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.

Angel Fleig | Wedding and Portrait Photographer

I pursued my career in photography because it is a gift, a gift that keeps on giving. The joy that photos bring to my engaged, married couples and families is something that I 100% thrive off of, it gives me life! These gifts are family heirlooms, stories and memories captured for generations beyond our time. This is why I chose this career, the joy it brings! Read more>>

Tyniah Lewis | Performing Artist & Fashion

I was surrounded by art and entertainment within the family. Being artistic and creative gives me a platform to express myself. Art allows me to tell stories, having a social change reaching out to others with performing art, fashion, and beauty. When I am performing or creative art, it brings me joy and peace. While performing, I love letting my personality shine, having that stage presence. Whereas, fashion makes a statement showing my sense of style and design. But my number one reason I chose to have an artistic and creative career is to showcase my gift/talents God has given me. To shine and show the world! Read more>>

Lani Harmony | Creative Visionary & Design Consultant

Why did I pursue a creative career? If i’m honest, the first thought that comes to mind is that I’m a rebel with a cause and as a child; my parents told me that being an artist was no way of making a living. Well in a nice way I wanted to say “F’ you and prove to myself that I could allow my innate passions to direct a creative lifestyle with or without the support of my parents. It’s funny now because as I look back i’m pretty sure it’s them who planted the seed for success in a creative field for me. I always did the opposite of what they said, so I’m guessing telling me I wouldn’t make it as an artist only was because they already knew my drive to achieve just about anything I set my mind to, was exactly what I was going to do. Thanks mom, dad & son, my truest supporters for life. As far as my creative career goes; well lets just say that it pursued me. Read more>>

Darel Carey | Artist

Pursuing a career in art was not something I always knew I wanted to do. From a young age I did have strengths in creativity, and I loved to draw, but I didn’t realize art could be a career for me. I was always encouraged to pursue something more conventional, and art was viewed as more of a hobby, or something to do on the side. Although art was a great passion of mine, I had many interests. I studied language, biology, and psychology, and served 11 years as an analyst in the Air Force. All worthy subjects, and a worthy career, but I still had creative inclinations in the back of my mind, and would make art on the side. Throughout my life I dabbled in many creative fields, from graffiti, to drawing portraits, to tattoos, to photography, to making logos and shirt designs, all as hobbies. Read more>>

Brit Landa | Actress

I’ve always been an artistic and creative person. Struggling with dyslexia and theory related subject in school I found the creative classes inspiring, fun and a safe space for me to build confidence and to gain a sense of accomplishment. With two working parents we were fortunate enough to attend music school, sports, dance and after school projects where I quickly developed a passion within dance and performance. Being on stage was scary but fulfilling. In my teens I struggled with depression, anxiety and anorexia. It escalated when I hit my twenties and I felt defeated by myself. I found no purpose nor meaning in life, made bad choices in my search for answers to why I was feeling the way I was. I went through a lot of trauma which I didn’t know how to deal with. After one sever incident in London where I had lived for five years at that time, something changed. Read more>>

Jessie-Sierra Ross | Food & Home Entertaining Blogger

This is a really interesting question, because I have had two completely different careers, both of which fall into the artistic & creative categories! Believe it or not, I started out in ballet – my mom enrolled me in it as a child because she felt that I was quiet, but flexible! I loved the musicality of ballet, and evolved into a driven young dancer by age 14. I had the incredibly good fortune to perform with dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet and New York City Ballet, over the next few years. I love the focus, passion, and sheer physicality that professional ballet brought to my life. Performing on stage, where you can feel and hear the adulation of the crowd, gave me so much satisfaction – I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything! Read more>>

Chris Wirsig | Composer, Music Producer & Music Library Owner

I have a feeling that this often is not something you choose consciously, but maybe something that chooses you. Early in my life I was interested in music and arts, and it somehow came naturally to me that I wanted to create my own works, and music is the one art where I’m at least a little better than say drawing comics (something i would love to do but my doodles are mostly just that). Time and time again I’ve wondered why I and many others still write new music, when there’s so much great music already available, and this alone would take forever to listen to. But somehow there’s an inner urge to create new pieces and write new songs. I can’t really explain it, but it’s a very deep feeling for me. So I usually try not to think about it too hard or question it, and just do what feels important to me. Read more>>

Ralf Lichtenberg | Composer for Film & TV

For a long time, my life has been a zigzag between music and other careers. I attended a few different schools and I even got a degree in psychology before I studied music and composition for media. Music and making music was always present and a strong pillar for me. It was and is the one thing I most enjoy doing and spending time on. Although I was always aware of that, fears and uncertainty brought me first into psychology and even tho I really like that career, it never fulfilled me like music. The feeling of bringing a wide array of emotions to the world through my music is something incomparable and it is an important reason why I pursued my career as a film composer. Helping to bring a movie to live with music has always unique challenges and brings opportunities to grow and overcome your own creative limits. Read more>>

Maisie Grace | Actress

Acting is my life. There was never a choice for me, it was all I wanted. There was never anything else I wanted to do, not without also being an actress. I was always a performer. My mother was a model and signed me and my siblings up as infants. I won’t lie, I was a cute baby and child. I loved performing, smiling, and laughing for the camera, getting to be in travel magazines and clothing stores and magazines. It was my first taste of the spotlight and it was with my family so that made it extra special and bright. I went to my first acting class at the age of 5. My mum put my older brother in the class with a youth theatre group and I tagged along and, despite being a year too young, I joined the class and that was it for me. I had found my calling, what I was meant to do. Read more>>

Adam Bucci | Actor & Visual Artist

I grew up painting and drawing on everything. I was a shy east coast kid and it was a way for me to express myself in a quiet way. I never wanted the attention on me but it felt rewarding to have the attention on a physical piece I would create. I got bit by the acting bug later in High School and I soon realized this was the journey I needed to be on to focus on literally finding my voice and to tap into the confidence I never allowed myself to feel. I pursued theatre, voice and dance at Muhlenberg College in Allentown PA and for 4 years I hadn’t touched a paintbrush or pencil because I was so fulfilled in the acting world. As an actor, there can be a lot of slow periods and to keep myself creative I turned back to painting and drawing again. I went big and started making giant paintings but then realized I had no where to store them! Read more>>

Ernesto Ramirez | Architect, Designer & Artist

I’ve always been very creative and artistic. As a child I loved to design and build all kinds of things. I guess I already had what it takes to be an artist, this is why I knew I wanted to be an architect and became one. I didn’t know I would end up being an artist, I mean I always wanted to but I was busy working and never had the time. One day my husband and I were looking for a house to buy in Palm Springs and we saw a beautiful painting for sale in one of the model houses, we loved that piece but we couldn’t afford it, I told him I am going to paint something for our new house if we buy one. So we bought a house and I started painting in 2017. I always liked to sketch and paint but I didn’t realized how much I love it. This is my new passion at this point of my life. Read more>>

Tom Megalis | Artist & Filmmaker

My first memories I have are of me sitting at our kitchen table drawing making art. My family came from Greece and the early years were difficult to say the least. We didn’t have much money, or a car or even a TV. When my parents finally purchased a home they had to rent out most of the rooms to borders in order to make ends meet. I was always an anxious and sensitive child and drawing was a way for me to escape into my own safe world where anything was possible. It was my entertainment and in many ways a protection from the outside world. As I got older I had a high school art teacher, Mr Lees, see my talent and say, “Megalis you could make a living as an artist if you don’t screw up.” From that point on, it was the only thing I focused on. Read more>>

Camille Preymann | Fashion Designer

Life is a risk. There’s risk in everything you do and everything you don’t do. I grew up in Europe where we’re brought up to be quite modest. If someone gave me a job opportunity that might involve a skill I didn’t fully possess at that point in time, I would have declined immediately, not believing I would be capable of doing it, but then ending up regretting my decision and wondering what could have happened and how it could have impacted my life if I had said yes. I used to dwell in my comfort zone, where I was not at risk of having my ego crushed or potentially having to disappoint the people I made a commitment to. But the comfort zone isn’t the zone in which I learnt. It was in discomfort, when I failed, fell, fought and suffered that I evolved, learnt and grew to be more resilient. Read more>>

Ina Bochian | Writer, Artist, Actress & Philanthropist

I have been writing and painting since I was 7 years old when my parents moved to America and left me to be raised by my grandparents in Romania until I could get a visa. After 3 years and a lot of family prayers I was granted a visa. My grandpa who was an evangelist brought me to America, but the night before he prayed the whole night on steps of the US Embassy in Bucharest. During the wait, I started painting and writing because I was sending my parents letters and drawings. I was also sowing clothes for dolls and drawing designs. As a child I wanted to be a fashion designer. I went to school for Psychology, English and Criminal Justice because my parents encouraged me to be more practical. Then, a life tragedy sent me into another direction and I randomly started working in Film and TV. I went to New York to ask James Franco’s advice about school and life and he encouraged me to use my art to heal. Read more>>

Vas Batricevic | Actor

There was a point where I realized that I, as a human being, despite all the circumstances considered, have a right to choose what I want to do in my life. I have a right to make that kind of a choice. That was a pinnacle moment. I was always involved with acting, but it never occurred to me that one could pursue that as a career. Once I was affirmed that I in fact could do that, I knew without doubt what I wanted to do. I chose this path because – acting gives me an opportunity to work on myself, to experiment my psyche and my emotions, to investigate human species and human relations, to fully connect with and relate to any living species, to be involved with the issues that our world is tied to, to form an opinion, and most importantly to always dig for truth. It constantly makes me aware of how much I don’t know and how much I have to learn. Read more>>

Tamara Stroeble | Artist

Because an artistic career is a way to express the depths of my soul. I pushed myself to pursue a different career. A “real” job as some would call it. But it wasn’t fulfilling. And fulfillment is an essential part of a career. It is not worth slaving and exchanging precious time for work one does not care for. We have one life time to pursue what we we feel called to do and if we don’t do it now then when are we going to do it? Never. There is a saying in my home country that the cemetery is the richest place on earth. A place full of buried potential and unexplored opportunities. That prospect scared me. It scared me more than any so called “failure” I imagined in my head. So I followed me heart. I believe our intuition guides us down the path we are destined to walk. All we need to do is listen and follow our inner guidance. So here I am. Read more>>

Luca Zadra | Music Producer & Engineer

It may sound cheesy but it’s a simple, primal impulse that pushes us creatives to pursue art as a career. I think I speak for a lot of creatives out there when I say that I simply didn’t see myself doing anything else. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have hobbies and passions outside of music – I have loads – but when it came to what I wanted to build my life on there was just no other path in sight. Doing music for a living is the single most-fulfilling act there is and, even among all the struggle and self-doubt that came with that decision, I stuck with it because it was the one feeling that didn’t need to be chased or cultivated. Read more>>

Alexa Polar | Writer & Director

I’ve always had this creative passion within me. It mainly comes from my upbringing of course and those that surround me in my life. I have to say that the person that played the biggest impact in my creative career was my Aunt Nancy. I didn’t realize how much of an influence she made until recently. I always knew but didn’t piece it all together until I started reflecting back on so many wonderful heartwarming memories. Truly the reason I pursue a creative career is that I have the support of my family and friends to do so, they understand the difficulties there are in attempting to be remotely successful in this crushing industry. They provide me with so much love and support, they encourage me to not give up. Read more>>

Jonathan Ducrest | Photographer & Graphic Designer

I didn’t always follow my passion for photography and like most people in the creative world, I’ve held jobs that weren’t making me happy but they help me grow and realize that at the end of the day, photography was what I wanted to pursue and what felt the most fulfilling. Along the way, I was able to connect with people who gave me great feedback about my work and who pushed me to follow this career path. Read more>>

Alexey Poblete | Rapper, Drummer & Graphic Artist

I was always drawn to music and art! Growing up, my parents would often keep the radio on and streamed music channels on TV; so when I was five and saw a drummer playing on a kids’ show, I instantly knew that I wanted to pursue music. Nearly the same thing happened with my art career; I had grown up watching anime and also felt the urge to learn how to draw, to animate, and to visually put my ideas out there, while I had music to convey my creativity through sound and through performance. Music and art is a major part of culture, as well as a fundamental way in which we connect with one another and with ourselves. We can all transform reality, we all have artistic and creative ability, but in this day and age – due to expectations, standards, the lack of time and space, there’s a certain type of pressure and restriction on freedom when it comes to choosing an art career. Read more>>

Nadege Monchera Baer | Painter & Multimedia Artist

As far back as I can remember I wanted to be an artist so I can’t really say why, so in a way it was never an option to “pursue” or choose, its just always been part of who I am. On the other hand there is a great deal of pursuing, in terms of maintenance, survival and adopting to changes as a “professional”. In the beginning one has no idea what will be entailed as new challenges are met. The call of art centers on creativity and expression, which is miles apart from making contacts, working with galleries, setting up shows, publicity and sales and pretty much everything related to the financial aspects. There is also the rhythms of motivation, patience, creative obstacles, times when things come together to fast or too slow. Through it all my art is a soothing beacon, a territorial mix of obsession, meditation and necessity. Read more>>

Yong Sin | Artist

When I was growing up in Korea, I loved literature especially playwrights. Often, I ditched a class ended up in a corner of bookstore until it’s closed and got on the train to see plays. I was reading Beckett, Cocteau, Sartre, Dostoevsky, Camus, Kafka, Krishnamurti, Yi Sang. Loved mimes, monologues, and enjoyed getting soaked with bucket of water from a play, “Offending the Audience.” And then when I was 18, my family immigrated to US. I thought I could pursue & study philosophy, so within 3 months or so, I took philosophy classes at community college and I flunked out all of them. I couldn’t speak a word of English! At that point, I veered toward art because art was so natural to me throughout my childhood. I drew all the time. It was so natural that I never took art seriously. At Otis, I realized I could pursue philosophy through art. And I’ve been pursuing art since. Read more>>