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.

Karina BONNEFIL | Actress

I was always a Television fanatic and knew that 1 way or another I would end up on TV. My first love, first show that Inspired my artistic dreams was the hit comedy show “Languichatte Debordus,” Haiti’s most famous comic actor and playwright, Theodore Beaubrun. Beaubrun, who was known by his stage name Languichatte Debordus was a standup comic whose career spans 50 plus years. The show was about the life and experiences of a middle class man in Haiti trying to keep up with the Joneses aka Jean(s). I moved to America in 1987 and went to Overland park Kansas and the door to a TV life was introduced to me. Read more>>

Annah Tencic | Composer for Media and Studio Cellist

I started playing the cello when I was 6 years old. My parents like music but are not musicians themselves. However, they felt it would be very enriching for me and my little sister to learn music. They thought playing in music ensembles would give us joy and develop a sense of team spirit, they believed that practising our instrument every day would give us discipline and teach us the value of hard work. And of course they were right. Read more>>

Junyoung Jung | Music Composer & Traveller

I decided to be a musician when I was 5 years old, and I have always been a person who makes something creative so far. Not only playing and composing music but also writing essay or taking photograph and video was a significant part of my life. From 2007 to 2009, I was in a military for 2 years because all men have to do their military service in South Korea. Although I was in a military band as a musician, I had to do something not creative such as paperwork. During that time, I realized that I should be a person who has a creative job because I was always happy when I make something new. I hope I will be a creative person until I die. Read more>>

Laura Segal Stegman | arts publicist and author

When I was a kid growing up in Southern California, writing a novel wasn’t my life’s ambition, although I was a big reader. I loved books! One of my favorites, The Diamond in the Window, was about an 11 year-old – my age at the time – with freckles – just like me. She hated her freckles – just like I did. And I’ve never forgotten that this character learned to accept not only her freckles but also herself. Read more>>

Stephanie Noel Garrison | Actor, Athlete, Lola Bunny cosplayer.

Oh gosh! I didn’t have any other choice, really! My Dad is an actor as well, so I’ve always been around the lifestyle. I grew up absolutely loving school plays, but it wasn’t until the 2nd grade where I made my entire class laugh while doing an improv game in a theater class…and that was it! I knew I needed to entertain for the rest of my life. I eat, sleep, and breathe movies and performances. And I was a terrible math and science student so… Read more>>

Hisham “Rico” Dakhil | Actor /Producer

Exposure to playing an instrument and public speaking from a young age plus my fundamental belief in the importance of creativity and art made me choose that path. Even though I have had the honor of playing in Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (as part of the second violin section for a high school graduation.) I was never going to be a professional violinist.  Read more>>

Cassie Hanle Brady | Writer

I do not fit in the confines of a traditional career be it the hours, corporate platform or any other of the structured paths that I feel come with a more “by the book” career choice. I love artistic endeavors and used to joke that my college major was cutting and pasting—technically advertising— but this was before all the technology on the computers, so yes it was a lot of scissors and glue work. Read more>>

Kimberly Roberts | Social Worker and Entomology Artist

My entire life I wanted to be an artist. For the longest time, I thought of the word ‘artist’ literally, as in a painter or sculptor. My dad and uncle were very gifted painters and while I could draw decently when referencing something, I wasn’t great, and I didn’t have the patience to learn. Read more>>

Norman Lake | Singer-songwriter, and recording artist

Though I’ve always been a creative at heart, I didn’t build my life around it till after I had gotten sober. For me it took losing all will to continue living, to realize I had to give up the habits and thinking that held me back. Now five years later, my songs are my journal, and every difficult emotion felt serves to create something beautiful and human. Read more>>

Luis Hernandez | Art Director + Latinx Social Content Specialist

My simple story is that I always loved drawing – since I was a young kid, I grew up in Tijuana, Baja California and like many kids during that time I grew up watching and being in front of a television, consuming movies, novelas (mexican soap operas), cartoons, game shows, and I loved it, so much stuff being thrown around a small box of entertainment. Read more>>

The Deadlights | Rock and Roll Band

Alex: While I’m a fan of McLuhan’s maxim that “art is whatever you can get away with,” my definition is a little more emotional. For me, art is the unique expression of a familiar medium to connect with other human beings. Music just happens to be the medium that resonates best with me, because it’s such a unique combination of performance and vulnerability. The level of empathy, fellowship, and humanity that an incredible piece of music can inspire in the listener continues to fascinate me. Or, failing that, I like people to have a good time singing, dancing, and occasionally muttering, “damn, that was a good solo.” Read more>>

Connie Resch | Artist & Illustrator

I had always daydreamed of becoming an artist, but a different time and place, limiting beliefs, and lack of confidence threw me in another direction. When I was younger, I felt as though I wasn’t allowed to choose a creative career. I believed that I wouldn’t be taken seriously if I chose this path for myself, and I was too afraid to step out of the comfort zone of a more secure job. Read more>>

Fae | Singer/Songwriter

It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do my entire life; I honestly don’t even remember ever choosing it. Since I was very little, I’ve been writing songs and singing – I even convinced an elementary school teacher to let me and my best friend push desks together and stand on them to perform to the class. I’ve worked some normal jobs, but music is the only thing that has ever pulled at me so strongly and that I’ve ever really wanted to pursue. Read more>>

Erum Khalili | Surface Pattern Designer & Illustrator

I’ve always been creative at heart. When I was a kid, I used to spend my free time drawing, sketching and sewing. I lost my mother at a young age and my biggest escape was art. When I create I feel my worries just melt away. Sometimes I think that God gave me this passion to ease the times my heart feels a bit heavy. Read more>>

Chawa / Hava Lilith | Singer- Songwriter & Perfoming Artist

My inspiration to pursue an artistic career has been to inspire people. The thought of being able to give people upliftment, entertainment for their best, and fun and to share energies through performance and music has always been most fulfilling to me. I am an energetic person and I love to take people on a journey with my performances and my music. Read more>>

Ana-Nube & Toni Thompson & Houston | Co-Founders, Film Makers, Artists/Creatives, Event Planners, Change Makers, Mothers

A: This is Ana, I am just one part of B.E. Artform Production/Beautifully Ethnic. I am naturally a creative, like most. When people would ask me what do you want to be when you grow up, I would shrug and say, “A doctor, a teacher, I don’t know. Something helping people.” But as time went on I began to realize that I couldn’t see myself in just one field for the rest of my life. Read more>>

Allan Pham | Filmmaker & Photographer

A: This is Ana, I am just one part of B.E. Artform Production/Beautifully Ethnic. I am naturally a creative, like most. When people would ask me what do you want to be when you grow up, I would shrug and say, “A doctor, a teacher, I don’t know. Something helping people.” But as time went on I began to realize that I couldn’t see myself in just one field for the rest of my life. Read more>>

Michael Massey | Rapper,actor,and sports trainer

Because of the art of expression. Music allows me to showcase myself uncensored. While also feeling a sense of therapy that comes from that expression. Read more>>

Blanca Ocegueda | CEO and Founder of Mí Tribú Wellness

Since I was a child I have always like the idea of being artistic/creative. Although, I look back now and realize that I had a very narrow outlook on what that could look like. When I thought of being artistic/creative, I thought of singers, musicians, dancers, and fine artists. When I was little I wanted to have an artistic career being a singer. Then I soon found out that I wasn’t as good as I had believed! I soon after gave up on my dream of going about my life being an artistic/creative person.  Read more>>

Nacho Larraza | Music Producer

I think it’s in your personality type. It almost doesn’t matter what field you are in, I feel like you can always approach any carrier with artistry and creativity. But in my case I knew I wanted to do music because I kind of always felt magical to me how a series of sounds can make you feel such strong emotions. Read more>>

Brandon Carson | Composer

I chose to pursue a creative career because it brings me joy to create. I enjoy finding creative solutions to problems and getting to share that creativity with my friends by creating and performing music together. Read more>>

Jonah Sãenz | Screenwriter & Voice Actor

To be completely honest, I made the decision to pursue a career in the film industry at four years old. Initially, I wanted to be an actor but changed my mind in the first grade and decided that I wanted to work behind the scenes as a writer/director. My first “screenplays” were written on wide-ruled lined paper and I continued to write creatively on my free time through high school. Read more>>

Kelsey Ang | Dancer, Choreographer & Director of SHIFT Dance

I think that artistic work is incredibly meaningful and important for creating change and making a positive impact. I love when my work as a performer, teacher or entrepreneur is able to bring joy, help people, or make a difference in someone’s day. Connecting to others through dance is the most rewarding and fulfilling part of my job. Read more>>

Marissa Rey | Founder, Creative Director

We chose an artistic career because it aligns with our soul. It gives us freedom to create, opportunities to connect with other artists, and allows us to become who we are meant to be. There are no boundaries to what you can create; the freedom to be connected with our soul and the collective are our reasons for creating. Read more>>

Kylie Pavlich | Actor & Model

Growing up, I found a lot of my emotional escape through art and creativity. Don’t get me wrong, I was shit at it. I couldn’t draw, paint, or sing. I wasn’t great at the guitar, piano or the french horn (lol, I know). I never landed the lead in any school plays… but it was exhilarating. Maybe it’s the Aries in me- but it almost became a competition with myself, which oddly, helped me find myself. It became my home. I knew, whatever I did in life, art would play a major and influential role for me. And it did. And it does. Read more>>

Nick Larson | Comedian, Podcaster & Photographer

I grew up around one of the funniest people I have ever met, still, to this day – My father. I remember holidays when the whole family was together; My dad and my uncle were a comedy duo, in their own right. the entire house would be in tears! I listened to people tell my dad he should be a comedian, up until he passed away when I was 16. I went through a very low point in life. Didn’t really want attention. I really just kept to myself. Read more>>

Katrina Chen | Graphic Designer

In my last year of undergrad at UCI, I had experienced a few different worlds when it came to careers. I was graduating with a degree in Education, doing field work for a children’s museum, and working part-time as an office assistant for a medical clinic. I had considered pursuing a creative career for my whole life, and it wasn’t until that last year that I decided I might as well go for it. Personally, my faith is the fuel for my creative career; and it was when I felt called to pivot my life that I decided to pursue graphic design. Read more>>

Meet Rachel Riley | Actor/Director/Producer

I grew up with a hippy mom who was an actress herself at one time. While it may not have been the most financially stable environment, it did breed creativity. She always encouraged me to follow my dreams and when I turned my sights on acting at the tender age of 9, she supported it wholeheartedly. I remember watching TV and saying “That’s what I want to do!” And my mom said “Go for it!” Before that, I wanted to be a country singing, donut maker… cause apparently I liked country music and donuts. What a life that would have been! Read more>>

Ricardo Cisneros | Fine Artist

When I was young, I remember trying to be good at sports. Movies like the sandlot, and field of dreams would inspire me to become the next benny rodriguez. To be honest, I had more passion than skill. As I grew older, I faced the hard reality of being poor and not being able to afford the registration fees to keep playing in little league. Poverty became an ever growing deterrent of opportunity in my life. Read more>>

Eugene Seregin | Puppeteer

i started making wooden and metal sculptures. They are very intricate and detailed based on my imagination and have an old country quality. Ive been making marionettes and sculptures for the last 40 years and learned how to persevere and find a way to make my art no matter what happens in life. I would like the world to know about me and my practice. Read more>>

Devin Marie | Wellness Brand Developer and Practitioner

I don’t if I so much as sought a “creative career field, as much as I started to intentionally making it a goal to experience the breadth of ways creativity can be found in the workplace. Creativity was never taught as being something financially reliable or encouraged to pursue seriously because a lot of these industries are incredibly competitive, everyone is out here trying to be an artist, or an icon, but you obtain any level of “success.” Read more>>

Wendy Chou | food & fashion illustrator, craft artisan

For me, working on art-related projects at school was the only thing I enjoyed. And post-school, I realized I only got into “the zone” when I was exploring my creative side. It’s a blessing that “the zone” is also layered with happiness when I’m creating. Read more>>

Erica Ponder Reeves | Second Hand Stylist

I have always had an interest in “the creative” and creativity drives everything I do. I remember as a young elementary and middle student, I always looked forward to being assigned school projects. My project was never just “projects”, but rather a production that’s guaranteed to knock your socks off and give me an A. To this day, I still have projects in my possession that were just so good and so intricately put together that I do not have the heart to throw it away. Read more>>

Drew Sikorski | Producer / Recording Artist

For me, it was a natural progression from pursuing artistic endeavors since a kid. I got a job at 14 editing videos and creating graphics for a skateboard shop in my city and that really opened the door for me. There’s a lot of risks associated with creative careers but I feel that in my experience it was never too scary since had acclimated to this type of work. But the reason I continue with this career path is that I love solving problems for people, I love being a part of this grand conversation that is art, and I just don’t feel entirely myself without some sort of creative outlet. Read more>>

Whitney Renee | Holistic Wellness Practitioner

Since I was a child, I’ve had a fascination of and love for writing, learning, and nature. I’d often skip recess to write, and when I was home, I found myself creating stories in my mind about the magic of nature in my backyard. Making potions with twigs and leaves, exploring the creek behind my house, and escaping into what seemed like another realm. Read more>>

Joshua Packard | Actor

I decided to become an actor because I am an only child and movies and TV shows have always kept me company and entertained me. As soon as I found out that I could possibly be in a movie or on a TV and do that for others, I knew it was what I wanted to do. Read more>>

Zara Burdett | Filmmaker

Even though I always felt closely connected to the arts, I remember trying to fight my artistic side because I was too scared or self-conscious to admit it. As I’m sure many other artists can relate to, the understandable expectations from family and my social circle was to have a solid, stable career and avoid the struggle of the typically ruthless, competitive, artistic life. Read more>>

Ariana Bennardo | Creator of Lost In The Woods, Multifaceted Artist and Designer

I pursued working in an artistic field because it`s a communicative medium. Historically, and currently, art and design shape cultures, bringing on new perspectives. My work continues to evolve, along with the insight and thought process behind it, allowing me to learn about the world and share my sentiments and findings with others. Read more>>

Gloria Garayua | Film/TV/VO/Commercial Actress and Acting Coach

When I was younger, I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to either work with children as a pediatrician or with animals as a veterinarian. After some soul searching, I realized that the only reason I wanted either of those things was because of what people feel after they’ve seen a doctor: a sense of renewal, hope, healing, therapy. Read more>>

Aiko Baylon | Illustrator

Simply put, I pursued an artistic/creative career because I believe that’s what I’m best at. Like many artists, I’ve been drawing ever since I was a small, tiny child, and I easily realized that this is something I should seek a career in. I grew up in Silicon Valley, where technology flourished and STEM careers were actively sought after; Read more>>