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.

Julio Catano | Executive Director of Teatro San Diego

English is my second language and the way I learned was watching a lot of television and listening to a lot of music. I would mimic the sounds until I understood the words and how to make conversation. For that reason at the age of 7 I knew I wanted to be a cartoon on television. Read more>>

Arianna Veronesi | Storyteller_ Actor _ Dancer _ Writer

Why did you pursue and artistic or creative career? The short answer is, because it was my personal pathway from disempowerment to empowerment. The more nuanced answer is that it was through creativity and artistry that I found the permission and accessed the tools to reclaim my power and my femininity.
I say reclaim because growing up in Verona, Italy during the 70s and 80s, I didn’t have examples of female leadership or liberated women in my life. Read more>>

Mark Needham | Music Producer/Mixer

Why did you pursue an artistic career? It was a path I started down at a very young age. I received my first guitar, from my mom and dad, at the age of four. I received my second guitar, a real guitar, a Gibson, when I was 9 years old (bought at a music instrument store in Eureka CA, also purchased for me from my mom and dad) and found that I was very interested in the arts, specifically music, theater and also I liked to study electronics. Read more>>

Shane Thunder | Sound Alchemist & Wellness Producer & Visionary

From childhood, I’ve always desired a more robust experience in terms of how I wanted to serve the world. My parents both worked corporate jobs, my sister a lawyer. I sort of became the black sheep of my family due to my desires wanting to pursue something more alternative than the status quo of what my family deemed “straight lines” for job opportunities. Read more>>

Jacob, Hayden and David ( S.A.D. ) | Sketch Comics & Artists

Process of elimination. Although art has always been our main interest, we have all done our share of career exploration before we realized that you can make a career out of doing something you love. S.A.D. ( Susan and Denise ) began as a one-off social media post, but something about people laughing with us and having fun really gave us the motivation and confidence to see the project as more of a brand. Read more>>

Kyle Herrin | Recording Artist

I chose to pursue a career in music because I’ve always wanted an outlet for my emotions. Before I decided to become a vocalist I would dabble in poetry and creative writing. Listening to music helped with my creativity when it came to writing. The hardest points in my life so far were when I was in middle school and high school and the only thing that helped me get through a day was music. Read more>>

Jaxon Williams | Guitarist and Educator

Growing up, I remember the adults always talking about the “best” careers as being a doctor, lawyer, or something similar. I played a lot of music and it was always a central part of my life, but the standard narrative of what a respectable career was always held me back from fully committing and diving in head first. Thankfully, I also had important influences in my life who helped me believe I can make a living pursuing music, even with all its uncertainty. Read more>>

Anna Toy | Singer, songwriter and badass front woman of Moxi

I always knew I was a little different and wouldn’t fit into the status quo that society sets up. I spent way too many years trying desperately to fit into a mold that was never meant for me. I started writing songs when I was 15. I fell in love with it pretty much immediately but I didn’t fully realize what I could do with it for some time. Read more>>

Vasco Del Rey | Artista

Art was something i have always done but it wasn’t until 10th grade, in that loud art room, wearing silly bands and eating Trader Joe’s bell peppers, watching a Basquiat documentary that i realized. Wow. I’m going to do that too. Read more>>

Myriam Knepper | Food blogger, influencer and recipe creator

I love everything about food, from putting the ingredients together to make something delicious to the final plating. Food is my passion and my art. I want to inspire others to get creative in the kitchen. This is why I chose to pursue what some may consider a creative path. It is my hope to teach people to eat healthy while having fun through the creation of something that is both simple and beautiful. Read more>>

Conor Powell | Journalist and Podcast Host

It’s funny to be described as artistic or creative. I think of painters, or novelists or movie directors as artists. I certainly don’t consider myself as all that “artistic,” nor all that creative. I’ve always thought of myself as a journalist – which is something slightly different than an artist. I kind of feel like journalist are in the same room as “artists” but maybe a separate dingier table. Certainly not the colorful creative table. Read more>>

Amber Rivette | Performing and Visual Artist

I’m not good at drawing straight lines, and even though science and history fascinate me—those subjects are completely out of my league. Art, on the other hand—is a necessity for me. If I’m lighthearted (or want to be), I sing. If I want to empathize or relate, I act. If I’m super depressed and cannot process something entirely, I put it on a canvas. Read more>>

Kelsey Hewlett | Actor & Comedian

I chose to become an actor because I have a deep appreciation for the art of storytelling. It is always a thrill to perform, to emote, to feel, and to share with an audience that takes a journey with us, but actors also have a unique responsibility to demonstrate to the audience what it really means to be human. Read more>>

kim preston | Photographer

I don’t have a single identifying reason why I chose this career. The reasons have slightly changed over the years. It began in college with not knowing what I wanted to do in life and willing to major in anything that had absolutely nothing to do with math! But once I began my journey in the creative field, I instantly loved it, and I felt that my brain comprehended things more clearly with imagery. It all just clicked; it all made sense as to why numbers were never my forte. Read more>>

Burton Car | Lead Guitar Player of Radio Ritual

I remember one of my first shows as a Lead Guitar Player back from where I originally am , Buenos Aires, I still have a vivid memory of feeling like i have never felt before, a sense of freedom and joy , while playing for an audience, it was at this moment that I decided I will pursue this feeling for all my life, it was a moment of clarity and honesty,. Read more>>

Julie Jules | Julie Jules | JJulesbeauty | Celebrity Makeup Artist

I was like everyone else in the beginning, I finished high school and went to college to pursue a better life for myself. I thought at the time that getting a good job would make me happy in life. I finished with bachelors degree and started working in my field. At first I felt part of a team and that I was really making a change. Read more>>

Eliot Lee Hazel | Photographer / Creative Dir / Director

School, grammar, math …to name a few from the same slice fo bread where never my friend nor was I a friend to them, I got along much better with pots and pans and eventually a camera which explains why I took the route of being a chef and then a photographer. Read more>>

HC Stockwell | Singer/Songwriter/Producer/Sound Engineer

I didn’t. It chose me. For a long time I’ve been running from creating and performing, because corporate marketing has taught me from a very young age and the people around me, that the majority don’t want to see heavy-set white women in performance rolls. You need to be thin. Read more>>

Donel Williams | Artist

I would love to say it was intentional, but it was definitely a path I discovered late in my academic life. I was never artistically inclined, and to this day I can’t draw to save my life. Read more>>

Brad Milison | Actor & Writer & Comedian

I’ve loved entertaining since I was a kid. Starring in plays, learning magic tricks, and making my own movies were some outputs for my creativity. I enjoy acting because I can slip into someone else’s life. I value writing because I can create other worlds, stories, and characters that are wildly different from my own experiences, but somewhere you will find a morsel of myself hidden in there. Read more>>

Chonlawat Thammawan | Technical Animator at Magnopus

I have been drawing for as long as I could remember, not just drawing but anything crafting related is something I really enjoy since I was a kid, I always find myself in the zone doing these hobbies for hours while other kids are playing in the field. Though doing art as a hobby and doing it for living is a whole different thing. Read more>>

Lyndsi Austin | Musician

At a very young age, I was fascinated with music. My parents let each of my siblings choose one thing that we could take lessons in. Of course I chose voice lessons. In school, I always signed up for choir. At age 14, I thought it would be super cool to learn bass, so I saved up my money and bought an Ibanez. Read more>>

Joe Marquez | Music Producer & Composer

An understanding of my desire to pursue an artistic career can be captured by a collection of experiences involving one piece of music – Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18. Don’t be bored by its mundane catalogue description; while it doesn’t have a catchy title like “Hotel California” or “Bohemian Rhapsody”, this piece is just as moving. It means so much to me along with my journey with it. Read more>>

Noam Wolf | Vocalist & a Songwriter

This is just something I always knew I was meant to do. It was bigger than me. But as I was younger, I was convinced that it will be impossible for me to earn money as a musician (or at least I had no idea where to begin).
Before I decided to make that change and make a living from music, I worked in Sales, and my days were super long and exhausting. Read more>>

Jiamin Wu | Previs Artist

I was really into animation and manga since I was a kid, and have always dreamed about working in the animation industry. When I was in college, I started to watch a huge amount of live-action films and got really interested in cinematography and how the camera and layout work in a 3D space. Naturally, this leads me to become a Previs/Postvis animator. Read more>>

Nefertara | Artist & fashion designer

Because it’s written in my soul. Art is my passion and lifeblood. Creativity is power. Art heals and I love the freedom to create new worlds. I am always inspired and there is no greater satisfaction for me than physically manifesting my own artistic ideas in the material realm. Read more>>

Maud Lazzerini | Director, Producer and Photographer

For as far as I can remember, I have always been obsessed with filmmaking. I grew up as an only child in a small town in the region of Burgundy in France; and having not much to do, I would watch hundreds of movies a year. When I was a teen, it became obvious to me that this was the best way to express myself and I started directing low budget short films. And never stopped directing since. Read more>>

Olivia Oreskovich | Actor

Pursuing a career in the arts never felt like a choice to me; it truly felt like destiny. I have always enjoyed storytelling, performing, and making people laugh! As an actor, I am able to access a deep sense of vulnerability and creativity within a role. Read more>>

Jay | Music Producer

There are many reasons why I chose to pursue a career in music. I’ve always been a creative at heart for as long as I could remember, from drawing, culinary arts, graphic design, poetry. I find that I’m most happy when I’m able to express myself artistically. Read more>>

Barbara Heller | Actor & Content Creator

Ever since I was a kid I have always had funny voices I wanted to share with the world, and I love going up to strangers and connecting with them. I also love sharing stories and songs with others and connecting people to one another. I think the creative projects I work on naturally unite others. I have tried many times to quit a career in the arts and do something more conventional, but it never works. Read more>>

Anisa AButt | Actress

Honestly at the time acting for me was about letting go of who Anisa was, and being able to play and absorb myself into a “character.” It’s interesting how my mindset has taken a switch in the last year and a half. Now acting actually is about embracing who I am and bringing what I am to the table while playing. Read more>>

Vinayak Pal | Comedian

I started performing standup comedy when I was 16 years old, and my reasoning back then was different than what I have now. In high school, I wanted to figure out my career path because being in the unknown about my future was bugging me. Read more>>

diona limas | Creative Candle Maker

You know that question that every young person gets asked,” What do you want to be when you grow up?” The thought of having to answer that question ALWAYS made me cringe. Simply, I wanted to be everything AND nothing. I didn’t want to be defined by my career. I also wanted to dip into so many different avenues without ever being bound by one. Read more>>

Doug Krantz | Photographer & Videographer

I was one of those creative kids who always needed and would search for an outlet to express myself creatively. I had a toy camera that took real photographs by the time I was three years old, and have boxes and boxes of film negatives from elementary school days all the way up through the present. Read more>>

Tommy Grasley | Recording Artist/Producer

I never fit in the box . I always had a creative mind . I grew up around creatives and Love and music . So it was natural! Read more>>

Aliyah | Artist

Throughout my life, I’ve always felt like I was meant for greater things. Growing up, I helplessly fell in love with creation and arts, I felt at ease behind a piano singing and jamming on my own, it was my happy place. Therefore I knew it was where I belonged. Today, most people will feel scared to live up to their true selves because they fear failure; and to be fair that’s understandable man. Read more>>

Suzy Gruzen | Certified Crystal Practitioner, Reiki Master, Associate Certified Pranic Healer

For many. many years I worked a 9 to 5 job as a paralegal. I felt stifled and very unhappy and I knew I needed to change directions. I wanted a career where I had more freedom and where I could help people. Read more>>

Courtney Marsell | Creative Lifestyle Photographer

For as long as I can remember I have always loved photography, it always interested me. I remember my parents would take pictures on family vacations and then my mom would print them out, years later we would look through them and remember all the memories. Read more>>

Michael Andrew Rosenfeld | Fine Artist (painting)

Part of it is about the freedom of being able to communicate my ideas , and the things I want to see,with paint and without words. Part of it is just the fact that once the decision of what I will paint is made, and the composition worked out, I go into a mental and physical zone during the process of painting which is my most natural state of being. Read more>>

Misha Danilov | Jazz Composer and Big Band Arranger | Bass Player | Music Instructor

Pisces are known for being artistic and creative. Growing up, I could not separate my life from music. It was with me since my earliest childhood memories. There was a lot of things I was interested in – stars and planets, wild animals, psychology. As somebody said – “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. It wasn’t a hard decision to become a professional musician. I am a bass player, jazz composer, I teach different instruments and I enjoy every single moment doing it Read more>>