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.

Carla Bonilla | Licensed Esthetician

I actually have a background in musical theater. When I realized that wasn’t quite for me, I knew that I needed to stay in a field where I could continue to be creative in some way as well as bring smiles to peoples faces. I began working as a makeup artist and I absolutely loved it! Being able to make people feel as beautiful on the outside as they feel on the inside truly brightened my own outlook on life. I decided to go to esthetician school shortly after as a back up plan. I wanted to have the technical training in sanitation and the anatomy of the skin to help further my career as a makeup artist. 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.

Livia: My musical journey started at the early age of four when my parents signed me up for piano lessons. I realized that singing helped me absorb my lessons better and through that integration my family discovered my ability to sing. My focus quickly transitioned to vocal lessons and I started to participate in local singing competitions which I often won. Read More>>

Davincii Productions | Music Producer

For the longest time I simply wanted to be an intelligent person with a six figure job. This decision wasn’t making me happy. I realized I only ever felt happy in a creative setting, which in this case was music. Music set me free. Music was the only time I could be myself without any judgement. Being creative is as close as I can get to figuring out my purpose in life, my purpose on this earth, this universe even. A creative career, to me, is making a living off of what your mind is like. We all have different mediums that we can channel our creativity through. Ultimately, this creativity stems from the mind, and even the heart as well. Not everyone will understand your art. Not everyone will resonate with your craft and how you put it out there, if you choose to. One thing for sure is that If you put your all into whatever it is you wish to create, it will carry itself with the same energy you committed. Read more>>

London Cooper | Creator

I think many people spend a great deal of time wondering what their passion is. Others find it naturally. I believe finding your passion can not be found in your head, but found deep within your soul and heart. DIY projects have always been therapeutic for me. It wasn’t until I was at a low point in life. I was unhappy, unsatisfied with myself and feeling like there was more I wanted to do. I was tired of having fear and doubting myself. In 2019 a friend and I started a luxury curated picnic business. Read more>>

Bernie Aniciete, Rodrigo Rodrigo, Zane Kupper | Filmmakers, Writers, Entrepreneurs

We pursue an artistic and creative career because we have to. Too many people let the creative part of them atrophy, and at one point each of the three of us has been there. We all served in the military (different times and branches) but each of us buried our creativity with responsibility, and looked at it as a frivolous waste of time. Read more>>

Abel Horwitz | Owner and Host, Serial Killer Speed Dating

I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I fully understood there was a place called “Hollywood”, but the notion of being able to have a career there simply didn’t make sense to me. As far as I could understand, you were either born into it or you weren’t, and I wasn’t. I was part of the theater program in high school, I got a degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Mexico, but after that I was simply left to scratch my head and ask, “What comes next?” Read more>>

Tuânminh Albert Ð? | Multi-Disciplinary International Artist

Art and creativity are the two things that have been able to give me purpose and peace. They are the fundamental aspects of humanity. They teach us to listen, reflect, celebrate and aim for change. They are the embodiment of a very important human experience: hope. Hope for validation, the disturbance of injustice, for love, for complexity and simplicity. In doing so, it frees us from artificial boundaries set forth in the past by fear and ignorance, and in turn brings joy and healing. That is what I want to do in my life. Bring more hope. Read more>>

Jeremy Folk | Photographer

I was never really an artistic person growing up. Math and science were always my strong subjects. I focused in the areas that would lead to a more stable career path, because that was my point of reference as a kid. My first real exposure to a creative field wasn’t until high school, when I begrudgingly took a photography class to satisfy my art requirement. Out of the options I had, photography seemed the least painful. (This was back in the ancient days of film and darkrooms.) But, as it turns out, this high school photography class really started it all. I began to understand the feeling of creating something. Especially something unique, from my own vision. Read more>>

Nicole Havekost | Artist

There wasn’t anything that I loved more than art. Making stuff was when I felt most myself. I knew I was a skilled technician when I went to art school, but I didn’t know I was an artist until I made it through my freshman year. There were all these tools, materials and ideas I had never encountered. For every assignment, each student in my class had an original, individual take and I couldn’t believe the variety and talent. I realized I had an artistic voice, and I had amazing teachers who encouraged me to explore it. I found a home with my people in the arts. Read more>>

Dev!n | Singer & Songwriter

I began my journey into the entertainment industry at a young age by training in Musical Theatre as early as 3rd grade. After getting a few shows under my belt, I was awarded the opportunity to tour with “Sonny La Rosa & America’s Youngest Jazz Band” where we toured the country as a Jazz/Big Band ensemble of musicians between the ages of 9-14 yr. old; opening for artists such as Chaka Khan, Dionne Warwick, Nancy Wilson, Roberta Flack and Al Jarreau. Read more>>

Tami Terrell | Actor. Producer. Possibilitarian.

I know this has been said thousands of times, but I pursue an artistic career because it is literally ALL I see myself doing. I have tried to see myself doing something else with the same amount of passion and ’til this day, I haven’t come up with anything else. Pursuing something artistic allows me to tap into my child-like side and use my imagination. We don’t realize how much we lose that as we grow further into adulthood, using our brains only to think logically rather than creatively. I like how this makes me feel because it lets me know that the possibilities are endless. It’s activates my super powers. Read more>>

Collin Dewell | Artist

When I was 20, I had thyroid cancer. As a college baseball player, I had dreams of the diamond, but life had other plans. I woke up with a migraine from surgery and spent the next 6 years struggling with that aspect of my life. It wasn’t until I picked up my mom’s camera one day that I started to rediscover joy in life. I shot and shot some more. I began to do art shows and custom print requests. Eventually, I wanted a new challenge. So I made a hge investment at the time into some water housing for my camera. I went and shot in the ocean every day for a year straight. Now it is pure joy. Some things are a blessing in disguide. These days, I’m working on scaling the wonderful qualities of the ocean into artwork to as many people as possible, as organically as possible. Read more>>

ZOOK! | Artist

I want to proof myself and improve self worth. let people who support me feel proud. Read more>>

Ida Hem | Character Designer

Growing up I had a table filled with what felt like an endless amount of playdoh, and on this table, I would sculpt large cities and jungles. I would fill them with characters and pokemon figures, each with their own personalities– I would create stories and get lost in that world. When I got older, around age 9, the first manga got released in Norway (where I am from). It was Ranma 1/2, and my mom bought it for me, thinking it was just a normal Donald duck type of comic. But for me, it turned into so much more. Read more>>

Ekaterina Behor | Movie and Video Producer; Filmmaker

For me producing and filmmaking was a dream from an early age. My family told me that it is not a stable job and I have to consider other jobs as my main profession. No one from my close people worked in arts; they didn’t consider the movie industry as a business. I knew that you can get a name and earn money in this industry, especially in Los Angeles. I made a decision to move because the world of cinema was an unknown magical world that creates a project that makes others happy and let them forget about their problems and fears, recharge, and get inspired. Read more>>

João Vieira | Filmmaker & Photographer

This question reminds me of my college professor John Gianvito, whose most recent feature Her Socialist Smile (2020) I recently saw in theatres. “Why do you film?” – He would ask his students at the senior seminar Personal Filmmaking. Where does the urge come from? At the time, I didn’t care much for those types of existentialist assignments. I was more preoccupied in editing two films and put together a photo show for two different thesis projects. However now, after living in LA during the height of the global pandemic, I feel like I can finally answer his last assignment with complete honesty. Read more>>

Laura Lahti | Production Designer & Art Director

I think every job is creative and artistic in its own way. Beauty and art can be found in the way someone plans a spreadsheet, loads a truck, steams a shirt, writes an email, sells an item. My specific pursuit of a creative career in art direction started in high school. Growing up, I loved doing arts and crafts, reading books, watching television. I also hated TV commercials. Read more>>

Talk2Strangers | Singer/Songwriter/Musician

I pursue music because it’s what I was born to do. It’s that deeper calling that lies underneath the surface of everything I am. We all got gifts; some of us are more attuned to what they are & how to use them, but we all have something to share that comes from our unique experiences — I am just thankful that I even understand what my gifts are–. Read more>>

Shelby Saarinen | Apparel Creator & Marketing Professional

More than ever, it’s so important to have a hobby or activity that allows you to disconnect from reality and offer an opportunity to clear your mind and relax. For me, that is through creating! To be honest, I did not originally plan to start a “t-shirt business”. I was planning a marketing consulting business that would offer logo creation, business cards, brochure layouts, and other services like social media marketing. I have a marketing background and I love designing brochures and writing content. But, one day I was working on a few designs and had an idea for a decal for my wonderful state of Montana. What I thought would be a cool sticker, or something, turned into a hot, new t-shirt. That t-shirt then grew to sweatshirts and tank tops, which then grew to more designs and even other small businesses asking for custom apparel. Through offering custom shirts and creating other, new, custom designs, I came to the realization that designing and pressing shirts was my little stress reliever and getaway. Read more>>

Ami Takashima | Professional Dancer

It’s because there’s no “Right” answer when it’s become to art. Art is free and something you can express yourself. The real you. So I just don’t stop being myself and create when I feel like to 🙂 Even though it’s coming from dark energy, I think it’s still beautiful if that Art is coming from your honestly feelings!
I always make sure that whatever I create is coming from my soul so I can really be in love with my Art and also when it’s coming from right place, you don’t care what people think about your Art. Read more>>

Loris Anne Jones | Actor, Food Content Creator

The arts is something that chose me. I was always interested in music, dancing, singing, any artistic expression, I welcomed it. It wasn’t until college that I allowed other people to dictate what happiness and success would look like for me, and the idea of an artistic career seemed unattainable. I was lost, overeducated and missing the spark that being creative ignites. I thought I had found my passion in food and wine, rekindling an ancestral path, and creativity was just a hobby. It was when I least expected, that the opportunity to join the most prestigious entertainment union walked into my job, literally. Read more>>

Ari Johnson | Filmmaker, Actor, & Podcast Host

I think when I was younger, I recognized that I felt most at home in creative spaces, and of course the idea of a creative career was fun and fulfilling. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve grown to appreciate the value of creativity and the impact that art has on society. I used to joke that I didn’t have a “real job” because the work I was doing was fun and didn’t save lives. And that’s true – I’m not saving lives (and shout out to the doctors, nurses, teachers, and essential workers who literally are). But television and movies make people feel seen and heard, expands their ideas of what’s possible, and can make them feel less alone. To me, that feels like a worthwhile way to spend my time. Not to mention, I know I’m happiest working on a creative project. The more I create, the more grateful I am that I have my projects to keep me grounded, connected, and fulfilled. Read more>>

Lina Cooper | Songwriter, artist, producer

I get this question a lot. And to be honest, in my case, I feel like I didn’t have a choice. Since the first time I wrote a song (around 8-9 years old) I knew that I would keep on doing it. Ever since then it’s been a long, incredible, never ending, sometimes hard journey. Nothing ever brought me as much joy as creating music, seeing people relate to it, telling my stories to the whole world. Nothing can imitate this feeling. I would never exchange it for any other career. Read more>>

Bria Leon | Singer/Songwriter

I pursued a career in the artistic field because I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. Have you ever been a job or an environment and you realized that it just wasn’t the place for you? I realized that being a creative brings me so much peace and happiness I am in my element when I am making music or creating a look for a photo shoot. Music and fashion have always been my voice when I felt I couldn’t express myself fully or i felt silent in a crowded place. When people here me sing or see me walking down the runway in a “fly” outfit they are like wow I love her vibe. Another reason why I choose to pursue a career in the artistic/creative is to share my truth and my story with the world in a way that I feel is relatable. I creating projects that show anything is possible. Read more>>

Dylan Thai | Producer, Creative, & Actor

Growing up, I always gravitated to a pen or pencil and was usually more fascinated with anything visually appealing than being interested in sports, science, and numbers. I am the oddball in my family and stray away from my parent’s wishes of having some kind of computer science or doctor’s degree like my two older sisters who are both Pharmacists. However, I comprised with my parents and obtained an Associates’ degree in Information Systems at Montgomery College, and a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising at Stevenson University. Read more>>

HEY DONNIE! | Artist

My uncle 100Grandman was a big Baltimore rapper and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. Eventually, I found my footing and now create the sound that I like and dive into posivitiity. Read more>>

Josh McNair | Content Creator @ CaliforniaThroughMyLens.com

I have always been interested in creative mediums, be that music, painting, photography, and videography. I think there is something beautiful about creating something that connects with people and potentially inspires them or creates an emotional response. With my travel site, I have always focused on showing an experience and encouraging others to have it for themselves. I never wanted my site to be a “look at me” type thing, as I wanted the pieces I created to inspire people to live their lives to the fullest and explore the places that are beautiful all around them. The medium of photography is great for that. It can capture a place in a way that other avenues cannot, and it is something I still love to this day, even 10 years after starting my business. Read more>>

Paige Leneigh | Fashion Designer, Stylist, Model , Content Creator

Ever since I was a young girl I knew I wanted to pursue a creative career and lifestyle. I recall writing a response on my school paper to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I filled it in with dancer, singer or fashion designer. As I started to get older, I paid more and more attention to my grandmother, Joan Robinson, who was a seamstress. Between my grandma, watching countless episodes of Project Runway and falling in love with fashion everyday, I decided to start my own brand. At the age of 13, I sold custom scarves, jeans and crocheted head wraps. I had a lightbulb moment when I made my first $100 at a Christmas bazaar. I figured wow I can do what I love, make other people happy and make profit while doing it? I want to do this for the rest of my life! Since that day I have had a clear dream and stuck to it to pursue my dream career. Read more>>

Hannah Lee | Metalsmith

The idea of an artistic career, the ability to financially support myself with it, and the embodiment of my happiness- it only continues to build upon itself, and I’m living proof that anyone can do it. None of this happened over night, by the way. I originally worked in retail jobs to support myself as I took up very basic metalsmithing techniques throughout some high school and college. I obtained my first sale in 2015 when a friend advised me to sell my handmade items on the internet. Those photos were nothing to brag about, but my lack of photography skills ultimately led my business to where it’s at today. Read more>>

Jorge Salmay | Music Composer for Media

I actually started studying business before even thinking about studying music composition, but everything felt wrong. Everyone around me could tell I should be doing music and deep down I knew what I had to do, so I switched to Music Composition. So, the main reason I pursued music is pretty simple, it’s everything to me, it fulfills me, it’s all I want to do! Read more>>

Gage Newman | Recording artist

I pursued an Artistic creative career because it helps me document all the awesome stuff that happens to me in music form you are either born a creative or youre not for those of us who are there is this inner voice that guides us and motivates us its like we are the spokes people for a generations and telling our stories help motivate the next person to live out there’s i always say i paint audio pictures so when u play my songs whenever you get from that will help you get through life Read more>>

Maria Paula Ahumada | Dance Activist and Instructor

My Goodbye Letter to School I always knew i was going to be an educator, always. Since a young age everyone use to ask me “Maria Paula que quieres ser cuando seas grande?” and I would respond, “I want to be a teacher when I grow up”. My answer never changed even though so many people tried to discourage me from teaching literature. It was not until I decided I wanted to become a University professor that everyone was cheering me on, but then I realized that was not what I wanted for myself. I did not realize, that every time, I was getting just a little bit closer to what my heart really wanted which was to teach dance. This year is the first time in 19 years that I will not have a first day of school. Read more>>

BKAY | DJ & Producer

I’ve always had a passion for electronic dance music ever since I was a little kid. Mainly listening to trance music from the 2000s by artists such as Armin Van Buren, Paul Van Dyk, Dash Berlin, and Above & Beyond. I remember sitting in my room listening to it for hours. I loved the feeling it brought me. I gave DJing a shot when I was 12, I was terrible, but I was happy I was doing something related to music, and then one day in 2012 I saw Tomorrowland for the first time, and it BLEW MY MIND. I couldn’t believe it; one DJ was performing for that big of a crowd! I wanted to be that. I asked myself, “What would it take to be me on that stage.” Read more>>

Ori Levi | Visual Artist

I’ve always been a creative person, at a young age I would set up my toys in weird compositions and take my parents camera to take the oddest pictures. my grandfather was an artist, my mother is an artist, I think it just runs in the family. it’s what I was meant to do. Read more>>

Dev O’Reilly | Illustrator & Graphic Designer

In a sense, pursuing an artistic career didn’t really feel like a choice to me. I’ve loved drawing since I was a kid, and I wanted to be an artist so badly when I grew up. Unfortunately, I got discouraged as time went on and didn’t think it would be possible to make a living off art. From junior high to the beginning of college I gave up art almost entirely, except for doodling in my notebooks. Read more>>

Bri Jolie | Singer & Creative

Growing up my mom let me explore a lot of different things. I had been involved in everything from Tae-Kwon-Do to Pottery. I attended an audition at 6 years old, my first time singing from sheet music and first time memorizing a monologue…I did my first play and never looked back. I performed pretty much my whole young adult life then in college I studied choral music and was involved in a dance organization on campus, but my focus was mainly on a “real” job. I majored in Mass Communications and my goal was mainly securing a job in that industry and I lost sight of my passion. Read more>>

Esteban Allard-Valdivieso | Fiestaban Photography

In 2005, I started assisting a photographer-friend with photo shoots just out of curiosity. I would bring a little point-and-shoot or a disposable camera and take behind-the-scene shots on these outdoor shoots. I was told that I had a good eye for composition and he sold me my first DSLR in 2006. I started practicing taking pictures of my friends and got into the habit of bringing it everywhere I went. Up until that point, I had been writing short stories and poetry, but suddenly there was this new medium that I felt really drawn to. Read more>>

Antoinette Marie Bristol | Muralist

I chose to become a muralist because it is a unique career. I believe I offer a different style of art, fair pricing, and I love to give back to the community as much as I can. Being a muralist gives me the opportunity to do what I love, while making a difference in town. Read more>>

Lethabo Mokgatle | Film Director and Producer

I started in an art school in South Africa called the National School of Arts. I majored in 2-dimensional design art and I wanted to have my own art gallery because I have always been in love with galleries and my craft at the time. However, that all changed when my school brought an alumnus who was working as a film and television director in South Africa. I started getting interested in the insights he was giving us about his experience as a director, I immediately knew that this was the industry for me. I knew then that I could combine my art with motion pictures and make meaningful stories that were untold stories from “Africa”. Read more>>

Mitch Bradford | Singer-Songwriter

I pursued an artistic career because I think art makes life more meaningful. It’s like that T.S. Eliot quote where he says art is that which makes life livable. I like that. Read more>>