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.

Christine Yerie Lee | Artist & Designer

Art was the only thing that could hold my attention. Visual and performing arts constantly opened up opportunities for me to explore materials and ideas through my personal interests. The physicality and collaboration that happens in creative environments continues to excite me in its ever evolving forms. I was never a great student, even in college I was the black sheep of my department. Once I got out of the academic setting, I found ways to nurture and refine this creative expression and turn it into a viable career. Read more>>

Susan Houseman | Calligrapher & Engraving Artist

I have always been interested in the arts, even as a child I was compelled to express myself. At first, I thought I would be an author who wrote mysteries, later, in high school, I entered into acting. Advancing to college, I still loved acting, but also loved directing and working on set design and backstage. Once graduated I did community theatre, summer stock and a short stint on local soap opera spoof. Read more>>

Tucker Rowe | Connector of dots

The way I see it, I kind of never had a choice. Joining the world that was laid out before me in suburban Orange County just seemed too boring haha. I was always somewhat of a black sheep growing up and I think that the arts were a home for kids like me. Whether it was death metal shows in high school or art shows after college, the arts offered the excitement and wonder that I yearned for. Read more>>

Ramita Arora | Singer/Songwriter, Producer and Private Music Teacher

I am one of those musicians who was born singing and dancing. Before I could talk, I would crawl over to the television and press my ear against the speaker whenever there was music playing. I was absolutely enthralled by music and begged my parents for music lessons. When I was around four years old, I declared that I would be a singer when I grew up. As I grew older, I began to dabble in songwriting when I was a teenager and started learning guitar to imitate my favourite songwriters. It wasn’t until I was halfway through high school when I realized not only did I want to be a musician growing up, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Music was it for me. Read more>>

Xena Proctor | Visual Artist

I chose an artistic career because I’ve always admired everything about art. As an artist, I view and interpret the world differently than others. Art has always been my form of expression and a way to share stories. Hence my brand name, Xpressions. Through my art, I’m able to share the many experiences and challenges of my life, as well as others. Aside from the ability to share stories, art is a movement. I’m able to motivate and encourage others. I’m able to shed light in dark places and be an example to others that anything can be done. My art and career reflects challenges but also reflects victory, restoration, and determination. Read more>>

Farnaz Harouni | Fine Artist, Fashion Designer, Interior Designer, Educator

A creative career path was the last thing my parents would have chosen for me. They wanted me to be a doctor. But I know that no one is going to live my life for me day-in and day-out, so I make choices that ensure I don’t live a life of regret. I knew from a very early age that I had to follow my instincts and take the path that resonates with my soul rather than just thinking about what pleases my parents. My choice of career paths was not an act of rebellion. It was just me living an authentic life. Read more>>

Akira Yoshimura | Jichan’s Co-Owner, Process Safety Engineer, and Dad

Well it’s funny – I didn’t originally pursue a creative career! My degree is in environmental health and safety, and for the past twenty years I’ve been working as a Safety Engineer. However, outside of work I’ve always enjoyed bringing people together to relax and have fun, and a big part of that was providing them with delicious food to eat. So I started to cook for friends and family when they gathered at my house, and I found that I really loved bringing people happiness through food. Read more>>

Michael It’z | Musician

I have always loved art in all its forms, I wanted and want to make people who listen to my music understand what I feel, what I feel inside of me, and I think there is no purer way to do it. Read more>>

Ben Busch | Cinematographer and Photographer

I chose to pursue a creative career because at the end of the day I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. From the moment I picked up my first camera all I really wanted to do was explore all the ways I could create with it. Now you won’t find me anywhere without one. The day I really knew this was going to be my job and not just something I did for myself was when my photo teacher in high school, Mr.Elling, took us into the darkroom for the first time. The process and waiting for the photos we had worked hard on was exhausting but also thrilling. When we finally pulled those photos out of the chemicals to hang up I saw what I could create from start to finish. Read more>>

Zak Lee Guarnaccia | Actor, Stuntman, Entrepreneur

I was born in Italy and as an energetic youth, I was always dreaming. I’ve always been open-minded; tried to think outside the box. I never worried about what other people thought of my imagination. I always felt that I am the ultimate champion of my own dreams. My parents, relatives, or friends never really influenced me. It was the imagination I had in me that I used to create, rehearse, and learn to act in movies. Read more>>

Jodi Siegel | Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist

I’ve been a musician my whole life. My Dad was also a composer and piano player. He insisted that my two brothers and I pick an instrument and learn how to play it. I started playing the ukulele when I was 8 and switched to the guitar soon after. It was like falling in love; heart and soul. From that moment on I knew I had found not only who I was on a deeper level, but what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I still have that same wonder and excitement about music and playing guitar that I did as a kid. Read more>>

William Long | William Long | videography & Clothing

To be able to create something out of nothing and to be myself while doing it. It’s a feeling of joy and accomplishment. knowing the videos I make for healing myself in the process to becoming a better me can help others be a stronger them. To me that’s the reason why I chose this creative career. Read more>>

RocknRollTina | Radio DJ, Music Interviewer, Promoter, Host & Creator of Diversified Arts

Music has always been there for me and I wanted to give back in the most fan girl way! I was at a radio station for a couple of years when I decided leave and start something new. My media company “DIVERSIFIED ARTS” was made to bring spotlight to the local artist. I have been going to shows since I was a teenager. I’m a huge music fan. I collect records, cassettes, CDs, magazines, and books from all my favorite bands! I love promoting the underdogs of our music scene. Everyone definitely needs to go out to a local show. Buy a shirt, post a picture online of the band, stream their music. It’s all about making dreams come true! Read more>>

MinJi Yoon | Character Designer for Animation

I’ve always enjoyed being creative and the act of drawing itself. But most importantly I felt that I really got along with other creatives and artists. I love human connection and meeting people so finding a whole community of artists in concept art/animation that I really got along with encouraged me to pursue a career in it. Read more>>

A’Don E. | Singer, songwriter and Artist

I’ve been singing and performing since I can remember which was 4 years old. I’ve only wanted to be a singer so pursuing it only makes sense to me. Read more>>

Jessie Chang | Background & Visual Development Artist

Because I discovered at a young age that I really liked to draw with crayons. I started out drawing senseless blobs when I was 5 onto the ceiling of my parents’ car in crayon, then the walls of the house, the floor, my parents convinced me to draw on paper. I’d draw during class in the margins of my notebook and my homework and then be called to have a talk with my teachers. They’d point out the small whale I drew, saying I should pay attention more during class and turn in neat homework. Read more>>

Kris Greer | Artist/Actor/Business Owner

I don’t think I really got too choose this avenue. It’s always been something I’ve know I needed to do. Creating, envisioning and building has been the only way I know how to function. I don’t function in an environment that keeps me from being able to freely create and express when I need to. Music, Fashion, and Film lets me do all of that and share it with the world. Read more>>

Holly Chiu | Visual Development Artist

I chose to become a visual development artist because I’ve always felt a bond with art, especially with watching animated films and remembering how they made me feel. Every time I would finish watching a Disney or Pixar movie, I’d be constantly moved by how well they can make a story so believable through art, and I want to be a part of that. When people look at my art, I want them to be able to imagine a whole story even through just one image. For me, being an artist means being a good storyteller. Read more>>

Heewon Jeong | Story Artist & Filmmaker

Because I want to tell stories, in the form of art! The strongest memory I have for my childhood is all of my family going to the video store and always borrow the same “Winnie the Pooh” series. Then I, as a child, was always excited and draw all different kinds of pooh, and sometimes the rabbit, who is my favorite. That was my every early memory of art. Kids days went fast and the next chapter of my life was “good girl” who only cares about the grade. Because I wanted to talk too many things to people and I thought that was what smart people do. During Junior-high, I aimed to be the smartest kid in the class and only cared about my grade. And then, boom! On the midterm day in high school freshman year, I just could not walk to school because of the pressure. Read more>>

Eric “E-ROCK” Nagrampa | DJ, Radio Personality, Podcaster, and Entrepreneur

I always had a love for music. Between listening to 70s and 80s funk with my dad in the car to my mom playing songs that made her feel good with big energy, it was always something I appreciated. Back when I was 11 years old, I befriended a group of 3 brothers: LJ, Charlie, and Pete. After befriending the trio, I was always over to hang out and play video games. Little did I know that Charlie was a DJ and always practicing. I started to watch Charlie and soon enough he began to mentor me. From that moment on, I was addicted to the art and life of dj’ing. Knowing that I can play something on the radio, at a club, or even the stadium during a San Francisco 49ers game that give someone happiness is so fulfilling. Read more>>

Adrienne Qasabian | Interior Designer

Nothing else felt as challenging – and therefore as rewarding. Something happens chemically to me when I’m working and using the knowledge and skills I’ve gained over the years to create something new. I don’t really understand it, and the process is so painful sometimes, and I feel like I’m digging into the depths of my soul and brain. There’s always doubt and usually panic, but when it feels right it’s the best feeling in the world. Read more>>

Jarreau Williams | Award-Winning Vocalist, Recording Artist & Entertainer

From an early age, I knew deep down that I had a passion for the arts. As a child, I would watch my favorite movies and TV shows repetitiously until I knew all of the lines and songs. I joined choir early in elementary school and sang my first solo in fourth grade. Singing, acting, and drawing always excited me. I participated in musicals and chorus until my senior year of high school and when I was nominated for a region-wide acting award by my peers, I saw the possibilities to pursue the arts as a career. Read more>>

Tamsyn Martins | Concept and VisDev Artist

I think it’s the only thing I’ve been fully comfortable with all the way from the time I was just a kid. I dabbled in a lot of other things; sports and music, writing as well, but nothing quite stuck like art did. I’d pick up interests and hobbies really quickly but then I’d also lose interest in them just as fast. Read more>>

Janelle Abbott | Artist & Designer

My parents owned a clothing manufacturing company when I was a child. We spent a lot of time at the warehouse where I befriended many of the employees, turned factory debris into a playground with my brother, and explored my entrepreneurial spirit by making little products to attempt to sell to the folks in the front office. My mom allowed me to explore augmenting my own clothing at a young age as well. I would cut two t-shirts in half and sew the different pieces together. pieces back together in new ways. Both the exposure to the labor behind garment production, and the freedom to explore fashion as an art form really informed my path in life, and eventually led me to pursue an education in fashion and ultimately the business I’ve built for myself today. Read more>>

Marshall Wang | Digital Artist/Graphic Designer

I believe there’s a way things are and there’s a way l am. We’re the creations of our time. When l was a kid l found myself enjoy decorating things around me, not just clothes, also my room, toys, stationery, comic books, wallpapers, everything l can reach hands – on. l would put effort into turning all the mundane kinds of stuff a kid has into something special, one of a kind. I did it subconsciously, with the hope that through manipulating, constructing, and building in my own sense, l could make my inner demon satisfied. During that time l starting to realize we all have our own resolution to life — for me, making is the answer to everything. Read more>>

Yolande Carson | Entrepreneur and Hairdresser,

I like to create I suppose. Art was my favorite subject in school. Composition, color, balance …I’m very visual. I started singing and playing guitar when I was young. Was in a rock band in High school, ….I wanted to be a rockstar or actress! But hairdressing chose me I guess. I was good at it and could easily earn a living while playing in a band. Read more>>

Tyler Ashley | Singer & Military

I have always been involved in some form of arts growing up in Nashville. Whether it was church choir, middle school band, or musical theatre in college – I was in it. Singing and performing has been such an important part of my life and I cannot imagine not doing it. Read more>>

Jules de Gasperis | Music producer & mixing engineer

I’ve always been in some kind of artistic environment: my dad was a musician himself, and my mum a theatre actress. Somehow it was difficult to imagine I was going to commit to music after high school, even thought I’ve always had it in my life. So I kept studying, and ended up in business school (HEC Paris). Following that path, I then moved out to Hong Kong to accept a full-time job in retail, and I ended up working 2 years in an office there, keeping music on the side. But after those 2 years, I knew I was done forever with that: I became really depressed and knew I had to go back to the one thing that really inspired me – music. Read more>>

frogi | Artist/Producer/Songwriter

I have always been a creative person, and I’ve always said if I wasn’t in music, I would still be making music. But having a career in the art form I love has definitely impacted my relationship with it. I wasn’t aware of how my relationship with music woudl change when I started out in a band in LA 9 years ago. I just did it because I really loved it, and there was nothing else that felt as unquestionably right. Read more>>

Sergine Garraud | Actress, Model & Writer

I chose to pursue an artistic/creative career because it feeds my soul. Im a free spirit whose been singing and acting since I was a little girl. – My mom was a singer, seeing how she was NEVER scared to perform, inspired me…. A lot. I really enjoy language, music, film, culture, & travel. All things I get to use in my art/career. my imagination runs wild & it’s been that way since I was a child… Read more>>

Jon Huck | Actor & Comedian

I think that, in the beginning, I was really drawn to the idea of not having a “regular” job. The music and comedy I like has always been very anti-establishment – the content for sure, but also the artists themselves. And I idolized them for that. I liked the thought of being able to do things my way, on my terms, in my own time. I’m sure I romanticized being on the road, late nights in bars and making money… so I guess two out of three isn’t bad. The further along I got, however, the more I realized that there was a need for comedy. People need to laugh. Read more>>

Heather Castillo | Marketing Director Livia Piomelli | Director of A&R, Publishing

Heather: I grew up outside of the musically infused city, Austin, Texas. From a young age, I was the one in my friend group ushering us to concerts in the city and encouraging road trips to attend the nearest warped tour or SXSW. Obviously, we never missed a Taking Back Sunday or The Starting Line show. Music was something I’ve always gravitated to. Read more>>

Ro DelleGrazie | Comedian, content creator & mom

I had a lot of different ideas of what I wanted to be as a teenager. Guidance counselors are very encouraging when you tell them you’re going to be The President of The United States. Then you come back a year later and say, I think I’m young to be an actress. They’re like, um yeah… that’s tough. I never landed the serious role, it was always the comedy relief. So around my 21st birthday after being told “You’re more of a character” and “You should try stand up because your not afraid to embarrass yourself in public”. I figured why not try it. I did and I was hooked from the start. Read more>>

Jodenny Smith | Polymer clay earring designer

I’ve always considered myself a very creative soul, and dabbled in a few things creative. From photography, to baking, to cake decorating, you name it. I guess I always wanted to find the one medium that allowed me to turn my creativity into something that not only brought me joy, but was also lucrative. Something that allowed me to earn a living; but that as a newly single mom of two, also allowed me to stay home with my kids while doing so. Read more>>

Ellen Truong | Illustrator

My parents and teachers played a huge role in me becoming a creative. My mom especially loved my scribbles as a kid and for most of my childhood I was doing it for her. When I decided to continue on this path into college I had to relearn how to make art for myself and in that find a cause to create. I realized that art is ever changing, that I don’t have to be just one type of illustrator. This opened a whole new world for me after graduating college. I pursued art because I wanted to see what my scribbles could become. Read more>>

Plat Gamma | Filmmaker & Content Creator

I know for a fact I can’t work for someone else and make their pockets fat. I can’t trade my time for something that won’t benefit me. It doesn’t work for me. I am at my happiest when I can create something from my own head, and compensated properly for it. Took me over a decade to figure this out but that’s what works for me Read more>>

Ashley Fulton | Singer-Songwriter & Producer

For me, there was no other choice. Imagine feeling the gravity of music pulling you so hard that at eleven years old, all you want to do is sit in front of your parents’ iPad and record songs on GarageBand. This was how I got my start as a producer—authentically, almost by accident, and in awe of the discovery of the creative process. I graduated to Logic Pro when I was 13, and have written, produced, and recorded an album a year ever since. I have no particular interest in being heard; rather, my fascination with music comes from the desire to make sense of a complex world—and in structuring my songs like stories, or writing lyrics that reflect the messy patterns of reality, I help piece together my own role in the universe. To be an artist, for me, is to be in constant conversation with the self. Read more>>

Rishabh Thakkar | Filmmaker

As a child, I was good at mathematics and Painting, but as I grew up, I went further away from Mathematics and grew closer to Painting. I guess that was because the education system was such that Mathematics was all about equations, and there was no creativity you could bring to the subject. Now I know there is a lot you can do with the subject, but I never had that exposure back then. Read more>>

Federico Torri | Composer & Music Producer

I often think long and hard about how to answer questions, but this one is quite easy: I just couldn’t do otherwise! When you decide to pursue an artistic and creative career you do it because it’s part of who you are, it’s simply something you need to do. In my case, that’s composing and producing music. Read more>>

Robert X. Golphin | Actor | Filmmaker | Creative | Author

I come from a family of teachers and artists. My mom is one of the best creative and non-fiction writers I know. One of my aunts was a New York based thespian who had many a Broadway callbacks. All of my immediate family have harmonious voices. And I have countless other relatives who sing, act, model, paint, draw, direct, shoot film and video, and produce. Read more>>