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.

Annie Casarez | Artist

Out of all the endeavors in life, music and the artistic expression it represents brings me the most joy. After being hit by a car and living to tell the tale, (thank God) all I want to do for the rest of my life is share my music with the world. Read more>>

Conor FitzGerald | Comic Illustrator and writer

I’ve always loved drawing ever since I was a kid. Cliché, I know, but it’s why I do most of anything I do nowadays. That mixed with a penchant for telling stories and you have the beginnings of the path leading me to comic book writing and illustration. There have been so many stories – of so many different mediums – that have resonated with me, as with almost everyone, but when you click with a story so much it can change your life; it’s just this unreal feeling. When you push yourself through strife because your favorite TV show character just can’t give up. Or when you recite slogans to help cope with how difficult life can be. Even if you just need a reminder that there’s someone else out there who’s going through something like you. Read more>>

Jeff Couch | Professional Food Photographer

The choice for my current career as a food photographer was a long time in the making, with many stops, starts and wild turns. Thinking back, the most exciting thing to me as a kid was to be drawing, I was not very good, but passionate about it. My first creative career was a chef where I learned a lot about patience, perseverance, and professionalism. Photography was always a hobby, something I was passionate about learning but couldn’t devote the time to it. Read more>>

TiF | Recording Artist, Choreographer & Social Media Manager

Anything artistic, music, dance, or entertainment related has always positively impacted my soul. Anxiety and depression have been an ever-going battle of mine amongst alternative factors. For the entirety of my life, the only activity that would ever calm, yet simultaneously stimulate my mind would be the art of anything in relation to music. Forms I personally prefer and have spent the majority of my life training and competing in, would be vocal production and choreography of several dance styles. Read more>>

Mallo Obasi | Writer & Poet

I pursued an artistic career because my art saved my life. Before I started writing I was dealing with depression and self loathing. Writing became therapeutic. It was a way I could vent how I’m feeling with no judgement, begin to make sense of my thoughts and release any bottled up emotion. The first piece I ever wrote was titled “7-Line Suicide”. It spoke on black men who suffer in silence to the point of self – destruction. My work was healing to me but as I began to perform and get positive feedback I knew I could impact people with my words. Being a creative is what feels right to me. I get the most satisfaction out of my work when people tell me they were inspired by something I said. My work is raw because I believe in living my truth and through living mine encourage others to live theirs. Read more>>

Makoto Ishizaka | Bassist, Composer/Arranger

If I am not I, who will be? This is the Henry David Thoreau Quote. Let me get straight to the point, the reason why I am pursuing an artistic career is I realized I love music and I thought I would like to contribute to society through music. And also, I realized that inside of my heart wanted to do a non-replaceable job. Looking back, music was a special thing to me since my childhood. I had listened to many genres due to my parents and brother’s influence. Such as pop, rock, jazz, big band, classical, R&B, funk etc… Read more>>

Peyton Dean | Musician, Content Creator, & Photographer

Bringing a vision to life looks different for everyone. I have an innate desire to create, regardless of whether I’m in front of a microphone, behind a camera, standing on stage, writing in my bedroom, etc. My passions lie in a multitude of areas, but I knew from an extremely young age that music was my lifeline. However, I don’t believe that artistic careers have to be stationary. I have always found great fulfillment in photography because of how connected I feel to each moment in time. Cameras capture intimacy, reactions, existence, euphoria, life, and all that we are so blessed to experience. Read more>>

Jack Proctor | Image Maker

I’ve been photographing for most of my life, starting with a disposable camera when I was a kid. I am not sure what my life would look like if making images wasn’t the core part of my every day. Finding ways to create images whether it be in film, collaborating, working with performance artists, or pursuing images for myself tackling the image is a challenge that is forever changing and shifting helping me expand. It feels amazing to find ways to use image making as a means of documentation, connection, sharing, and expression whether it be my own or facilitating someone else’s vision. Read more>>

Ernando Recendez | Artist/Musician

I’ve always known, even at an early age, that whatever it is I pursue in a career it has to be something that is the best expression of me. Music is that. I don’t really think that I chose music, as cliche as it sounds, music chose me. I’m literally here because of it. My parents met because my dad auditioned for my moms band back in the 80s so yes I’m literally here because of music. I’m able to authentically represent myself through music because I’ve always had a passion for creating, and trying new things out musically. I’ve never been the type of person to sit behind a desk, or take a 9-5 job, so that told me that I’m different and that’s ok to be different. Music makes me ME, and it’s proving itself to be beneficial in other aspects. Priority has been that whatever it is I decided to, it has to make me feel like me. Read more>>

Sharwin Samant | Filmmaker

Growing up in a orthodox society hasn’t been easy. India being a country rich in its culture and Entertainment, it is not considered okay to put your step into the entertainment industry especially for middle class families who have no whatsoever contact with the process of the film industry. Due to this, I had to complete my bachelor’s in computer engineering before I could take a step into realising what I want to do with my life. My father used to pursue photography in his younger days so I always had a camera in my hand since I was a kid. Read more>>