We asked some of the most creative folks we know to open up to us about why they chose a creative career path. Check out their responses below.

Danielle Foster | Artist

When I was little and prompted with a similar question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I would answer, without hesitation, “An Artist”. Art has always played an important and crucial role in my life. Beyond just being an expressive outlet, it truly feels like a safe space for me. Making art has helped me through the dark times, kept me shining through the good, opened my eyes when I was not even aware they were closed, and helped me speak when words were not enough. I am beyond fortunate to be able to say that I’m doing exactly what I wanted to do as a kid. In a lot of ways, I feel as if I am an artist in part because I owe it to that shy, goofy, outcasted kid drawing during recess. But honestly, I am an artist because I couldn’t imagine being anything else. Read more>>

Moriah McDaniel | Actress & Dancer

I pursued an artistic/creative career because this is where I feel at home and unstoppable. I have tried other career paths, but I always had the feeling of, “I’m not supposed to be here”. With having an artistic/creative career, I’m in my zone, I have an understanding of what I’m doing, and I know that this is where I’m supposed to be. Read more>>

Mike Brown | Multi-Medium Artist, Podcast Creator, Music Educator, Public Speaker

I chose to go the artistic creative route because it felt inescapable for me. I have worked in almost every industry from retail to restaurants to education. Those were always my “back up plans” if this didn’t work out for me. Nothing has spoken louder to me than creating my own work. I know that I am expendable in someone else’s business. But, in my own work, win lose or draw its all on me. I’ve never been passionate about someone else’s job as I have been about my own art. Read more>>

Zhenel | Alternative Artist, Producer, Songwriter & Mentor

I started singing when I was around 3 or 4, and my mom is actually a singer and songwriter under the name of ‘April Cole,’ and my father used to rap back in the day, and is a Producer and used to DJ when I was growing up. I grew up singing in church and listening to my parents write and make music, and I was influenced heavily by that. I never wanted to be an artist or even release music until a few years ago, when I going through a very rough time in life. Dealing with family issues, trying to break generational curses, and finish high school, and going through my first heartbreak and more, really took a toll on me, and my step mom and dad suggested that I release an EP, expressing myself musically. Read more>>

Sammi Doll | Musician & Creative

My life is full of synchronicity. From a young age, I was always had my hands busy with creating something. My parents were both cut from the creative cloth in their own ways, and I had the freedom to explore what that meant for me. They met whilst playing in a band, so you could say that music has always been in my blood. As a self-taught musician, I felt a natural calling to the art of performance; chasing the irrevocable high of commanding a stage, connecting with people and expelling an energy I didn’t know existed within me. An “old soul” and “free spirit” were terms I heard often throughout my childhood, but when I graduated high school, I still felt the societal pressure to conform to the 9-5 corporate lifestyle to begin my journey into adulthood. Read more>>

Tatá Batera | Brazilian Drummer

I grew up in a very musical family, as my father plays the bass and my mother and some of my aunts and uncles sing at church in Brazil. For me was always a natural thing being surrounded by musical instruments and going to rehearsals. When I was 3 years old I started to pretend that the pots and other kitchen utensils were a drum set and that the spoons were drumsticks. And I already had an idea of what utensil`s sound would match better each part of the drum set. Read more>>

Lana Mril | Artist, Writer, Actress

There comes a point in your life when you can’t resist the urge to create. You try to reason with it and find all the possible excuses. It’s not easy to find your audience. It’s hard to make money. Am I even talented enough? But the calling inside your heart doesn’t get quieter, it shouts with desperation and force. You try to put it down with distractions, with getting a “real” job, with parties, or relationships, but you cannot quench the fire inside of you. It grows stronger, and without being let out it burns you from the inside. So you do what any insensible person does – you become an artist. You create. You create at the most inconvenient times – at four o’clock in the morning, on the plane, in class. When you finally answer your calling you feel the peace you’ve been missing all the years you resisted. And then you just have to share your art with the world. Read more>>

pnkblnkt | Artist, Songwriter, & Producer

For me, it hasn’t really felt like a choice. Making music is so integral to who I am now that I don’t think I’d be able to stop even if I wanted to. The happiness I feel from making a good song, working with artists and friends that I respect and look up to, and bringing joy to others through music is unmatched by anything else I’ve experienced. I want to live the most fulfilled life possible, and I’m confident the way I can positively impact the most people is through my music. Read more>>

Molly Goldberg | Costume Designer & Jewelry Maker

I pursued a creative and artistic career because I had to. The way my mind and emotions work, I just cannot live a mainstream, cut and dry life. I need to be moving and making with anything I do. Read more>>

Linh Tran | Filmmaker

I came from a family of doctors and business people, and I grew up in Vietnam, so growing up, making films or art never actually crossed my mind. None of my peers were aspiring to be artists, and no parent that I knew, my parents included, encouraged their kids to be filmmaker. And then I came to college in the States, and the first class I took was acting and that kinda opened up other possibilities to me. I fell into theater and then fell into film. Read more>>

Maynard Mann | Jeweler

Why? I never felt so privileged as to make that choice as to why. I have always felt deficient in the qualities that make a human a great fit for conventional blue or white-collar labor. I came from an incredibly difficult upbringing, and though I have come a long way, missing out on those crucial developmental years learning how the rest of the world works and what is expected of the role of “person” has left me feeling somewhat terminally othered by society. I’m a pretty blatant cliche, a traumatized child turned eccentric artist. Read more>>

HAN | Creative: Designer + Artist

I grew up as a third-culture kid. Somewhere in between Seoul and Los Angeles. Too American for Korea and too Korean for America. It was always about finding out where I could fit in. At the same time, I wanted to be cool and different, just like anybody else. I think my career started from me wanting to find out my identity. I would say sub-cultures had a big role in shaping who I am today. I was constantly digging. Constantly learning new information about new cultures. I didn’t have access to magazines like SLAM, THRASHER, SOLE COLLECTOR, or XXL when I was growing up in Korea Read more>>

Hannah George-Wheeler | Artist Ambassador & Project Manager

I pursued a career as a dancer and cultural ambassador for many reasons. One, it is innately human. Dance, music, art, and connecting to other humans are all naturally human activities. Participating in art and bonding with others nurtures who I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Dancing brings me joy. Cultural exchange opens my mind and empowers me, empowers me to continue to evolve, grow, and surpass my own limits. This is invaluable to me when I often feel surrounded by inhuman and inhumane forces, that disconnect us from who we are. These forces include participating in a commercial culture, working for many hours without a break for years in a row, or being caught up in a system that survives on keeping some people in power while keeping others down. Read more>>

Melanie Martyn | Actress & Producer

I grew up in the performing world. I suppose I became an actress because it was a natural progression for me from community theater ballerina to professional actress. I always loved storytelling—watching it in movies or on stage or being a part of it myself. Having a creative outlet in the world of make believe was my escape from reality. Not that I had a life I wanted to escape from, I was just always a dreamer. What’s more is that now it’s the way I get to live many lives in one. It’s diverse, and adventurous, and there’s never a dull moment. Whether it be live theater or filmmaking, it is dynamic and full of passion. People pursue this career because they love it and that’s a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by kindred spirits. One is constantly in service to the production. It feels great to be part of something bigger than yourself. Especially an art form that not only entertains people, but holds a mirror up to society. Read more>>

Marvin LaViolette | Actor/Writer

Destiny choose me I believe. I never grew up wanting to be an artist. It just kind of happened beautifully in an organized and divine chaos which didn’t come easy as people outside of the entertainment industry would think. Read more>>

Jessica Jbunny Solomon Solomon | Radio personality, and Host

I pursued artistic and creative work I would say because my up bringing was musical, My father Jessie loves music he was in a band when I was growing up and later moved to the gospel but it was bonding for us I found music as a way to express feelings I had no words for… That little bit of insight made me take up the clarinet, I was in high school marching band and middle school Orchestra, every since then I knew I wanted my work to center around music and art and the joy and healing it provides…. My husband is also a very known independent artist by the name of “spmg stackz” so even now it’s ok to say music is my life . Read more>>

Isak Isaksson | Guitarist & Solo Artist

Since I was eleven years old I had one dream that I knew was hard to realize. I had just started playing guitar and I knew it was meant to be, I loved it. Everyone told me that I maybe should dream of something else or “it’s just a hobby” but I had my mind set on doing it as a living. It has been an up and down life and yes nothing is ever easy but what is in life. After high school I started to sing and write songs. Right now I have released my first solo EP named Valley Fever and started my journey as a solo musician. Read more>>

Cat Rendic | Creative Director, Choreographer, dance teacher, and performer.

I pursued an artistic career in great part by the fact that both my parents were in the industry. My mother was a performer- singer, comedian, actress, and dancer. In Chile she was a famous show woman. My father was a television director and producer. When we moved to Miami, my mother produced for a show on Univision and both my parents opened up a Latin musical theatre studio. Though I was shy the first years, eventually I joined in on classes and there began my career. By 10 years old I was working in a kids segment on television, and I loved it! Watching my parents create day and night was the fuel for me and my career. It’s truly all I’ve ever known. Read more>>

Delon Ho | Filmmaker and VFX Artist

Art is the expression of one’s soul, so they say. What is my art and creative career all about? Well, in all honesty, I’m still figuring it out myself. At 24, and with the current state of things, it’s not like I have my full life planned ahead of me. However, the one thing I can tell you for sure is that I’m tired of living by the rules and suppressing my thoughts. I want to tell stories about things I deeply care about, and I want my voice to be heard. Read more>>

Dream Tonic | Kristin Allen-Farmer (aka Dream Tonic) – Artist, Music Producer, Singer, Songwriter

I’ve been hearing compositions in my head since I was a young child. At the age of 6 I started playing piano and would create my own invented graphic notation in order to notate the pieces I was creating. I feel as though making music is a calling that I must heed. This calling has led me through many different facets of being a musician – from being a classically trained pianist to doing field studies on the death music rituals in Bali to joining a touring samba crew where I drum and dance to performing onstage with world renowned acts to finally learning how to produce my own music. I create music simply because I HAVE TO. If I don’t make time to create the music that fills up my mind, I find myself being grumpy, restless, resentful and ancy. Once I’m creating however, I feel inspired, at ease, excited and on fire. Read more>>