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.

Sebastian Moya | Writer

It was a certain impulse that could no longer be ignored. I enjoy talking to people about knowing from a young age that they knew there was a creative calling in them. Most of my creative friends have a memory from a young age that they can call upon. For years I tried to suppress or bargain with this creative calling. It became futile to ignore how much it was paining me not to do what I love. If I could give advice to anyone interested in an artistic career, I would say the quicker you accept your calling the better. It gives you more time to figure out how you are going to make it work, instead of stressing out about “will I, won’t I.” Just start! Ignoring the urge to do it just makes it harder on you in the long run. Read more>>

Fabrice Sapolsky | Comic Book Creator & Immigrantrepreneur

I guess I just couldn’t escape it (laughs). My mother tried to discourage me. She almost succeeded. But there was too much desire for me to express myself. It was impossible to contain it. I tried, though. I studied History in college, but I knew it was not my thing. I have a degree. My family’s happy. But I knew early on this wasn’t going to be my life. I started drawing as soon as I could. I was writing stories at a very young age. They were kids stories, of course, they weren’t that interesting, but I always had that in me. Read more>>

Aparajit C | Music Artist – Actor – Songwriter

Since I was a child being born in India, I’ve been told what to do and how to act, please the society always. No matter what, don’t have a life of your own. Live beneath others cause that’s how you respect the customs. Don’t even try to break these chains that hold you back. Never encouraged to be creative by my parents. Out of high school, I went straight to college and from then everything changed. I knew I wanted to be creative and express myself in artistic ways but I ended up with a degree in engineering while I made music on the side. During that time in college, I’ve been introduced to the concepts of self belief, positive affirmations and how to live a meaningful life which is satisfying to ourselves and adding value to those around us. Read more>>

Allen (cdlv) | Writer, Songwriter, Creative

After my dad passed away, my brother and I made his old office in our garage a creative space as an escape. It was in the vacuum of losing our dad that I found myself as an artist. I had my poetry account for a couple years before that, but the pain and need for an escape of those times molded me into the artist I am today. Read more>>

Thomas Swanson | Music Producer, Mix Engineer

I chose this career because it was something I always just sort of did. Since a young age as a musician, I was always interested in putting things together, and paying attention to detail. Over the years artists demanded my services more and more, and I just felt like the type of person that needed to be producing music since the demand was there. Read more>>

Adrienne Edwards | Artist & Owner of Studio On 33rd

I’m pursuing acting/directing/writing because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I’m not wired for anything else, my brain just doesn’t really understand the appeal of any other job BUT this. Acting to me is so incredible because not only are you telling stories, your becoming different people, leaning new skills creating whole new WORLDS. Worlds and characters people can escape too, learn from, and see a better part of themselves in, to inspire, and I think that’s pretty amazing and well worth the risks. Read more>>

Robert Leckington | Actor. Musician. Writer. Photographer. Producer.

I chose to pursue a creative career because it just felt natural. In the past I pushed my self in the opposite direction just because it seemed like the more excepted thing to do, but no matter what I did my urge to be creative would just nag at me. I think in pursuing a creative career I’ve learned to move past fear, and understand that not every one will get my vision, and that’s totally ok. I’ve learned It really takes you to trust yourself, and have faith in your craft. In learning this I’ve fallen even more in love with the creative path, because not only does it provide the satisfaction of being true to who I am, but also the freedom of creating without fear. Read more>>

Robert Leckington | Actor. Musician. Writer. Photographer. Producer.

I have always had a creative streak in me, I also had a really supportive and creative family growing up to help me nurture my artistic pursuit. My dad’s parents were musically inclined, my Grandma Leckington was an amazing guitar player, could play the harmonica, the Jaw Harp, as well as play the drums. My mom had been a pianist since a young age, who had been compelled by her music teacher to pursue further training at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, at the age of 8 years old. My grandmother was an oil painter who had several exhibits before I was born. Read more>>

Rebecca Berrih | Producer, Director, Writer

As a kid I started watching movies. So many movies. Some movies many times over. I still remember the first movie I saw in a theater (Ghostbusters), it was just magical. And around the age 12 I started making movies with my brother and some friends and after that I’ve never even considered anything else. I just wanted to make movies, here in Los Angeles. Read more>>

Laura Monti | Writer

It took me a very long time to have the courage to say the words, “I’m a writer.” More often than not, it still feels odd coming from my mouth. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a household with creativity at its core. My parents are and always have been driven dreamers. My mom, a portrait artist, was at her easel painting romance novel covers when she as pregnant with me. And my dad, an industrial designer, was designing everything from children’s toys to performance footwear to the home I grew up in. Both of my parents had graduated from an art college, RISD. So when it came time for me to choose my path, they encouraged me to follow my passions…. while simultaneously advising me to go to business school. They learned from their experience that business is in everything. And they weren’t wrong. Read more>>

Chechi Sarai | Artist/Songwriter/producer

I pursued an artistic career because it is my calling to do music. When God calls you answer. Read more>>

Judy Ann | Photographer at Judy Ann Photography

I have always been an artist at heart. Since I was a child. I love to write, draw… create. I’m not one of those photographers who will say “oh, I picked up a camera when I was 3 years old..” or something like that. I did do my senior project in high school on photography, because it was pretty much the only thing I could think of doing at the time. But from there, it became a fickle hobby. It wasn’t until Spring of 2016 that I actually started really getting into photography. My husband had moved to Japan a little time ahead of me, and when I finally arrived, he surprised me with a new Nikon D3300 kit. Read more>>

Lauren Collins | Prop & Character Designer

I became interested in art from a young age, particularly because of cartoons, but largely because of my grandparents. I was the sort of kid that you could set down in front of a tv and not worry about. My favorites were Disney movies and anything on Cartoon Network. I was a student in my grandma’s preschool class. At the time, I wasn’t really into art. I couldn’t color in the lines properly, my grandma really pushed me until I could. From there I just started really getting into it, drawing all the time, especially with my grandpa. He really enjoyed drawing portraits and landscapes. I really enjoyed emulating him and trying to draw better than him. It was fun! I kept pursuing art from there on. Read more>>

Cerissa Lopez | Graphic Artist / Muralist / Photographer

I blame it all on manifest destiny and family lineage; traits inherited from my ancestors. I grew up with artistic influence – my mother is a fine artist/photographer and my father (who passed away from pancreatic cancer when I was 3) was also an artist/graphic designer. I always was attracted to creativity at a super young age and started drawing, dance and music lessons. Even though I loved being creative, I never thought I would eventually pursue a career in the arts as an adult. Read more>>

Corey Grand | DJ & Producer

I pursued a creative career because it always just felt natural for me. I knew at a very young age I wanted to become a DJ and I never ignored that feeling. Read more>> 

Alyssa Katalyna Fritz | Director, Writer, Producer

When I was a kid, the arts was never something that was encouraged. I grew up on a small farm in Indiana where hard work and hard skills were valued. For a little Hispanic kid who’s life revolved around the illicit books and movies I used to sneak into our farmhouse, storytelling was the only outlet I had. As I got older, I tried to fall in line with what was accepted and convinced myself that I was going to be a veterinarian for the armed forces. Read more>>

Nikhil Walton | Photographer & Videographer

I chose to pursue an artistic/creative career because growing up in an Indian household meant you are to become a doctor, dentist or engineer. That just wasn’t something I saw for my future, I always had an eye for creativity. After attending business school, I realized that I wanted to pursue my passion for photography and no longer “hide” from my artistic side, regardless of how my family felt. I feel most like myself when I’m behind a camera. Read more>>

Sarah Houseman | Illustrator & Concept Artist

I pursued art because of the stories that it can share with others. Art is a way to connect on a deeper level that sometimes language cannot touch on. The emotions that spill into the pieces that an artist creates can resonate to someone else with completely different experiences and move them. Read more>>

Carl Mickens | Director & Videographer

I pursued an artistic career because I enjoy the process of creating a idea, collaborating with other creatives and to bring the idea to life. It’s such a rewarding feeling when people are entertained or enjoy your work. Read more>>

Luca Longobardi | Pianist, Composer, Visual Artist

Music was a calling. I started playing the piano and composing at the age of 4 without the rational awareness of what I was doing but only with the desire to sit in front of my instrument and be enchanted by the magic of those keys which, when pressed, emitted sound. I grew up cultivating this passion and I did everything to make it my job too. The musical career is not a linear path whose stages are well defined and declared: Read more>>

Darbi Shaun | Singer-Songwriter

Simply, because of all of the songs that have moved my soul. The ones that had magic running through them. That made me want to dream and feel and write honestly. I wanted to create things that could possibly do the same for someone else. Because the feeling of singing songs is something I never fell out of love with and something I still want to hold close in my life. My mom had a VHS tape of Shania Twain music videos and three year old me would dance in front of the TV copying everything she did. I guess I was just always drawn to music. Strumming my dads guitar on the couch as a kid turned to learning a few chords and strumming my own first attempts at songwriting when I was 13. That turned to booking shows and releasing songs and moving to Nashville a few years ago. The dream to turn that love into a career is still on my heart, so I’m still chasing it. Read more>>

Share Cherrie | Filmmaker, Producer, Actress and Athlete

I am a very creative person. I moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles at a very young age and I knew immediately that I wanted to pursue a creative or artistic career, it’s something that has beens goal since childhood and I knew that I would be good at it. I have always loved fashion, art and classic Hollywood, so I knew that I would either work in front of the cameras as an actress or behind the scenes in fashion and art. I took college classes in animation but various filmmaker and photographer friends always asked me to do photo shoots and to be in their film projects. Read more>>

Samuel Golpanian | Samuel Golpanian | Plastic Surgeon

I think for me I consider myself very artistic in various aspects of my life, not just my career.. For starters I’m left-handed dominant when I write , and so I’m inclined to think that I’m right hemisphere dominant in my brain. And I think that plays a role in how I see envision things 3-dimensionally and I’m more spatially oriented. I play piano and draw, in addition to having a niche in fashion, and with all these things they are less calculated and more open ended/creative when I think about them or pursue/perform them. Read more>>

Cassandra Plavoukos | Professional Photographer

I chose to pursue an artistic and creative career because it’s in my DNA. Honestly, I think that as human beings we are all intrinsically creative. We all have a human creative impulse. It just presents itself at different times, and in different ways depending on the experiences and exposure we have, including who and what we are surrounded by. I grew up in a creative household. My mother was a baker and seamstress, and loved to write. My Father was a baker and a musician and was in a band. My sister was a singer and also in a band. Many of my cousins whom I was very close to growing up, were also talented singers and musicians. I had one cousin who was a photographer. I think it was kind of inevitable that I would fall into a creative career. The visual and performing arts are essential to me. I can’t even imagine a world without them. Art helps, heals, communicates, and connects. It’s everything that I am. Read more>>

C. Fitz | Director, Producer, Writer, Creator

I love being an artist in the industry and have worked in many different mediums within. I produced commercials, digital content and unscripted for a long time in order to direct and showrun. I used my producing salary to make my short films and documentaries. I’m passionate to create, use my voice and others to influence change because art can be healing in many ways. Making a difference in the world or my community with my art drives me. To me creating art and content is a responsibility. There will never be parity in the industry unless we keep creating, storytelling and also, most importantly, pulling up those who have not been equally represented. You don’t create inclusion and a stronger industry if you are only thinking about yourself. Read more>>

Olivia Buckle | Actor & Producer

My pursuit of a career in the creative industries came to me very clearly at a young age. I started dancing at age two, and as I got older it was very clear that I preferred dancing over everything. While my mum enrolled me in community sports, the coach of the soccer team just kept me as the goalie because I would dance on the field instead of chasing the ball! At 13, the decision to transition into a competition studio and give up playing any other sports — or having a social life — was an easy one. I watched Justin Timberlake’s music videos and knew that dancing like his dancers was what I wanted more than anything. And that was that. At 13 I knew that I wanted to be a dancer. I started my mission to be a professional performer. Read more>>

Quentin Sledge | Dance Artist

The story of how I ended up as a professional dance artist is a long and unexpected one but was ultimately driven by my desire to do what I loved. As a child my mom always encouraged me to follow my passions even as they changed day to day. She explained that when I was older I would have to choose a career path, one that would support me and the family I wanted. She never pushed for traditional jobs though, although I’m sure my early interest in science and law made her giddy on the inside. When I realized that I wanted to be an artist I had her full support. Armed with the wisdom of some artist mentors that I worked with I decided to attend Morehouse College to study business. It was the combination of all those wise people’s advice that made it very practical for me to follow my dreams, so it is because of them that I am successful. Read more>>

Toniko Frazier | Engineer, Producer, Songwriter

As a child I grew up around a father who was very creative himself, and thats what sparked my creative thinking. At 16 a good friend of mine started taking me to the studio as a way to get me off the streets. I graduated high school because of that, so I stayed with it. Went to the military two years later, stationed in ft. Stewart, Ga. and used it as a way to network and fund my music career. In 2016 I came back home to California and started my, Brand RaCulture, and amidst of that learned photography. By August 13th of2020, I graduated LA Film School with an Associates of Science In Music Production. Along with that, I started my own Recording Studio Business with Artists, Producers, and Engineers. Read more>>

Serena Foster | Singer / Songwriter

I pursued my artistic career because I love to create art. I am a singer, songwriter, film maker, director, performer – I mean the list goes on and on. If I am not creating, I am not happy. Read more>>

Rachael Ferris | Miniaturist + Prop Maker

I have always had a creative side, but it wasn’t until 2019 that I found myself having consistent major depression and anxiety that led me to discover my artistic passion for building miniatures and making props. I was having a rough time at my job as a building manager at the time, and my partner suggested I get myself a hobby to help take my mind off things. He noticed a dusty little model of a theater stage I had built in my scenic design class I had taken back in 2010 while I attended The Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine, and said that I was pretty good at making miniatures, why don’t I try more of that? Once I started building my first miniature out of scraps of trash and recyclables, I couldn’t get enough. Read more>>

Termeh Behbahani | Fine Artist and Muralist

For me it was never an option. As a kid I always loved painting and dreamt about being a professional artist. I dreamt about getting asked about what I did for a living so I could proudly respond with “I’m a painter.” During high school in Iran I forgot about that dream. I convinced myself it wasn’t an attainable career and focused on studying to become a mechanical engineer. After moving to the United States and continuing with my math courses I knew something was missing. I wasn’t happy and wasn’t motivated. I decided to take one painting class to see if my childhood dream was more than just a dream. Read more>>

Anthony Douglas | Musician/Songwriter

I’ve found that music has been by far the most constant and assuring part of my life, as I’ve gone through 28 years on this Earth. To be able to create music and share it with people is one of the most special gifts, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend my life doing that. Read more>>

Eunicet Pamela Rubio Rojas | Director of Photography

I’ve always been attracted to visual arts, since I was a kid photography and video was always a form of expression. Since then, I have been discovering my artistic voice, developing my skills and getting connected in the industry. I love being a Director of photography because it allows me to tell stories, to be able to share my experiences and get to collaborate with amazing people in the industry. Read more>>

Ava McCoy | Musician

I decided to pursue an artistic career at a very young age, knowing that I always wanted to do something that made me happy. I have been fortunate enough to have an incredible support system throughout my life, and my family has always encouraged me to follow my heart. Music is what makes me feel alive, and it is the reason for so much of my fulfillment. I love how much it challenges me, and I am constantly discovering new and exciting music that keeps me creatively engaged. Read more>>

Adrian Jauregui | Artist, Songwriter, Producer

Mentally I needed a creative outlet for myself. Weird to say that, but I got to a point in life where I was so hard on myself, I needed to find a way to laugh, love, and express my emotions. I’m a huge advocate for mental health and music/ visual arts allowed me to show a community of people with similar interests my imagination. Read more>>

Raymond Logan | artist

It just seems like I was designed and built to be an artist. Like most people, my life has not been a direct path, but from early childhood I knew I would end up being some sort of artist. Even when I veered off from fine art, my other vocation of being an art director/designer was a creative endeavor. The “other job” had to, at a minimum, challenge my creativity and artistic abilities. And believe me, it did. That previous vocation has had a direct influence on who I am as a fine artist and individual—we are cumulative beings. I always knew I would return to my art, and I did. Read more>>

Gabrielle de Fontanes | Illustrator & Designer

There was never another fulfilling path to take for me. I come from a family of artists who let me be as creative as I wanted to be growing up and I’m extremely grateful to have been introduced to the art world at such a young age. For many years I practiced and polished my skill, always painting, drawing, sculpting, making movies, that I was never really conscious of an alternative way of being. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I knew it would be creative in some way or another. It’s part of me. I can’t go a day without thinking about what to create next, adding to my on-going list of 10+ projects at a time. Read more>>

LISA CAPRELLI | Children’s Author, Songwriter, TV Show Director

I changed my life from 27+ years in marketing and working with over 150 CEO’s and brands to do what I love which is to create for not only my children’s book series, but to create a show since the Pandemic called “Unicorn Jazz Presents The Thing I Do.” I went on a 2.5 year quest to research and publish my book SKIP A STEP: IMPARTING WISDOM FOR YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR MINDS which includes nuggets of wisdom and stories from 13 different entrepreneurs or leaders on what makes for a happy and meaningful life. It was through my work in studying human behavior and with “Skip a Step” that I wanted to change my life to live in purpose and with passion. Read more>>

Camp Kona | Artist, Songwriter, Producer

Sometimes I feel like pursuing a career as an artist is kind of silly. There are a lot of other things I could have studied, other jobs I was interested in. I would love to work in the outdoors, or with kids, or focus on sustainability, but I knew that if I did any of those things I would regret not doing music, and didn’t feel the same gravitational pull towards anything else. Read more>>

Konstantin Lavysh | ACTOR

I was always mesmerized with the creative process – any creative process. Watching my grandma write a book, watching my grandpa come up with a solution to landscaping, or even cooking a meal. It seemed that any activity could have creativity added to it. “If you are choosing to do something, put your whole heart to it, and do it as well as you possibly can” – was the lesson from my Grandpa. I tried that. I failed many times, but I keep this slogan in the back of my mind at all times. At a young age I enjoyed performing a lot. Read more>>