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.

Ruth Nichols (ruthtrumpets/mahealane) | Artist, Manager, Multi-Instrumentalist

Music has always been a cornerstone in my foundation as a human. I look to the inspiration it has given me over the years, The personal solace and enjoyment alone have made creating music, performing and helping others with their musical dreams something I find worthy of dedicating ones life to. All in all I hope that through whatever I spend my time on as a creative will continue to show the human capacity for joy, love, tolerance, acceptance, overcoming traumas and finding a real purpose. One cannot really quantify how important a song or work of art can affect ones mental state – in these times alone, maybe in pain, feeling misunderstood and unable to move on music can bring life in the form of love, in the form of feeling understood and through community. These moments all matter; how else can our souls find breath. Read more>>

Troy Richardson | Singer and Songwriter of the Band TruckerBomb

There’s almost no choice … we could do something else and be guaranteed to be miserable or we can pursue our art and have a shot at being happy — or at least a shot at not being completely miserable every day. As far as making it this far, I’m happily surprised. I worked at a restaurant in Minnesota when I was in high school. It was filled with people who were “just taking a year off” from college. They never went back. Whatever I did, I wanted to make sure I went to college right after high school. I didn’t think I was a particularly good musician, but I knew I loved music. I applied to Berklee College of Music in Boston and got in, amazingly enough. Read more>>

Chris Greenwell | Photographer, Rollerskater & Creator

Honestly, it felt like I had no other choice. This is who I am and I’m not one to settle for fitting into the mold of desk jobs or corporate America. I don’t do well with taking orders from others when I don’t feel a sense of passion behind it. My driving force is passion and if I spend too much time doing something I’m not passionate about, it takes a huge toll on my well being in all aspects. I am here to collaborate and to create. I find art and inspiration in literally everything and I have to get it out of me to share with the world! Everything we consume has an artist behind it – music, television and movies, magazines and newspapers. Read more>>

Daniel Gerwin | Artist & Critic

Art is a second life for me. I turned forty in grad school, and have been raising two young children while finding my way as an artist. Although I had a different career for the first half of my life, I have drawn since I could hold a pencil. I was always drawing: in class during high school, sitting on my dorm bed in college, or in my free time after work in my twenties. Like many artists, I did not “choose” to be an artist, in the end I just couldn’t help it. It took me a long time to take the plunge, partly because my parents, a doctor and a biochemist, approached art as something you appreciate but definitely not something you do. Read more>>

Saba Parsa | Artist

I think being a creative has been in me since day one! I have been creating and making for as long as I can remember but initially I didn’t choose the creative path as my career. As an immigrant with a long line of engineers and scientists in my family, the obvious choice was for me to be an engineer, which I ended up being! I’ve got a masters degree in Chemical Engineering and worked in the biotech industry for about a decade. This was fun: being at the forefront of exciting developments in DNA sequencing and managing global teams. But, I always knew that I can’t survive without a creative outlet. Read more>>

Rizaldy Celi | Fine Artist

Since a young age, I was always interested in artistic expression. I watched Bruce Lee’s martial arts movies and Bob Ross’ painting episodes often. The original Star Wars and Alien trilogies were also on the top of my list of cinematic adventures. I illustrated in my times of loneliness and wondered about things that didn’t exist in my current life. It was a pretty typical Asian-American childhood. Growing up though, I guess I just got lost in the shuffle. That also seems typical. Throughout high school and college, I found drugs and alcohol to be my companions and used them as a means of escape from my feelings. Read more>>

Juniper Elderberry | Creative Director & Macramé Artist

It’s really all I know. I have always been artistic since I was little and it has always been my way of expressing my feelings. Growing up as the 1st Honduran member of my family to be born in America, I was not taught to speak Spanish because my family wanted me to be American. Not being able to communicate with your family was weird for me as a child and I grew to be the quiet kid in the family. At first, art was my way of letting my family know I was going through something but after time it was my way of relieving stress and expressing myself to the world (since I still suffer with communication anxiety). Read more>>

Lauren Elise Child | Makeup Artist, Mother & Poet

I’m notorious for always being lost in a daydream, and I think me pursuing an artistic and creative career came from the desire of wanting my world to always look and feel like my internal mental landscape. Read more>>

Bora Varsay | Musician, Producer, Mix Engineer, Composer, Guitarist

I pursued an artistic career because it was the only path that made sense to me. My musical journey began when I started taking classical guitar lessons at the age of 7, in Turkey. Even before then, I remember mimicking to play the guitar solos from my father’s records with my toy guitar. After getting my first electric guitar and forming my band to perform at our local venues in high school, it was apparent to me and to everyone who knew me that I wouldn’t be interested in any other field than music enough to pursue a career. As I got more and more involved in music, I got captivated by the magical world of music production and the recording studios. Read more>>

Cortes Watson | Writer/Director

I fell in love. Stories and my consumption of them have always been apart of my life. In the beginning, it was to escape reality, to dream and occupy other worlds then it became an obsession. All I did was read literature and plays, and watch movies. Oh the movies! It was my entire life. But a key moment was when I saw BATMAN (1989) and ALL ABOUT EVE during the same weekend. It was like a thunderbolt in my brain and heart. I saw two forms of spectacle (visual and dialogue-driven) and knew then, a filmmaker could have multiple thematic interests in multiple forms. At that very moment, I set out on the journey I am currently on: as a world explorer, as a fearless artist who no matter what the result, would always chase his dreams. Read more>>

Frank Synowicz | VFX | VR | FIne Artist

Creating, for me, is a way of life, a daily practice. One of my first memories is of picking up a pencil and drawing. I would fill sketchbooks with things I found interesting, beautiful, or that I wanted to understand. It has always been my method to analyze the world, experiences, and express thoughts, dreams, and feelings. Choosing a creative career came naturally. Read more>>

Jackie Leishman | Artist

I didn’t grow up thinking I was going to be an artist. It was quite the opposite. I thought I would be running a big fortune 500 company. But things began to shift for me in collage as I started being exposed to more creative outlets. I took a photography class and was instantly hooked. I loved the darkroom. I then went to study abroad in Paris and met a lot of creatives and artists living there. It was a magical experience and planted the seed that the creative life is what I wanted to pursue. After returning from Paris, the next summer, I did a summer intensive photography program in Missoula, MT. I never really looked back after that. Read more>>

Charlene Konsker| Designer & Celebrity Stylist

As a young girl, my mother was my muse. She is the reason I knew that my artistic journey would be fashion. Fashion has given me the channel to be creative. It has given me the freedom and creativity to present my interpretation of style and passion. When I style my clients, my artistry is awakened, I can recognize, reinvent and define the image of a look and more importantly of the client. Read more>>

DELT SHMI | The Heavy Collective

Art has always been a part of our lives ever since we can remember. I am not sure, if its a natural part of child’s development, but it definitely has been something that has been a part of our daily rituals to draw, paint and create. One thing I can tell you, is that we have always been intrigued with different techniques, styles and methods. Trying them out, practicing them and experimenting with them, before you know it you go down a rabbit hole of endless conglomerations of methods of art. To this present day, that is one of our past times. To link up with other professional artist and share and discuss different ideas. Read more>>

Frankie Greco | Mixed Media, Mural, Painting and Drawing

First of all, I love to paint and I’ve always loved to draw, so I do it because I love it. Now, the major factor that plays in this is that being an artist definitely gives me purpose, and energy. Further, I feel that I have an innate burden, responsibility, and gift to create. I’m not even happy when I’m not doing this. So it’s not just a career to me, it’s my calling. It’s my platform. It’s my soapbox, and it’s my voice. Being a creative pursued me, not the other way around. Read more>>

Andy Rollyson | Writer, Music Agent/Administrator, Photographer, Creative

I initially pursued an artistic path because I felt like I had so many feelings and art- photography, writing and acting- was the outlet for me to release.  Read more>>

The Perez Bros | Artist

We started drawing at a very young age. Growing up we would draw comic book and cartoon characters. It wasn’t until High School when we discovered Andy Warhol that we became interested in Fine Art. All through out High School we took art classes. Once we began experimenting with acrylic paint, we fell in love with it. Even though we were in love with art, we still weren’t sure what career we wanted to pursue after High School. It wasn’t until our senior year when our AP art teacher Ms. Tinajero convinced us to apply to Otis College. We didn’t think we’d get accepted, but we applied anyway because we didn’t know what other college to apply to. Luckily, we got accepted and our art career began. Read more>>

Robin Baab Olascoaga | Event Designer & Educator

I have been drawn to the arts my entire life. Growing up, I threw myself into many artistic endeavors from dance to ceramics to drawing and I have maintained an appreciation for art and design throughout my entire career. My career has spanned the architecture, package design, wardrobe styling and events industries, all of which have surrounded me with the most creative minds. I feed off of the energy of fellow creators and this has encouraged my own creativity to flourish. Event production allows me to collaborate with the most amazing creators from floral designers to chefs to graphic designers and orchestrate incredible environments that connect people. Designing events is truly my passion. Read more>>

Holander | Pop Artist

I am truly love with the reciprocity that a music career provides. And art in general. It is a vehicle for social issues, empowerment, and all in all makes us feel less alone and more understood. My home growing up always put music and art at the center. You could always hear my parents playing guitar and singing downstairs, and we would watch old sitcoms and movies each night. We even had a music room in our house complete with guitars, keyboard and piano, bass, tambourines and more. Growing up in LA, I was around art all the time and I’m grateful to have been raised in a place that really respects art and takes it seriously. Read more>>

Joanna Misunas | Founder & Creative: Sojourn Bo

Honestly, I am surprised at how long it took me to pursue something directly in the creative realm. I’ve always been drawn to anything creative, hands on and what possessed simplistic beauty. After well intended parents steered me away from any concepts of following a creative career path (e.g. ceramicist, photographer), I went the corporate route. With many job changes over the years, each one killing off a part of my inner soul, it was shortly after I was laid off from being a financial trader in 2011, that I really sat down and asked myself what in my heart I was drawn to do. Naturally the creative part inside of me woke up and Sojourn Box was born. Read more>>

Samuel Selman | Actor and VFX Artist

Because, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”. That’s a quote from, The Alchemist, written by Paulo Coelho and he’s part of the reason I decided to take this path. So a little about me, before I decided on a creative career, I was working toward employment in a three-letter agency. That’s things like FBI, DEA, and ATF for example. And before that, I served active duty in the United States Marine Corps as a Section Leader for a squad of 0351 Infantry Assault Marines. We specialized in rockets, demolition, and breaching. So you can see that pursuing a career in acting, and VFX is quite the switch. Read more>>