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.

Eiko Jin | Singer & Composer

Since I was a child, I have listened to music differently from my family and friends. When I heard good music, there would be a strong emotion in my chest, and I felt I couldn’t breathe. Of course, not all of them gave me the same feeling, but back in the days when we didn’t have so much access to different music, I’d always wait in front of the TV so that I could record the theme songs with my tape recorder then later my iRiver MP3 player. My parents bought a VCD set of Oscar-winning theme songs around the year 2000. Read more>>

Aleja Jimenez | Creative Writer and Fashion Entrepreneur

Hey bebés, my name is Aleja Jimenez. I am a queer Chicana Creative Writer, Fashion Entrepreneur, and Podcast Host. As the daughter of migrants, security was the American Dream my parents were constantly telling me would bring me fulfillment. My parents have taught me so much about thriving in any environment, which always surprised me because they often functioned out of survival mode. When we are in survival mode, there is rarely time for self-exploration, much less self-expression. They worked, took care of their family, and took care of their material belongings. Read more>>

Sanjana Raja | Music Industry Professional and Vocalist

I chose to pursue a career in music as it is my absolute favorite thing in the world. I like to lose myself in songs and obsess over their creation. It is therapeutic to listen to my favorite artists and singing provides a release like no other. I love how a beloved artist can unite people from different backgrounds and cultures. Music with today’s technology can transcend borders and help people through difficult times. I wish to contribute to the world, in a similar way that my music heroes have for me. Read more>>

Kurt Weston | Artist, Educator and Advocate

In my early teens I was attracted to and inspired by amazing photographs featured in some of the most popular publications of that time, magazines such as Look and Life. I was intrigued by the unique portraits of people of every race, culture and walk of life. I would take tare sheets from these magazines and collage them onto the walls of my bedroom. I was also fascinated by the technology of photography the mechanics of the camera, film processing and making prints in the darkroom. I was thrilled when my high school offered a photography class for the very first time. Read more>>

Mia Wilder | Actress, Singer, Writer

Perhaps more interesting than what makes you choose an artistic career, is what makes you stay- and for me it is community. I think we all struggle with staying rooted in authenticity when we’re just trying to hack the algorithm and ‘make it big’. But for me, being surrounded by artists reminds me that, in the end, we’re all just sharing in this human experience, and all we can do is tell stories in the hope that it will heal us. Read more>>

Modern Rave Gallery | NFT Artists

Art has been something my partner and I have always been passionate about. Coming from different backgrounds, we have been able to provide each other with diverse outlooks and decided to channel it into a digital collaboration. Seeing digital art become a new and exciting way to view and collect art, we didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to share our point of view and creative ideas. Also, the accessibility of platforms to sale your artwork on is amazing. Read more>>

Young Corrupt | Rapper

I chose to do music because its all i ever loved. when i would go to school in the morning there wouldn’t be one day that i didn’t have my earphones in listening to music. music is what really keeps me going in life, the one thing i love about music is how it can effect someone’s emotions, pretty much how it can make really happy or sad. i love to male music people can relate to, if i can do that than i feel like ive done my job. ive been through a lot of ups and downs through this journey but ive come to realize that its the only way you can become successful in this industry. keep pushing and never let up because you never know when the big break is around the corner. Read more>>

Jeremiah McKibbins | Actor, Photographer, and Videographer

I chose acting because of the impact it can have on the audience. I have always loved film and TV. By saying that, I have seen many great performances over the years and all were inspiring. But Chadwick Boseman’s performance as Black Panther in Civil War was one of the deciding factors. It was the characters first appearance in the MCU which added the excitement but also, Chadwick’s decisions came from a place of strength and wisdom. The inspiration he gave to me, I’d like to do the same; to inspire people to be better. Read more>>

Efren Castro | Writer, Workshop Host, & Zine-Maker

I pursued an artistic career because I can’t think of another field where I wouldn’t be bored! I can’t imagine being a scientist or a researcher or anything like that. I guess it’s not only the work I’m not interested in but I feel that people in the artistic and educational field are so unique. I’ve met some of the best people working in these fields. Everyone is either really vibrant or REALLY cynical. I also just want to be heard. I feel that that’s something everyone in the artistic field has in common. We don’t want to be forgotten. Read more>>

Claudia | Permanent Makeup Artist

I come from a large family and most of us are all women. I would admire watching my older sisters get ready and ensuring they looked good. My mother was the best at it as she had graduated beauty school in Guadalajara, Jalisco. We moved here when I was eight years old and immediately realized that fashion in the US was on a whole different level than what I was used to. It didn’t take very long for me to learn just how creative make up could be and how it would give me confidence during a challenging transition. This was something I would would want to give with others and share in the confidence to face difficult situations. Read more>>

LENA. | Music Artist

I love doing what I do, and when I realized I could do more of it everyday fueled by my inspirations from different things all around me, I decided I could and should go 100% for it. Singing makes me feel like I can live inside of any kind of story being told. Read more>>

Taylor Johnson | Writer & Producer

From my childhood, I always knew that one of the gifts I’d fulfill in the world would be storytelling. Everything around me, whether good or bad, had meaning. They exhibited some form of truth, and I felt it was my purpose to spotlight that. I find much joy in my ability to touch audiences on a deeper level though real, raw, and relatable stories. In my experience, being a writer is more than just putting words on paper. It is about seeing an opportunity to leave greater impact. Read more>>

Lori Rock | Founder & Creative Strategist

I pursued an artistic / creative career because it pursued me. I loved sketching and drawing as a little girl. My dad would get right down on the living room floor with us kids and piles of coloring books and crayons, and we would draw and shade and fill in every single spot of blank paper on those pages. He taught me angles and lighting and points of view. I can still remember the way the crayons smelled as they heated up against the pages. Coloring was a fun activity, like recess or something, but it was separated out from school studies and chores. Read more>>