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.

Kelvin Yuen | Composer/Music Editor/Music Designer

To me, working in art is a way to explore the impossibilities, create subjects and feelings that may not exist in the world, and inspire many others who are present or yet to come. As a film composer, we always want to bring something new onto the table. Whether it is melodically driven or sonically pleasing, each composer in the industry has their own unique voice and their way of expressing their ideas. So I guess what fascinates me about working in the socring industry is that we are constantly creating something unheard and triggering emotions that no one may have experienced before. Read more>>

MeMe Myatt | Singer-Songwriter

By the age of 5, I was sure that I wanted to be a singer; and by the age of 7, I knew that I also wanted to be a songwriter — this was also the age I wrote my first song entitled, “Somedays”, using the melody of Janis Ian’s “Seventeen” (I had heard it in an infomercial one night). Although I cannot pinpoint a singular moment of confirmation, there were multiple that affirmed this dream of mine, e.g. my parents and neighbors being impressed with my vocal ability at a young age, my performing my first song in front of my extended family, and their being surprised that I had penned a quality song on my own, etc. Read more>>

Catherine Nakajima | Interior Design + Hospitality Consultant

I’ve always been intrigued by the relationships between ourselves and the spaces around us, and knew that with whatever work I did, I wanted to express ideas and tell stories in a spatial and visual way. Creativity feeds an innate impulse to create order out of chaos by assigning meaning to things found in my surroundings. It’s a way of communicating, as well as a form of therapy, that has the power to make people feel like they have a place in the world. Read more>>

Jaqueline Cedar | Artist / Director @ Good Naked Gallery

My father is an actor and I grew up inspired by his practice. Watching actors bring words to life on stage felt like the most magical place to be and I loved paying attention to the way performers activated their bodies to create feeling through gesture. I was lucky enough to get to experiment with a range of activities as a kid (from board games to dance to horseback riding) and I found myself deeply invested in looking at and developing art starting around twelve when my middle school drawing teacher encouraged me to take more classes outside of her curriculum. Read more>>

Crystal Flores | Disabled Artist & CHD Advocate

I was born with a physical disability which means I’m not able to perform at the same physical level as non disabled people. I was born with heart disease. In short My heart didn’t develop completely so I live with inadequate oxygen levels. I’m always tired and short of breathe (fatigue) I’ve had 7 heart surgeries to help my heart function through out my life. Read more>>

TAJLA | Singer, Songwriter & Producer

I have always been a creative person. But since the age of 6 specifically I chose to take singing lessons which eventually turned into me writing my own music, performing at competitions, festivals and performing shows. I then learnt musical instruments which eventually led to me producing most of my original music. Music is the one outlet I feel I can express myself freely and without constrains. It is what I’m most passionate about, and I truly cannot see my life without music being a part of it. Read more>>

Ava Clark | Content creator, model, singer & songwriter

I’ve always had an insane creative drive. I began singing at the age of 2, knew who I wanted to be at the age of 5, and finally began taking action on my dreams when I moved to Southern California at the age of 12. My parents have always been very supportive of me and have played a major role in my journey. I’m blessed to have grown up with parents that have allowed me to freely express myself and my passions. I’ve expressed myself creatively in plenty of different ways throughout my life, diving into things such as acting, art, music production, singing and songwriting, videography, photography, content creation, fashion, poetry, modeling, and lots more! Read more>>

Lisa Shalom | Spoken Word Poetry Artist

I actually did everything in my power NOT to pursue an artistic career. While I was drawn toward writing, music and acting as a kid, I was doubly alarmed about the state of the earth and its inhabitants as a direct result of ongoing human choices. I left my parent’s house at 19 to dive into direct action activism on the high seas in various parts of the world as a member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, among many other adventures. I was so heavily involved in all kinds of social justice, environmental and animal rights issues that by 23, frontlines activism took its toll and I wound up in hospital completely burnt out and unable to care for myself- let alone save the world. Read more>>

Moritz Waldemeyer | Light artist and designer

It was almost as if the career chose me, something like a gravitational pull that crystallised into a creative life over time. The path started at the polar opposite point: my first job out of school was at Deutsche Bank, I then went on to study international business in London, changed to engineering, landed a job as a research scientist and only then started working on more and more artistic projects. A big shoutout goes to Nadja Swarovski who nurtured creative projects and practically launched me into the design world at the highest possible level in the early 2000s. Read more>>

Haoyun Erin Zhao | Multidisciplinary Artist

Being able to express ideas and create meaningful connections through the act of art-making is truly a blessing, at the same time, a creative challenge. Part of my family’s heritage is Bouyei ethnic. This group is known as highly skilled in arts and crafts. Their creative expressions range from batik textile, embroidery, to folk literature, traditional instruments, etc. My exposure to this cultural background played an important role in my upbringing, which inspired me to develop my own artistic expression. Read more>>

Tamra Andrews | Children’s Author and Education Writer

I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was a very young child. My imagination is boundless, and the urge to create runs deep in my veins. I immerse myself in my writing—in whatever I’m writing—and I retreat to a place of solitude, content and inspired. I daydream in stories. I play endlessly with words and rhythms and literary techniques. I never considered taking any other path or settling for anything less than pursuing my passion. I have a head full of ideas, and they tumble out naturally in written words. Read more>>

Sasha Lee | Model and Artist

Even when I was a little kid, I dreamed of becoming an artist, a model, and a fashion designer. Art always came naturally to me growing up and I fell in love with it through various mediums. In regards to art, I loved to draw and you could always find me buried in my sketchbook. When it came to fashion, I loved playing dress up and curating different outfits…I was OBSESSED with clothes and was always showcasing my makeshift one person fashion shows in the living room. What jumpstarted my love for modeling in particular was when things really got fun when my mom started to introduce me to modeling in professional photoshoots and getting to be in front of the camera at a young age. Read more>>

Julian “Fermino” Hall | Creative Executive & Film Director

Growing up, I always loved movies. I would watch countless movies with my dad, who is also very passionate about film. We would sit and discuss the storyline and character motives after the films. As i got older, I felt that it was my calling and more than just a hobby. I was the only one in my family and of my friends that pursued a creative path but that is what truly pushed me even more to excel. Read more>>

Jesse Brown | Artist & Designer

I feel fortunate that from a very young age I knew I wanted to be an artist, so that was always something I felt I had to do. As far as it becoming a career, I landed there by chance as a teen when I was doing court-ordered community service at a Seattle public arts non-profit for as risk youth who were involved in the youth court system. The organization offered me a paid position after my hours were complete in the youth program and I started assisting the mural artists there. Read more>>

Taylor Fiore | Photographer, Videographer, Musician.

I started to notice at a really young age that creativity brought me the most joy and fulfillment. So, naturally, I added a creative twist to every non-creative job I had. Like, making pizzas I’d make designs out of the toppings before I put it in the oven or as a barista I’d always strive to do fancier and fancier latte art. Once I started to find my stride with music creation and audio engineering it all really started to fall into place, and I knew that it would be a viable career for me to full send into. Read more>>

Kira Bowdre | Social Media Marketing Manager

My entire life, I’ve always had a huge imagination. It’s always made me happy to express myself through different mediums because I always struggled to verbalize my emotions. Anytime I was able to be creative, it was an outlet for me and made me so happy. I knew early on that my future would have to include some sort of creative expression in order for me to be fulfilled. Once I enrolled in college, I wanted to use my creative talents to help others–hence, KRenee Marketing coming about. Read more>>

Kalpana Pot | Actor, Host, Astronomer

Growing up in a family of doctors, you could say that I am the “black sheep.” Science and education were highly valued in our home, but I was also drawn to artistic endeavors like singing and dancing. My mother recognized my talents when I was very young. She was strict about me attending lessons because she didn’t want to see my talents go to waste. Of course, being young I just wanted to play outside. There were times that I grew resentful of attending lessons – especially when I had very strict teachers, but I’m so grateful she convinced me not to give up! Read more>>

Sarah Carson | Actor, aspiring to be writer, investigator, and mentor.

I’ve only pursued a career as an actress and an aspiring writer since becoming a senior. Although, I was considered the “artsy type” when growing up and actually studied the piano to concert level proficiency, I took a practical turn in life upon graduating from Bryn Mawr with a major in philosophy. I went to the Harvard Business School to get an MBA. Harvard Business School had just opened its doors to women. I was one of 23 women in a class of 750. We 23 were some of the first female graduates of the school. Read more>>

Jin Xia | Illustrator

I knew I want to pursue an artistic career since kindergarten. When I was 5 or 6, I used to draw all day, and our house was full of my drawings. I was a quiet kid, but I was passionate about making images. My parents are very supportive of my interests. After high school, I left my hometown Hangzhou in Southeast China to study architecture at Washington University, St. Louis. One semester I took an elective class called “Words and Images” in the Communication Design program, and our professor showed us Keith Negley’s illustration work. Read more>>

Tonee Marino | Artist & Producer

I chose to pursue music as a career firstly because music has been such a part of who I am since I was little. I always listened to music throughout the day, and loved the emotions that artists could convey with their lyrics and vocal delivery. Growing up on artists like Michael Jackson, 50 Cent, Drake (and more), sparked my Passion for music, and I am a strong believer in chasing your dreams & doing what you love in life. I love the effect that music has on people, it’s very unifying, and relatable. I just don’t know what I’d do without it! Read more>>

Bailey Kucura | Sewist

I pursued a creative career because sewing is my passion and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else for the rest of my life. Being creative is what I love to do, and I’m so grateful that I was able to make a career out of this! Read more>>

Chandra Chatmon | Jewelry & Accessories Artist, Author

The path to my creative career has played out like a windy, crooked road. It actually didn’t start until I was well into my corporate career, which acted as a powerful catalyst over time. I wrote and self-published a novel in 2004 in response to my father’s death and being laid off. I’m pretty sure it was the only thing that kept me from sinking into a deep depression and honestly the process was exciting. I started a publishing business and ran it from top to bottom. Read more>>

Zeel Sangoi | Photographer

From an early age I knew I wanted to do coming in the creative field. I know I wanted to become an artist. photography was something that just happen so naturally to me. through art I feel like I can express my self better, weather its through dance, music, writing, painting or photography. Read more>>