artistic and creative career for me. Read more>>

Anthony Rodriguez | Music Composer

I ask that question to myself everyday, haha. Honestly, the only thing I’m good at and that’s also questionable, is music. There are a lot of different facets in my musical career, one being a music teacher. It’s a huge part of my everyday work. I’m my own boss, and I get to manage it the way I want to. In other areas, I’m also a musical artist with a few albums and records in the music platforms. This also delivers streaming income. A few bucks I don’t have to worry about every month. And being a film composer which is an addition in my career to work with video creators in short films, etc. And of course, live gigs that at this moment aren’t many. It’s a challenge everyday to manage all of my musical services which it’s all able serving people, it’s a business. A constant evaluation on how to monetize my talent and skills. Being self-employed has its benefits and challenges. But it sure beats doing a 9-5 job you hate. Read more>>

Nishit “Nish” Gupta | Industrial Designer

One of the earliest memories I have from Elementary school is when I was in 3rd grade and a school teacher told my parents that when I grow up, I will become an artist. The reason was simple. I was drawing all the time! Even when I moved onto middle school and high school, I kept drawing in my notebook regardless of the subject that was being taught in class. I was drawing everything from cartoon characters, products, portraits, sceneries, and random objects. Haha, this probably explains the fact that I was not doing great in Mathematics. Although after Art, Physics was my favorite subject. Read more>>

Jeffrey Pielago | Writer/Actor/Comedian

I love to learn, as cliché as that might sound, just get some of that right of the bat. As I’ve said, I think learning is such a fascinating thing, in a broad and narrow sense. Finding out the passions of certain people, we are all so different and yet very connected at our cores and I think art strives to try and crack that shell open further. Art to me is the study of hypotheticals, all of the beautiful what-if’s in life, it’s a fascinating part of our existence and I know I’ve probably spent whole days pondering on all the possibilities of life. Read more>>

Robert Kyle | Musician, composer, producer, arranger, teacher

I’ve been passionate about playing & creating music for almost as long as I can remember. I never really wanted to do anything else, career wise. Read more>>

Brenda Barrios | Artist

I chose to be an Artists because I always enjoyed the arts and making Art. I’ve always found myself making Art or involving myself in a creative project. Art is what truly makes me happy, and it makes me feel alive. I love Art. When I got diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I was lying in the hospital bed thinking this was it. I do Art even when I don’t feel well. Laying in the hospital for six days, I had the realization that I have only one life and should do what makes me happy. So I decided to proceed with Art as my career. Being first-gen with learning and now also physical disability, going to University for Art is not easy. But I always remembered that Art made me feel alive. I love making Art to make people feel, smile, and think. I make Art for myself and for the people. Read more>>

Nara Hernandez | Visual Arts Director

It’s pretty simple, art makes the world a more interesting and livable place. In my work, I get to help facilitate the creation of art, curate exhibitions, organize public programs, and inspire the next generation of artists. As the Visual Arts Director of the nonprofit, Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), I connect underserved youth with emerging and established artists through workshops, field trips and residencies. Our studio and gallery space are constantly buzzing with inspired young people engaged in the creative process—exploring how art intersects with their lives and benefits the greater community. The creative work born from these experiences is aweinsipring and it’s apparent that art isn’t just beautiful, but also serves as a potent vehicle for social change. Los Angeles will always need more artists from diverse backgrounds and my contributions at HOLA helps sustain our creative economy in a more equitable way and secures a brighter future for all of us. Read more>>

Ko Han Lai | Actor, Voice Over Artist & Content Creator

Growing up I could never envision myself working at a desk job, or any other jobs that come with a structural routine for that matter. I am a very spontaneous creator. When an idea strikes me, I will not be able to function nor rest until I get it all out of my system. Before I owned a cellphone I would often resort to my pawns for ideas-storing whenever I could not locate a sheet of paper near me. And on top of my constant yearning for creating I am also a very fidgety individual that has to always be occupied by something to feel fulfilled. Read more>>

Luis Naranjo | Motion Designer/Video Editor/Music Composer

Being creative has been a natural part of my life for as long as I could remember; growing up an only child taught me to create my own fun, so I’d take up drawing, making music, which all eventually led to my current occupation of motion graphics and video editing. Everything leading to this made sense, ultimately. Read more>>

Lindi Cecile | Actress & Production Designer

I’m driven by change, variety, and novelty in my life, and it’s the same for work. Excitement is what puts me to work. And there’s nothing I’m more excited about than acting (in theatre and film) and set/production design. I love it because every project is different and requires something new of me. This career is truly how I think I’ll get the most out of life. I would have forever wondered what would have happened had I not pursued the arts. I figured that there really isn’t a single “easy” life path, that every career would have its difficulties and challenges, and so it made sense to just go the route of the things I loved anyway. Read more>>

Raymond Kam | Freelance Model & Actor

I have been extremely blessed to have the life I have and I thank my parents for simply how much they have done for me. They have provided me with the tools to excel in athletics and academics, which has paved a path for me to enter Physical Therapy school. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic placed our nation in lockdown, I began to spend more time with myself thus giving me an opportunity to explore my creative side. Throughout this journey of creativity, I have grown to become more self-aware as I think reflect deeply on my previous priorities and question why I had pursued them. Read more>>

Ray B | Fashion Consultant & SNKR Enthusiast

Growing up, I have always challenged myself to do things I was never comfortable in doing. Stepping outside of the box, as the saying goes, only became easier for me in my most recent years. Creativity was not always my strong suit, but because I knew I wanted to become a master of my craft (fashion consulting/styling services) I understood that practice makes perfect. WMBSH is a branding/styling experience that provides a vision and a safe space to express yourself with intentionality and authenticity. We provide more than a service, but an experience for all ages. With versatility being top priority, WMBSH ensures your vision to be brought to life. Read more>>

Randy Focazio | Artist

I pursued an artistic career because I had to , there was nothing else I was ever going to be besides an artist. I knew it when I was in high school. Read more>>

Alyssa Angeles | Director & Production Designer

I always had a feeling I would end up somewhere in this realm, but growing up I wasn’t exactly sure what that would look like for me. After years of practicing different mediums, I started directing and editing music videos in high school. Eventually my close friend Amanda Erickson (who is an incredible artist in her own right) and I co-directed a documentary, and the whole process was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. I finally felt like I had a direction of which to move in, and everything just sort of fell into place. I know it sounds overplayed, but I really can’t imagine my life looking like anything else, especially since my personal life and career are so intertwined. Read more>>

Craig Ng | Craig Ng / Actor, Acting Coach, Massage Therapist, Foley Artist, Martial Artist, Creature Movement

i believe there is a creative spark that is given to one child in a family… that child can possibly feed that spark to become a fire or ignore it and never feel fulfilled. it becomes a distant feeling of a missed potential passion and purpose for life. i think that spark is the catalyst for a larger picture of creative evolution… a spark that bursts to flames and burns down the old stuck ways… and makes way for the creation of something new… innovation. i think i was given that spark as a child… it was not really supported, but i kept it alive till i could someday give it kindling and blow my breath into its embers to ignite it into flames again. Read more>>

Sunny Malin | Hip Hop Artist

I chose art because I feel like it’s one of the few practices or cultures that doesn’t exactly have rules. Then it has the characteristic of anti-rule being it’s only rule. This makes it less surprising that great artists commonly become power figures in arenas outside of their main practice or those who think creatively often time excel in their own line of work no matter how mundane it may be. In a nutshell, I think all movement starts in thought so I look to influence creative thinking. Art, in any form, I find to be the instrument that the mind uses to enhance thought. The mind has to first identify the object, try to categorize it, form an opinion on it, make it personal, deal with the emotions of it etc. I think the more the mind goes through that process, the faster it learns how to learn faster. Read more>>

Lydia Ho | Cinematographer, Photographer, & Illustrator

From a young age, I fell in love with different mediums of storytelling. From theater productions to written works, from films to photos, I wanted to do it all. Each having the ability to tell a story from a unique perspective excited and inspired me towards an artistic career. I started out behind the scenes in theater productions where I got to create sets and help manage the stage. The ability for a group of individuals to come together to create a story amazed me. Photography was introduced into my life by my father. Having the world frozen in a picture gave me a sense of wonder. Film was always an interest to me; I would be creating little videos with my friends growing up. Film allows the capturing and creating of memories. There is so much to explore in the creative field. Read more>>

Stephanie DeFeo | Photographer, Artist

I hit the stereotype of an artist/athlete in high school. I had my mind chosen to pursue sports medicine in college and play volleyball, run track in those four years. My junior year of HS I was side-swiped with a serious injury and was forced to chose between: a wheel chair in my mid 20s or a life I could create without the physical challenges in which an athlete suffers. Being passionate in sports – the decision was hard to make. Luckily, I had art as an outlet to release tension and uncertainty when I was injured. Read more>>