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.

Jelle Florizoone | Actor

Since I was a kid, I always had the urge to perform in front of people. I’m from Belgium and there was this kids channel on tv that my mother put on to calm me down. There were these music videos of my childhood idols and I started to learn the lyrics and choreographies. When I became older, I watched the movie “Billy Elliot’. I was 8 years old back then. Cause of that movie, I was so itchy to take dance classes. My mother took me to a local ballet school and it appeared that, in between all the girls, I had talent for what I was doing. The school suggested to do audition at the prestigious Royal Ballet School. Yes, just like that ‘Billy Elliot’ movie! I got in and I had to leave everything behind. I stayed at a boarding school with all the students from other countries and cities. This period of my childhood brings back the most amazing memories. I was always intrigued about the way movies and tv-shows are made. Read more>>

Mikael Sharafyan | Costume Designer

The reason I pursued an artistic career because it gives me a stimulus to enjoy life from another perspective. I was brought up in an artistic family: my father is an actor and my mother is a pianist accompanist of ballet. My creative career path was inevitable. Work should not be a drag but needs to be enjoyable so when you end the day you look forward to another day with a great anticipation. Read more>>

Victoria Hurtado-Angulo | California Poet & Contributing Writer

You know, I initially started my studies in Psychology and wanted to pursue my career as a Behavioral Therapist. I realized that I have always tapped into writing poetry, but considered it just as a passionate hobby. This was more than a hobby. It is my art, aside from drawing, painting, photography, and making music. I have consistently written poetry with the intention to be honest and confessional for more than nine years. Once I pursued English, Creative Writing at CSU Long Beach, it opened my eyes to a future where I’m around other poets. Being a poet means many things to me, but it is mainly being able to treat word choice as a surgeon would to a heart transplant. Every word is intentional and chosen to best fit a particular moment described to make the reader go “oh, that hit me”. I have to be precise with my white space, line breaks, form and words, if I want to make the poem my very own. Read more>>