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.

Dave Arredondo | Character Designer & Artist

I was tired of working on everybody else’s projects but my own. That’s when I decided to switch to an entirely new industry to focus on my personal goals, pursue my dreams, and passions. Read more>>

Liza Singer | Director for Animation & Graphic Novel Writer

Since as far back as I can remember, I always immersed myself in stories. It was my way to cope, a way to escape from a childhood sometimes filled with less than happy memories. Reading and telling stories became a way for me to feel empowered in a situation I ultimately was not. It sparked a great passion, something I felt compelled to do, something I did wherever I went, creating and building characters and words whether I was sitting in an old antique store or doodling on my notebooks in the middle of a history class. Telling stories continues to be very important to me, and continues to be the way I reflect on the world while also reaching out to both peers and kids and give them worlds to escape to and encourage them to keep fighting for themselves and a better future. Read more>>

Megan Kain | Fashion Designer, Founder & Construction Manager

Growing up with a conservative Taiwanese mother, I was not encouraged to openly be myself, but instead taught how to be prim and proper at a very little age. I turned to fashion as a means of expressing myself since I would be too shy to talk to anyone. I would blog about fashion as a teenager and would spend hours everyday scrolling through high-fashion collections. I was mesmerized by red carpet editorial looks and dreamed that I would one day become a fashion designer. Funny enough my background is in construction management but the desire to be in fashion never left me. I created a Resort Wear clothing brand because I am always traveling to warm tropical destinations escaping the cold. Read more>>

Maria Warith-Wade | Filmmaker

My father was a show promoter and introduced me to the entertainment business at an early age. I remember car rides through Two Street, formerly known as the Harlem of the South, where he’d show me venues that were once graced by icons like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Cab Calloway. As a Richmond, Virginia native, my weekends as a child were split between baking bean pies over Islamic sermons with my mother or going to Baptist church, where I operated the cameras for the televised service. Capturing sermons at the pulpit jump-started my passion for creating content. Read more>>

Imani Ezhari | Professional Makeup Artist & Beauty Business Coach

I pursued an artistic career out of curiosity. I worked the conventional path out of direction while working the creative path out of discovery. We all know that the school to University to Corporate path is what worked for our grandparents, maybe even the majority of our parents, but once the information age launched that path seemed to work less for our generation. So I decided that I can work that path & see where it got me and in tandem, follow my passion for makeup to see where that could take me. Both have gotten me far, but my heart is so fulfilled with Artistry By Imani and all the gorgeous clients & students I get to serve! Read more>>

Nazanin Nour | Actor and Writer

It was something that was very innate. I like connecting to people through shared experiences. I like creating things that inspire people to reflect and feel a range of emotions, and feel seen. I also love making people laugh, and feel happy, and feel accepted for who they are. I enjoy creating things that give a platform, or voice, to causes and people that I feel others should know about. It makes me happy to create, to collaborate, and to express myself through different mediums. Read more>>

Denise A Grant | Wedding / Event Planner

I am a visual person. From beginning to end, I am able to see every piece, choose every detail and watch it all come to life once completely together. Read more>>

Creans | Recording Artist/Producer/DJ

I pursued an artistic & creative career because ever since I was a kid i found that when I listened to music my mind would quickly go to a place inside the music. Music completely took over my mind and my soul. Eventually I was curious about how it was made, what it could look like on stage and what it might feel like to perform it. I was drawn to instruments that were in my house (primarily the piano and the guitar) and I began to express my thoughts & feelings through creating my own music. Read more>>

Lauren Park | Freelance Model and Social Media Fashion Influencer

Growing up, I always thought I would become a teacher. I applied to colleges as an education major, graduated with an education major, and was set to attend grad school after my undergrad to get my Masters in teaching. I always loved fashion, beauty, and modeling, but I never had the confidence to actually pursue it. I would tell myself that everyone has a career that they don’t 100% love and maybe teaching was the best, stable thing to do for my future. As the start of my Masters program was approaching, I started reflecting on my choice to become a teacher. Will I regret this in 30 years? Shouldn’t I at least TRY to follow my dreams? So, that’s what I did! I decided to drop my Masters program for teaching, and pursue work in fashion and modeling so that in 30 years I can look back on my career and be proud, happy, and without any regrets about what could have been. Now, I can confidently say that I am following a career path that I am 100% in love with! Read more>>

Keelia Flinn | Actor, Producer, Yoga & Martial Arts Instructor

I always wanted to build a life and career for myself that was unique. The only way to keep myself interested and excited about life, was to build something that allowed the freedom for my curiosities and things that inspire me. It is important to me that I can pursue thoughts and ideas and create something with them. Whatever that may be. My Grandmother told me, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Read more>>

Armaan Lucknowala | filmmaker

The reason I choose a career in film is because it’s the only art form that combines all the mediums together. Visuals, Music, Set Design, Wardrobe and etc. It allows people to have a creative voice and make content however they seem is right. It allows them to have freedom of speech, tell real life stories and impact or change how someone feels or perceives something. Read more>>

Cameron Nino | Producer, Recording Artist, Performer, Cellist & Guitarist.

At a very young age, my mom introduced me to multiple music genres. This introduction to music was very instrumental in shaping my appreciation for artistic expression. At about the age of five, I had a mini drum set. I hardly played with it. It sat in my room, but I had so many other toys and my mom kept me busy with so many activities that I had no time to play with the drum set. At about 7 years of age, my mom took me to a concert featuring a teenage pianist. Through the entire performance, I could visualize myself on that stage. At the end of the performance, I asked my mom why I wasn’t the one on the stage performing. She said I had to learn how to play an instrument first and maybe someday, I too, could perform to an audience. She asked me if I had an instrument of preference. At the time, I choose the guitar. Read more>>

Krash Davinci | Artist and Creative

I always loved to draw and make videos as a kid, i feel as though art is the only way i can truly express myself. but i also love space, i wanted to become an astrophysicist at one point but Im terrible at math, I have no other career interests so I had no other choice Read more>>

Taylor Hurst | Singer

Singing is my communication salvation. With each song that I sing, I feel fluent in that moment. Check out my story below, and a song I’ve written about my personal journey with disfluency. You can access “Speak” below: Singing was never a part of the plan .. it just happened. My passion for music and singing began at the age of of 13, I noticed speaking was a challenge for me. I realized that it took more effort for me to fully express myself than it did for others. Although my speech blocks were not evident to others, it was something that I had to cope with. The effort it took for me to verbally share my thoughts was taxing. Read more>>

Missy Hargrove | Actress

I believe I have always been artistic and creative since I was born. I have always been the kid in class day dreaming or writing stories, creating something. When I started high school is when I realized that I really enjoyed telling the story through acting. I really found my calling, and it just never left me. It’s the one thing that gives me motivation every day and makes me happy. I tried focusing on a different career path, but I would never anything as satisfying as acting. No matter what I do, I can’t stray from my passion. So why not pursue it whole-heartedly? Sure, there is a lot of risks, but for my passion and happiness, I’m willing to take those risks. Read more>>

Abhilash Mathew & Jananee Rasiah | Co-founder, FRAME Productions

Abhilash Mathew started creating videos and taking photos for friends and family, mostly because they asked him to capture some private events for them as a keepsake. What had first started out as a hobby, morphed quickly into an undeniable passion. Mathew begin learning about cinematography from YouTube videos, blogs, and volunteering on small scale sets to gain as much knowledge and experience that he could. He then started to create, film, and produce short films and music videos with a group of friends, often with next no budgets while relying on volunteers who shared his zeal. Read more>>

Angelia Jade | Artist, Singer, & Songwriter

Well to put it simply… because it makes me happy. Growing up I always loved music, singing, painting, art, photography – basically anything where the sky was the limit and the final product was always something one in a million. I’ve learned over the course of my young life that daily happiness should supersede anything and everything else. I never wanted to live with regrets or feel like I couldn’t go for my dreams. Pursing an artistic/creative career is a “huge risk,” and sometimes pursuing any career that isn’t societally “correct” is risky – but life is about living and doing what you love. Read more>>

Kristen Owens | Arts administrator, writer and curator

Initially, my pursuit of a creative career was because it was the only thing I felt I was good at. My mother is one of the first in my family to go to college so there was no question about whether I would go or not. I had no idea what it was that I really wanted to do, but almost all of my extracurriculars involved dance or fashion so when it came down to chose a concentration fashion seemed much more achievable. Initially I thought I might be a fashion journalist or a stylist. My third year in I discovered that there was a path as a curator or fashion archivist and I became obsessed with the idea of cultural preservation. Fast forward past a couple years of intern and freelance work within the fashion/costume industry, I took a leap of faith and quit my costume p.a. gig within the TV industry to pursue a dual masters (!) in library science and visual culture: costume studies in hopes of possibly becoming a collections manager, archivist or curator. Read more>>

Andreana Delayna | Singer, actress, writer and director

It pursued me, it’s just who I’am and I could think in a different direction. Read more>>

Angelica Willberg | Photographer

I didn’t really choose to pursue a creative career, it chose me. I could never envision myself doing anything else. Art has always been an outlet where I can express myself and be myself. Creating is how I cope and understand the world around me. Growing up I used to express myself with fashion and music, but I loved taking pictures, which I still love to this day. There’s always something new and I never gets dull or boring. Photography chose me. Read more>>

Shapiro | Artist, Songwriter, Producer

Music became an outlet in my life to help express my hardships and misfortunes. It was one of the only things that came natural to me. Read more>>