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.

Bibby Gignilliat | Mixed Media Artist and Instructor

When I was age 10, I loved painting. Every Saturday, I walked a mile to take a class at the Art League in Oak Park, Il. The time would fly by as I was in the flow. My art was colorful and free. At age 12, I had a critical teacher and I stopped painting and my creativity went into hiding. To paraphrase Julia Cameron from her book The Artist’s Way, if you really want to know what you are supposed to do in life, look at what you loved as a child. Read more>>

Amanda Erixon | Actress & Performer

Since I started school I have always liked the arts related classes and subjects. I needed a space to create and they always made me feel inspired and fullfilled. I used to play a lot in imaginary realities as a child and I have been told I believed in my fantasy world without a doubt and made it extremely vivid. Read more>>

Jack Dwyer | Song-Slinger and Strum-For-Hire

I grew up playing music, with my friends, and my family. My family moved around a bunch when I was growing up (Alaska, New York, The Northwest), but we played music every weekend. We always had a regular weekly gig and we’d take other gigs – festivals, parties, weddings, etc. Read more>>

Sabina Otelea | Conceptual Designer x Visual Communicator

I think everything I do creatively comes from an itch to interact with the world around me. Growing up, I initially interpreted my desire for creation as coming purely from a place of needing stimulation; it took me years of internal processing and subliminal navigation to realise that this is, in fact, my way of interrogating the world around me. Read more>>

Justice Jenkins | aka LOCS, Artist.

I began to pursue an artistic/creative career because once it went from hobby to passion nothing made me happier. I had other dreams and aspirations before I first picked up a mic and after I did all other things seemed to become inferior. I started to see myself on the big stages and my name being mentioned everywhere. Read more>>

Niamh Power | Illustrator

I always wanted to work as someone who gets to draw things. My grandfather was an architect and I remember just being obsessed with his architectural plans. I would draw my own and plan out where all my things would go in my dream house – so I guess it’s no surprise that I’m still drawing my dream house in my work now! Read more>>

John McQuaig | Composer for Media & Pianist

While I have many interests outside of music, it’s the only thing I’ve ever considered with which to have a life and make a living. My parents were always so supportive of my musical development and passion, not to mention the many teachers I’ve had who have challenged and encouraged me. Read more>>

Logan Johnson | Film Composer.Pianist.Producer.Songwriter

Since I was a child, I have always had a connection with music. My family is chock full of musicians (laughs). My father, uncle and grandmother could play piano, and another uncle is a professional singer. My mother told me, when I was a toddler I would climb on the piano bench and bang the keys on any piano nearby. …so that was pretty much the sign they needed that I inherited the family gift. Read more>>

Ali Mohamed | VFX Artist | Production Assistant | Music Producer | Podcast Host

I always did well in school, but the idea of working a garbage job never sat right with me growing up. I have a degree in Marketing and figured I could put it to good use on my own terms. Becoming a VFX artist and production assistant really opened my eyes. I believe anyone can make a living off of their art as long as they are dedicated. Read more>>

Lydia Estepp | Storyboard Artist

I’ve loved telling stories my entire life, so growing up, I always had an inkling I would pursue something creative for my career. For a while, I was interested in pursuing writing, but that goal shifted once I discovered my love for animation and visual art. I was fortunate to have parents who supported my decision to go into the arts, and I ended up going to Ringling College of Art and Design to study computer animation. Read more>>

Emily Brunner | Wildlife Artist & Illustrator

It’s funny, I never thought I would ever end up working as an artist. I wanted to work in the animal care industry ever since I was a kid. And I did just that, for 17 years, gaining a Bachelor’s in Zoology and working in wild bird conservation, wildlife rehabilitation, and as a veterinary nurse. Read more>>

Eden Dozier | Photographer & Creative

I pursued a creative career because I like the way the wavelength feels. I tend to consider myself an outlier in many different ways; a main one being societal. But since I enjoy connecting with people and all of our various perspectives so much, I’ve still got one foot in, I suppose. So with knowing how heavy and solid society can feel at times, we need more artistic frequencies to escape to; I like to live in and enhance that frequency as much as possible. Read more>>

Roku Jingwen Long | Film Director, Writer & Producer

As a film director, writer, and producer, filmmaking is my way of expressing my complexity and helping others tell their complex stories. I grew up in a unique international neighborhood in Beijing, China. As a result of this experience, I have been able to observe different kinds of life, as well as embrace stories that others cannot see. Read more>>

Roanna Renee | Actress, Podcaster, Producer

The deepest answer to that question is: that it’s my God-given purpose. And one thing to understand about that is, there is so much freedom when you follow the course and do what’s been given to you. Creativity and artistry gives so much freedom just in the essence of what it is. I’ve always been a free spirit and I love the freedom my life has given me to make bold choices. Read more>>

Cassiel McEvoy | Film Composer & Violinist

This is a question that I am asked so often, and yet one that I still don’t have. a concrete answer to! I honestly think that I always knew I would end up in a creative career because it was just such an integral part of my upbringing. I started playing the violin when I was four years old and it quickly became an important part of my identity, and I filled much of my free time with orchestra rehearsals and chamber music. Read more>>

Shabrayia Cleaver | Associate Production Executive

Graduating high school, I had a really hard time deciding what career I wanted to pursue. I mean it changed with the slightest breeze, a dancer, a therapist, a teacher!? (Because all I thought I was really good at was school). Read more>>

Jordyn Foley | Singer, Actress, Songwriter, and Philanthropist

Ever since I was two years old, I knew I was meant to be a vocalist and a storyteller. Through finding moments of shared consciousness through lyrics, harmonies, and instrumentation, nothing fills my soul more than being able to use my voice to connect with the world and those around me. Read more>>

Corinne Levy | Actor & Comedian

Ever since I was little my parents immersed me in movies. My dad always took me to the movie theater and I absolutely loved it. As a child (and maybe still today…) I would end up watching my favorite movies over and over again and never get sick of it. I realized I started becoming obsessed with stories and storytelling when I wanted to do the storytelling myself. Read more>>

Yifan Luo | Illustrator & Storyteller

I have always gravitated towards creative roles, but I didn’t pursue illustration full time until just a few years ago. A lot of factors led me to that transition point. In short: It wasn’t so much that I didn’t enjoy the career path I was on but that I always felt most compelled by the “other thing,” and finally got to a point where I could no longer set it aside. Read more>>

Zach Herdman | Artist, Designer & Animator

There are a myriad of reasons I am on the path that I am. As a kid I was exposed to art. I used to watch my dad draw and paint. I remember being transfixed by the way he placed a line and moved colors around. Naturally I would try and mimic this and eventually this turned into something I enjoyed doing for myself. Throughout my life it was the only thing that I kept coming back to. I felt it was my nature. Read more>>

Julie Ann Dawson | Actress, Model, Martial Artist, CEO & Master Energy Healer

I realized I had a passion for entertaining people when I was 2-years-old and started performing in dance. As a kid, I wanted to do anything I possibly could to make people happy, laugh, and put on a show. I then became involved in school & church plays growing up, which lead to on-camera acting in commercials, TV shows, and feature films. Read more>>

Antoinette Ryan | Artists

I grew up with an alcoholic father and an emotionally distant mother. In life, I strived for perfection to the point of breaking. I was depressed and questioning my purpose in life and tried to remember what it was that just made me happy. Read more>>

Razan AlSarraf | Artist

I’ve always been connected to my drive to create and decided to pursue art-making as a career because, given the state of the world, it’s the only thing I’d enjoy doing. I see it as a more approachable and tangible tool for communication, to share ideas that otherwise could get censored or shut down by politics or academia, and it’s one of the few processes that aren’t as exploitative as other career paths. Read more>>

Beti | Singer & Song Writer

I believe I always knew that I wanted to pursue an artistic career. As far back as I can remember I always had a love for music. There is a video of me in kindergarten where someone asks me what I want to be when I grow up and my response was singer, dancer, and doctor. Read more>>

Debi Grupe | Abstract artist

At a very young age, at least 5 years old, two things excited me in life, playing sports of any kind, nearly, and making art. The two loves were always in my life. Now that I don’t play as much sport I have time to focus on my art as a career. Read more>>

Andrija Gavrilović | Producer & Trumpet Player

I like to believe that this career choose me at first. It all started with my friend asking me to join the music school as a favour to her teacher who was struggling with filling his student spots at the school. At some point the teacher recognised a natural talent I had for the Trumpet. For me it was just interesting to be the only trumpet player amongst my friends, to be different in a way. Read more>>

Jamal East | Fashion Stylist & Creative Director

Working as an artist and creative provides me freedom and happiness, two very important things I value. I didn’t want to end up in a career field that didn’t allow me to flow freely. When I wake up for work I want to be excited for my day, not clock watch waiting for the day to end so I can go home. Nothing else moved me the way fashion did. Shopping with my mom was and still is one of my favorite things to do, especially for back to school during that time. Read more>>