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.

JR Taylor | Actor & Creative Director/Choreographer

It pursued me……. A true creative don’t have a choice. There is no “Plan B” Even looking back as a child I have always been artistic and a creative. Being a “Creative” is EVERYTHING to me. Read more>>

Jon-Michael Frank | Artist/Writer

Basically because I couldn’t keep a job and don’t have much workplace morale lol. I was lucky enough that people related to my work and were willing to pay for it, so I just simplified my life and kept my means financially as barebones as when I waited tables. I prefer trying out my heart’s dream life than my fears’. Plus, it’s so sad not to pursue art/creative stuff! Read more>>

Brandon “BeastBoi” Juezan | Movement artist, educator, and cultural practitioner

Creativity is uniquely human. Abstract thought and creating something from nothing is human, and no other life form on Earth is capable of doing that in the same capacity as us. Arts & innovation have the ability to change the way we view the world around us, answering questions we never thought to ask or feel emotions we haven’t felt before. Read more>>

Matthew Smith | Artist & Teacher

I pursued an artistic career because like many artists/creatives, I have been creating art since I can remember. From drawing dinosaurs very early on, to drawing my favorite cartoon, video game, and movie characters growing up, I was always creating, always using my imagination. Looking back, no amount of foresight could have predicted how it would change me. I have learned and grown so much, not only as an artist, but as a human being. Read more>>

H. Burçin Nalinci | Design Engineer

When I think about why I chose to pursue a creative career, I can’t think of a single reason. I rather see a series of opportunities that have led me to question the function and process behind items that surround our built environment. Perhaps, my curiosity for how we can make things differently led me to pursue a creative career. Read more>>

Pepe Hidalgo Ramos | Drummer, Producer & Engineer

Everything in my life has always involved music and it has always been the thing that fulfills my life the most. My mom is a sound engineer, plays guitar, and is very passionate about music, so she was the one who showed me bands like Metallica and Led Zeppelin when I was very young. Read more>>

Melvin Biteng | Actor & Singer-Songwriter & Music Teacher

When I was younger, I simply thought it was fun to sing. I was super into Disney movies, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, and karaoke machines. I didn’t think about it too much. I didn’t even think I had any talent. I just knew I enjoyed music class more than any other subject. When I chose choir class instead of band class in middle school, I started to get a feeling that this was something I wanted to pursue. Read more>>

Phyllis Zimbler Miller | Screenwriter, Playwright, Book Author

I have been a writer as long as I can remember. One summer during high school I wrote a novel — on a manual typewriter! — about children living in the White House. Read more>>

Kyle Kenyon | Writer, Director, Editor

I can’t imagine doing anything other than being creative. I’ve had all types of jobs, ranging from factory work to sports writing, and I only feel really happy with myself when I’m creating something. Read more>>

Mimi Torres | Voiceover artist, actress & producer

I decided to pursue an artistic career because it was the only path that I knew would lead to happiness & fulfilment for me. Performing is the one job I’ve had that has never felt like an obligation or chore. Read more>>

Andrea Daughtry | Singer, Songwriter, Event Curator, Founder of “For The Fem In You®”

From a very young age, I showed interests in music and creative outlets. Starting with piano lessons, choirs, and several types of dance, I can truly say I had a variety of paths to choose from. I was witty and independent, and wanted to do everything by myself and music and dance allowed me to do just that. Read more>>

Kristina Sarro | Singer and Songwriter

From the time I was a toddler, I loved music. It was always something I couldn’t help but do– sing, write, dance, whatever. But for some reason, I always looked at it as a hobby until around the end of high school. My career path before I decided to pursue music as LEGIT to go into the CIA, That always fascinated me. Read more>>

Chris Watson | Dancer/Choreographer & Personal Trainer

I chose to be a professional dancer and choreographer because it has always been something that has been dear to my heart. I can think all the way to back when I was 5 years old, and my parents were always telling me to go out in large groups of people and show my talent. Read more>>

Kimberley Cornell | Artist and Illustrator

I decided to pursue a career in the arts, because art is something that I have been passionate about for most of my life. I couldn’t picture myself following another path. I have a love for all the arts and the different avenues of expression that they provide. I really enjoy imagining worlds and scenarios in my head, then creating it with my hands. I appreciate that it is a way for me to use my brain, use certain tools, and connect with others. Read more>>

Giselle Torres | Singer/songwriter & actress

I grew up in the world of musical theatre thanks to my mom, so it was basically a part of me growing up. I always knew that my passion was being in the entertainment world and performing. Something that I have always admired of what I do is the way you can cause an impact and make people feel something. I’ve always said if one person can connect with my music or performance of some sort, then for me that is enough. Read more>>

Amber Souza | Owner of Kuahiwi Designs

Growing up, I loved all things art. A huge romantic, I was enraptured by any craft of expression. In 3rd grade, I was reciting sonnets by Pablo Neruda. In middle school, I learned guitar and alto saxaphone on top of years of classical piano. In high school, Senator Jill Tokuda hung one of my stippling projects from art class in her office. I prided myself in my creativity and free spirit and was so set on pursuing an artistic career. Read more>>

Aston Fenly | Recording Artist

As a little kid I used to invite the neighbors over to come see me, myself and I, at the “Circus”. When I was about 8 years old I started acting professionally and later in my teenage years I got really into music. So I just never left it behind, I guess. I hated school, but loved to create. Read more>>

Gabriela Diaz | Makeup Artist & Educator

It was at school that I felt inventive. I loved to work with my hands. I dabbled into ceramics, painting, drawing, and stained glass. In the summers I joined sewing classes and piano lessons. It’s kind of funny how I got into makeup because I didn’t grow up with any females, except for my mother who till this day doesn’t wear a single drop of makeup. I remember cutting out pictures from Avon catalogs and magazines I collected. Read more>>

Lauren Bruniges | Actor & President of a Theatre Company

For me, it was never a choice. I’ve always been artistic, creative, and searching for the next way to express myself and find creative outlets – even in mundane roles along the way, and even during the pandemic. I knew early on that I needed creativity in my life, so no matter what my day jobs have been, I found the room to be artistic and relentlessly pursued art always. Read more>>

David Davis | Singer/Songwriter

I chose to pursue an artistic career because I believe art helps us cope, transcend the normal, and activate our imagination. Creating art allows me to see the magic in the mundane. It’s helps me to see all the possibilities in life, even outside of music. Getting to practice this on a daily basis brings me great joy. Read more>>

Jenny Sheffer Stevens | Teaching Artist: Yoga for the Creative Life

As far back as I can remember, I had two dreams: to be some kind of artist…and a great athlete. But early on, I proved myself talent-free in the sports department. I was such an offbeat kid—gawky and uncoordinated, always lost in daydreams, highly imaginative, but also very high-strung. Read more>>

JD McGibney | Film Producer & Musician

I found a deep connection with music when I was a teenager. Like most people, going through adolescence can be confusing and tough. Listening to and creating music gave me a way to channel all the angst, the difficult emotions, and what I would later come to identify as anxiety, into a healthy and creative medium. Read more>>

César Carmona | Actor, Graphic Designer & Teaching Artist

I honestly feel like I had no choice in the matter, as a kid I always chose creative outlets like drawing and writing, constantly reading sci-fi books and comics only added to it, if you throw in a dash of reclusivness you get yourself an artist that lives completely in their head!. Read more>>

Theresa Bateman | Comedian, Writer & Filmmaker

I always knew I wanted to be in entertainment. From the time I was little, I was always singing and putting on shows for my parents and started doing theater in school. From there, it just kind of transitioned naturally depending on what I was going through. I eventually started getting into filmmaking, Read more>>

Trene Todd | Freelance Writer | Content Creator | Blogger

My creative career all started as a child. I always imagined myself interviewing celebrities, I was obsessed with collecting media magazines and reading up on celebrities. I also loved writing. I remember writing stories in elementary school and reading them to my friends and family. I joined journalism clubs in school as well as the newspaper club. Read more>>

Santhosh Koneru | CG Generalist \ Lead Multimedia Artist

Simply because it’s fun. It makes me happy and at the same time makes others happy as well. Read more>>

Troy Morgan | Artist/Filmmaker

Cardboard, tape, scissors, and clay were my favorite toys as a kid, and drawing allowed me to go anywhere I wanted or be anybody I wanted to be. I would get lost for hours in my drawings, just crawling around my imagination while the rest of the world faded away. Making fantasies became a crucial way for me to process everything around me and be in touch with my own feelings. And collaborating on creative projects was how I made friends Read more>>

Ellis J. Sutton | Filmmaker & Producer

Some days I ask myself the same question. It’s very easy to scoff at those who pursue artistic or creative careers as not serious, but entertainment has just as much value to society as any other profession. It took me a while to realize that and take my own career path seriously, but I’m happy I did. Read more>>

Ty Donati | Rapper

I pursued an Artistic/Creative career because growing up I was influenced a lot by the men of my family, who were creatively making their own businesses & becoming an artist as well. Respectively, watching them while I was growing up had a major impact on the career I’ve chosen. It awoken my talents and showed me how creative my mind is. Read more>>

Cole Ashlynn Wells | Actor, Makeup Artist, Producer

I initially started out in the entertainment industry at a very young age. All of my extracurriculars were artistic and so were my hobbies. For a long time, it felt like I had sort of fallen into the path of a creative career and I never really thought twice about it. Neither of my parents had/have creative careers so I’ve had to figure it out on my own. Read more>>

Brandon Bjornson | Composer & Producer

I chose to pursue a career in music composition and production, because this is where I find my greatest passion. I knew that if I didn’t, then the artistic voice inside me would cease to exist, and god knows that happened to too many people over the years who’ve given up on their dreams. I also knew this career path wouldn’t be easy, and it hasn’t been, especially through Covid. Read more>>

Lindsay Scanlan | Animator & Story Artist

Because I discovered, at a young age, the next best thing from eating crayons was making pictures with them. I spent most of my preschool days drawing scribbled marker circles, claiming they were dogs, and getting praise from my teachers. Then I spent elementary school drawing dogs AND cats on the margins of my paper, getting ire from teachers and students alike for not paying enough attention, Read more>>

JR Ritcherson | Actor/Performer/Host/VO Artist/On-Camera Personality/Model

To overcome my shyness, get outside of my comfort zone, to be seen., plus I didn’t want to get a “real” job haha. Who doesn’t love the idea of playing dress up and stepping into someone else shoes for awhile. I believe entertainment is vital to the world. People use entertainment as a means to relax and escape and I am happy to give that to them. Being able to express myself through art and being creative is the ultimate release and seeing the joy and happiness on peoples faces is the ultimate reward. Read more>>

Tal Shachar | Singer & Songwriter

Since I was young music was a big part of my life. When I was about 16 I started writing songs and playing the guitar and singing.
I just knew right away that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Read more>>

Young Waldo | Musician / Model

Honestly, I feel I like was naturally gifted with the ability to write music and it always gave me feelings of happiness & fulfillment like no other! I always had a niche for writing detailed stories in school and that later translated to writing detailed stories in my music, creating songs and feelings in people that I’ve never thought would be possible. Seeing my music touch others emotionally and so deeply only inspired me to want to keep making music and be an artist for a living. Read more>>

Rica Dee | Artist & Holistic Esthetician

I pursued a creative career due to constantly being criticized for doodling in class, and eventually sketching at my 9 to 5’s. Creating art, whether drawing, sculpting, or new product ideas, has always taken priority over holding a “normal” job. I have never been able to sustain a job that was only about the money. So why not create, create, create! Read more>>

Mark Cross | Musician/Producer

I’ve always loved entertaining, writing, making new friends and bringing people together. Music has always been a way for me to fulfill those aspects of my life. I was an outgoing but shy, nerdy kid growing up. I’d write short stories, perform in elementary school plays and write silly songs. Read more>>

DJ KZA | Turntablist, Streamer

I pursued a creative career in order to be the exception in my family, plus its a strong passion. Growing up filipino, it is natural for us filipinos to be pressured into going into the medical field or joining the military such as the navy. I was blessed enough to have very supportive parents to support for my creative endeavors. Read more>>

Bill Taylor | WB Taylor Fine Art

I’ve always had an interest in the Arts. When I was in 3rd grade, I won 2nd place in an art contest at school. As a young child being recognized for something that came natural to me and that I enjoyed doing was the best feeling. In my teens I became a bit more serious about painting, illustration, and created my first logo design. I went on to study Fine Art and Illustration at California State University Long Beach and Art Center College of Design. Read more>>

Autumn Breon | Curator & Creative Director

Although I’m no longer an engineer by trade, I still practice the principles that I learned as an engineer. In fluid dynamics, a conduit facilitates the passage of a gas or liquid between entities within a system. I facilitate the passage of ideas by intentionally collaborating both locally and globally through arts and culture. Read more>>

Domenique Fragale | Actress

DOMENIQUE is in an UK and US Citizen actress, Executive Producer at DBK Studios X Sky Arts, BBC Radio Presenter, Diana Award Holder, MQ Mental Health Advocate and the current reigning Deputy Miss England – at Miss World. Read more>>

Lisa Danaë | Filipino-American Pop Artist, Songwriter, and Sound Scrub Podcast Host

My love for music and the arts started at a really young age. My parents constantly played music from different genres and decades throughout the house such as The Commodores, Queen, Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Mariah Carey, and many more. A lot of my extracurricular activities were in the arts like musical theatre, dance, painting, violin, piano, etc. Read more>>

Jeremy Williams | Producer

I got my first camera when I was 8 years old. It was a JVC S-VHS camera that my mom purchased for my dad for Father’s Day. My dad unwrapped the gift and I immediately commandeered the camera and took it outside to film stop motion videos with my Star Wars action figures. It was my first time editing as well. I would shoot a second of footage and use the VTR function to reduce the amount of frames for each shot and then cue the recorder to capture the next frame. I instantly fell in love with the entire process. Read more>>

Celine Chai | Co-Founder of NinetyEight & Movement Artist

The creative industry and performing arts has been a part of my life for as along as I can remember. 5 years ago, I moved out to LA to attend Loyola Marymount University as a dance and marketing double major. I was interested in pursuing a career in modern/contemporary dance, however due to a combination of injuries, changes in long-term goals, and COVID, I dove head first into the advertising world and never looked back. Read more>>