Artists and creatives face innumerable challenges given that their career path often doesn’t come with a playbook, a steady paycheck or any form of safety net. It’s definitely not easy and so we asked a few of the artists and creatives we admire to talk to us about why they chose to pursue an artistic or creative career

Candace Wakefield | Singer/songwriter

I chose an artistic career because its the best way to connect with people. As a singer/songwriter, I have the opportunity to be the voice of the people. I also have the opportunity to release happiness, frustration, love, hurt, and many other emotions through music. So many people heal through songs and music gets many of us through our days. I love to create my music around life experiences. Read more>>

Mariela I’V (also known as DJ I’V LOVE) |
Actress, Model, DJ, Artist & Producer

I am natural born artist since I was born. Through out my childhood to a adult I have always had a love for the Arts and Theatre. I have taken classes in Art and Theatre which benefited me to master my natural act and artistic talent. I was the only one in my family that wanted to be a actress, my mother put me in modelling since I was 12 she didn’t have much of a liking for acting. DJ’ing was a side fun hobby for me but I do have a love for music as this is a part of me and have pursued this avenue professionally.
I have always have had a business side to me. I started my own production since I was 22 producing events, tours, photo shoots and film showcasing my own talent as well. I also have my own product that I have developed and designed that will be launched this year. In spare time now a days I work on my painting, but I a multi talented even though this is a hobby I have gotten exposure for my art work. Currently I am completing my self portrait series “Color Quest”. Overall I am creator and inventor. Read more>>

Quan The Poet | Poet, Spoken Word Artist, Designer

I pursued a career as an artist because I have always been someone who feels my emotions very deeply. I believe that all forms of art such as music, poetry, painting, dancing, etc. can really help people heal and look inward at themselves. My goal is to use my poetry and art to encourage people to live in their truth and be their most authentic selves. Read more>>

Chris Lukather | Writer & Graphic Designer

I’ve always drawn, sketched and doodled. My note taking in grammar school was page after page of drawings, with a few words scattered here and there. I even drew the words. My dad was an artist. I inherited some of his talent. After high school I had no real direction. My mom encouraged me to apply to California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. I was accepted to the Graphic Design program. I later transferred to the Fine Arts program, while still taking courses in graphic design, as well as film, writing and music. It was a grand education in the arts. After CalArts I worked in publishing, as an art director and graphic designer — magazines mostly. I also attended private classes in short story writing. The woman who taught the class published a poetry journal called, POOL. She asked me to be the art director for the annual print publication. I designed the website as well. In 2010, I started a quarterly literary journal, The Writing Disorder – writingdisorder.com. It’s an online publication featuring new fiction, poetry, nonfiction and art. We have a small staff of editors. Read more>>

Dean Singleton | Cinematographer & Editor

I don’t think I saw it that way to begin with. I just new I had a passion for capturing moments. I grew up really looking up to my friends, just in way they lived life & then found myself going places with them that I really wanted to remember. Eventually that led to me getting to travel & capture those moments, while meeting new people all over the world. That is one hundred percent what drives my creative force – a new experience. It doesn’t feel like I’ve worked a day in my life, given the variety of the things I’ve been fortunate enough to do. Read more>>

Casey Astorino | ASTRINA | Singer-Songwriter and Producer

I started writing music when I was very young, but until I decided to study music in college, it was always something I did for myself. Writing music was my escape from reality – it was what I did when the world felt like too much. The type of art that inspires me has an intangible allure, as though it brings forth an unseen force of nature. A painting that catches your eye with such intensity that you can’t look away, a dancer who is so graceful and fluid that their movements seem supernatural, a film that draws an audience completely into its imagined reality, a piece of music that fills the air and feeds your soul, bringing about inexplicable physical sensations. Those feelings are what I live for. There is nothing more beautiful in the world to me than the spiritual realm that art can live in, and that realm is where I go when I write music. Read more>>

Jinyoung Sung | Set Designer & Production Designer

Stages (Spaces), which are made up differently each time with diverse stories, always seemed mysterious to me. It’s because the idea of creating a whole new world is such a powerful notion to think about. Just thinking about actualizing a place in my head with my own unique sense of reality and aesthetics always makes my heart beat. Therefore, I always pursue my creative career as a set designer and try to design more creative and interesting spaces. I enjoy the moment when I make something new and something interesting to people (the audience). When I see people have different emotions through my design and enjoy having new experiences that they have never had before, I feel I’m doing something meaningful and I get more energy from this moment. This energy makes me keep trying to make more creative works. Read more>>

Dana Rexx | Singer, Songwriter, Artist

For me being an artist is not a choice. Being a singer and creator is something that I thrive on and it also enables me to reach out to my fans and help them through hard times, just like music helped me through life’s ups and downs so far. I survived a traumatic loss at a very young age, and I moved around a lot with my parents as a child and had to change schools and environments regularly, so I found myself rarely fitting in. I turned to music to find a place where I could belong and overcome, and at one point I realised I didn’t want to fit into the norm at all, there’s nothing special about being like everyone else. In my adult life I had a good office job and I even built my own successful consulting business from scratch, but working on other people’s dreams just doesn’t give me the joy and fulfilment I feel when I am creating or touching lives from the stage, which is much more organic and real than anything else. Read more>>

Kelly Schirmann | Poet & Ceramicist

I’m not sure I ever considered an art-centric life to be a career choice, or even something I actively chose to pursue. When I was a kid I told people I wanted to be an artist when I grew up; I was always drawing, singing, writing, sculpting–always getting pleasurably lost in the act of making things. But looking back I think my path represents less of a concrete decision and more of a slow, intuitive drift. Art, to me, was the thing I did in my free time, for its own sake. I knew that artists existed, but I never imagined that they were paid for their work in the same way that doctors and engineers were paid–I thought it was just something they did because they couldn’t help themselves. In hindsight, this probably saved me from having the bubble of my own creativity punctured by ideas of revenue or popularity–I could just follow my own instincts with no regard to what would catch on. The best way I can explain it is that I kept on carving out time for the thing I loved most, which was making things, and that one day I woke up inside a life that was being sustained by this making. I feel very lucky and very grateful to be where I am today, however mystified I am by the slow process of its unfolding. Read more>>

Shaun Rylee | Actress, Screenwriter & Filmmaker

Creativity has always been central in my life. When I was younger, I was a ballerina and a perfectionist. I also took to drawing, making things from different mediums, writing, escaping into books to learn as much as possible about anything and everything, recording fake radio shows in my bedroom and acting in music videos and films I made at home. I was always creating but in the process, I learned to let go of the perfectionism and fall into flowing with the creative sparks and the process of it all. That’s really the exciting part, making something and enjoying everything that goes into it. That’s what fulfills my soul and that’s what pushes me to reach every personal milestone with my art that I can. Read more>>

Andrew Valenzuela | Graphic Designer & Photo Editor

I have always loved and enjoyed creating art. Whether through performing or with the use of technology. The best careers, I think, are centered around someone’s passions. If you truly love what you’re doing, success and fulfillment will alway come. Read more>>

Heather Kipp | Actress, Voice Over Artist & Cosplayer

As early as I can remember, I knew I always wanted to pursue the performing arts. I cannot imagine my life without being able to create as much art as humanly possible; it’s always been a passion of mine. For me, it was never a question of “Should I pursue my art?” but “How?” and “When?” I also really love being able to have a positive impact on others through my work. I feel like I am able to express the multiple facets of myself through many different types of creative work. I’m hoping that the people who are watching what I’m creating enjoy it, relate to it and/or are inspired by it. Read more>>