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.

Viv Li | Traveler & Creative

Anything creative and artistic just came very natural to me. At a very young age, I loved and excelled at drawing, painting, calligraphy, dancing and just really anything that allows me to express my creativity and individuality. I can’t imagine doing anything else other than being a creative in many forms.
During my preteen years, I won many awards for Chinese calligraphy. At the same time I was working on drawing my first graphic novel. Then in my teenage years, I shifted my interest in fashion and advertising. Read more>>

Jack Bacow | Comedic Actor & Entertainer

I grew up in a small suburban town right outside of Detroit. Most of the boys my age played outdoor sports for fun, therefor I was rarely exposed to creative forms of art. However, that all changed when my parents let me watch the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz”. I was in awe after I watched the film, obsessed was an understatement. The colors, the music, those characters were constantly on my mind throughout my childhood. I would recite lines and reenact scenes daily, I even begged for a pair of ruby slippers to wear to pre-school. Ever since then, I became addicted to movies, television, and broadway musicals. As I got older, I realized that was what I wanted to do. Read more>>

Rebecca Youssef | Eco-conscious Mixed Media Creator

I’m not convinced I ever thought I’d become an artist. Yes, I went to art school for painting and ceramics and then got my masters in art education, but I still didn’t think I would be a working artist. Being an artist seemed fraught with uncertainty, so I was always dancing around the idea. I found ways to be creative by working in graphic design, then teaching and doing some community-based art projects, but it wasn’t satiating enough. In 2015, I returned to painting and fell in love with it all over again. Read more>>

Hrisheek Panchmatia | Producer & Manager

Although my background is in Economics and Finance I have always been passionate about the Film Industry. I did not know the right way to go about it which is why I didn’t pursue it initially. But as I came closer to graduation, it sort of hit me that if I don’t explore this passion now, I probably never will. And so, came to Los Angeles. The more I learnt about how the film industry worked, the more I realized how much I truly loved this field. So when the opportunity presented it self to work alongside a production company on a feature film, I jumped to it, and ultimately it was that experience that led me to pursue it full time. Read more>>

Rachel Madrigal | Photographer

I started getting into art at a really young age and always loved being creative. I started my photography journey freshman year of high school and new that this was something that needed to be part of my life. The passion for it blossomed and grew over the years and evolved into what is now my carrier. I really ant see myself doing anything else other then being a creative. I’ve had other jobs in the past before going full time with photography and it was miserable. My heart is tied to this type of work and part of my purpose here. Read more>>

Luna Keller | Independent Musician & Radio Show Host

Because I love music, specifically songwriting. It’s not really something I rationally chose, I’m about to sound really cheesy, but it chose me. Ever since 14 year old me discovered songwriting as the way to stay in touch with my emotions I knew it would always be a part of me. Combined with my love for the stage and connecting to others through art I just got to a point where I knew that this was the path I need to go. I function well in a structured environment, I was top of my class (and my choice to become a musician disappointed several teachers for sure haha). But I am not happy in it, Read more>>

Olivia Demitriani | Graphic Designer

Since I was young, I have always had a gravitational pull into the world of art and design. The impact and power of design in the world are boundless, and that’s what makes it special. Typically the solution is never one correct answer, there are various methods and approaches to pursue and consider. I enjoy the imperfect beauty and raw nature that comes along with the process of doing something creative. Additionally, the ability to learn new subject matter throughout the creative process feeds into my inquisitive nature. Read more>>

Andrew Rose | Writer / Director

I chose to pursue this path because when I was very young, I was lucky enough to have a family that instilled in me the importance of being happy. They always reminded me that if I’m going to spend such a significant portion of my life working, it needs to be doing something that doesn’t make me miserable. And when I’m exploring my imagination or discussing creative ideas with friends, that is when I am at my absolute happiest. And I think these past few years have only reaffirmed my choice. Even if it means certain sacrifices in the short term, in the long run, I know in my heart it’s the only way I can live. Read more>>

Eliana Rubin | Artist and Educator

I pursue an artistic and creative career because I don’t have a choice. I originally began my artistic pursuits as a young actor, eventually studying theatre in undergrad. I entered thinking I wanted to be an actor, and left thinking I wanted to be a writer/director. Both of those things were and are true, but what I’ve noticed within myself is that my artistry has shifted over time. I’m currently in graduate school for a master of educational leadership, where I intertwine Jewish, theatre and LGBTQ+ education. Read more>>

Janelle Blake | Actress/Writer

I wanted to be apart of the story telling process. I loved movies growing up. The process of making films inspired me. The collaborative effort of everyone involved is so extensive and intense. Some films take 100’s of hours of work and dozens of employees to produce a 2 hr masterpiece, That’s movie magic and I wanted to participate in it. Besides that I don’t think it was optional. I was born to perform, it’s in my blood. Read more>>

Christian J Williams | Photographer / Cinematographer

Originally I was not pursuing photography and videography as a career. It was always something that I thought would be neat to do for a living but I didn’t think it was realistically possible to do. I was always shooting photos and eventually taking videos for fun. First it started with capturing what adventures my friends and I were going on. Then it progressed to taking photos of our cars. Freelance jobs would slowly become available here and there. Read more>>

Giann Enid | Photographer & Retoucher

Growing up my family was super artsy, my mother was an aspiring illustrator who made banners for birthday parties, my grandmother made our clothing for school events and so I picked up drawing and making clothing out of old pieces of clothes but it kind of fizzled out over time. I grew up in Puerto Rico until the age of 10 and my grandfather and uncle’s were part of a local Puerto Rican folk music band and so my sister and I joined in as lead singers of the band, which eventually allowed us to do a bit of traveling and we were making some money out off it. Read more>>

Errol Petgrave | Character Designer

When I was a kid, I loved Saturday morning cartoons on FoxKids and WB, UPN, all of the dope cartoons. I’d hang with my older cousins and they would be playing Street Fighter, Marvel Vs Capcom, etc. and watching other anime at that time. One of them drew all the time and I was inspired by him to do so as well. I kept going and haven’t stopped since! As I was nearing the end of high school, I was going to go to school for architecture because I wanted to draw and didn’t know what else I could do. Then I got a letter from SCAD and I realized I could go to school for animation. I haven’t been able to see myself doing anything else fully since. Read more>>

Ayumi Shibata | Costume Design / Wardrobe Stylist / Fashion Designer

Because after pandemic happened I have a chance to check out what exactly I like, want to do, makes me happy for my life. I didn’t have time or spend time to check in myself before, because always time went by fast and just tried to be done alway whatever it came front of me. At that time, I was kind of fed up with the fashion/ apparel business that I have been working for 28 years, because as every season changes, it always same old thing / design again and again. Read more>>

Aidan Collett | Actor, Singer, & Filmmaker

There is nothing more fulfilling than the continual development of humanistic ideas through a creative medium. Art is an opportunity to ask questions of the human condition and as part of the human collective, it is the task of the artist to explore possible answers. That is exciting. Pursuing a creative career means I may be one of those brave explorers to push into deep reaches of the psyche, into the terrifying unknown, and present back to the world a personal reflection of my discoveries. Of course, none of that “refined” philosophy was in my head when I first put on a Captain Hook costume at the age of 3 and played make-believe. Read more>>

A Monet | Graphic Designer | CEO of iAM Creates

I decided to pursue a creative career because I believe that with the gift that was given to me, I can’t confine it to an office job. There’s so much more that I can do. I am a graphic designer and I enjoy bringing people’s ideas to life. I didn’t want my to be in this cycle of wakeup, work, home, bed, and do it again. I wanted to try different things and explore my creativity. Read more>>

Thomas Parobek | Child Actor

I have been acting since I was 5 years old and love it! I didn’t really think about becoming an actor, but when my uncle put me into a movie at age 5, I had so much fun and knew I wanted to keep doing it. I’ve always loved putting on plays and make believing though. When I was 2, I volunteered with my mom at my great grandmother’s assisted living facility. I put on a show called “Time for Thomas” every week. I sang to the residents, told stories, helped them exercise, and visited with them. I guess you could say I love people and have always loved entertaining! Read more>>

Gordon Baker-Bone | Comedian & Film Maker

I knew I wasn’t interested in a typical office lifestyle. I wanted to do something that would challenge me and give me new challenges everyday. Also I hate when people send passive aggressive emails with “as per my last email.” Read more>>

Laurence Juber | Musician

I can’t say it was a choice – it chose me. I started playing guitar on my 11th birthday and have never put it down. Call it a compulsion, an addiction, whatever… Music has been leading my life path for nearly 60 years. The musical muse, the tactile and sonic embrace of the guitar, the creative interaction with the highest caliber musicians – it’s hard to imagine retiring. Read more>>

Garnet Rosario Garcia | Storyboard Artist & Character Designer

I believe that the drive all artists share in their pursuit of a career is the unquenchable desire to be creative. I have always been fascinated by art and story, but in high school, it was made clear that art was not the most lucrative career path and I was discouraged from pursuing it. Since I went to a STEM-focused high school, a lot of my teachers probably thought I was setting myself up to be a starving artist. As a result, I spent my first year of college studying architecture. I thought maybe that would be enough. Read more>>

Gloria Ing | Artist, Curator, and Jewelry Designer

Growing up my family didn’t have much, but I had access to pens, pencil and paper. As a kid, I never thought of myself as an artist, since I was just doodling here and there. I used my creations to escape my reality and tell stories I couldn’t really put down on paper. As I got older I began to focus more on my art, even though my family was unsupportive. Read more>>

Bin Gao | Artist/UI/UX/Graphic Designer/Dancer/Singer

My life has always been creative. I was a singer in china. And I have been dancing for many years. These are also why I am a designer now because of these experiences that made me feel like I wanted to explore more in different fields. It made me happy to sing and dance for people and myself. Same as when I design. It made me feel great to inspire people and help people around me with my gifts. I always feel satisfied by these moments that involve my art and creativity. So, why not? I’m happy! Read more>>

Jarod Farver | Contemporary Artist/Painter

I believe it chose me. Art started for me early in school just like most people. I always enjoyed being creative, both Music and Art. Painting on canvas led me to selling some of my first work at age 9. I was pretty sure this was the career I was looking for. I need a creative career to be my happiest in life. Read more>>

Maurice Whitfield | Actor & Producer

I love this question! I think that my initial reason for choosing an artistic career is because of the freedom within it. The fact that whatever your artistic passion is (dance, visual art, music, writing, etc.), your delivery and presentation of your gift is your signature. It becomes your voice, created from your perception of the world, unique and perfect. That is powerful! Read more>>

Trent Peltz | Musician, Singer & Songwriter

Connection. Art serves as one of the only boundary-less industries in the world, liberating us from wrong answers, intolerances, and social injustices. Art holds the power to break down barriers and unite humanity, despite any judgements or varying opinions. Read more>>

Christine Angelique | Actor & Filmmaker

I pursued an artistic/creative career for multiple reasons. 1. I truly believe this is my purpose, what I’m meant to do! God has given me many creative gifts: acting, singing, dancing, to name a few. I feel like when you have a gift for something it’s your responsibility to use it because you never know who is on the receiving end of that gift, and what impact it might have. I just think, “Someone is waiting to hear my song”, or “Someone needs my movie”. Read more>>

Olivia Otero | Mindful Living + Travel Content Creator

Since I was a child, I’ve always felt creative and expressive energy inside of me. When I was a kid, and people asked me what I wanted to be, I replied, “an artist.” Something about expressing yourself through colors, textures, and creating beautiful things called to me. It later changed to fashion, photography, hairdressing, and then to creating content on Instagram where I share my love for all things beauty in the world and my travels and passion for sustainability, health, + wellness. One thing always remained the same: finding a space to share my creative vision with the world. Read more>>

Jermain Hollman | Actor

Since an early age I was captivated by all types of story telling, if through books, poems but mostly through film and television. I truly enjoyed going on a journey with the actor of my favorite film or television show. As a very energetic child I would always mimic the actor of my favorite movie or re-enact the story line from my favorite sitcom. I knew expressing myself through acting is something I knew I want to do. I would have to wait until I became an adult to pursue my passion. Read more>>

Jen Simpson | Art Director and co-owner of Jen Simpson Design

I have always had a passion to create ever since I was little, it has always been a part of my life. I got into drawing and painting when I was in grade school and kept it going with a BFA in Graphic Design in college. Creating is a need for me, I feel it in me and just have to get it out through some sort of creation wether it is drawing, designing or making a new product. I followed that passion and let it lead me to where I am today: fully immersed in building a creative business. Read more>>

Jf Davis | Actor/producer/director

That’s a good question and it’s not an easy one to answer. I think that someone who ends up in and artistic career such as mine, doesn’t necessarily choose it. You wake up one day and it chooses you. I was a little older than most when I decided to become an actor. I had tried a lot of different jobs/potential careers, but no matter how much I enjoyed it or how successful I was even how happy I was. Something was missing. Read more>>

Oksana Badrak | Creative Director/Illustrator

In a previous interview with Voyage LA I wrote about growing up in Soviet Russia and how in stark contrast to realities of that time and place my parent’s artistic circle became a beacon of wonder that influenced my decision of becoming a creative professional. All that remains true, but I’d like to acknowledge another factor I discovered while doing a bit of soul searching after my father’s passing a few months ago. No doubt curiosity led me to the choices I’ve made regarding my career, but also, surprisingly, an insatiable subconscious desire to have parental approval. To be liked by them, to possibly even impress them one day. Some individuals are guided by the need to rebel against the system their parents embody, in my case the opposite was true. Read more>>

Matt Axton | Singer / Songwriter

Legacy! It is a Family tradition . My parents and Grandparents had successful and Impactful careers in music , although I didn’t pursue the Arts heavily as a child, I was always surrounded by a love and joy for the creative life style. so when it came time to find my own path music was a natural direction to run. and now I’m running as fast as I can Read more>>