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.

Diansakhu Banton-Perry | Character Designer and Comic Artist

Art has always been a huge part of my life. I’m one of those kids who’s been drawing since they were 5 years old! My parents have always been very supportive of my art and encouraging my growth. They sent me to art camps, took me to after school classes and always spoke to my teachers about incorporating drawing into the my assignments. Read more>>

Amy Jack | Country Singer/Songwriter

Merle Haggard was the biggest draw to the industry for me. He is the greatest country music artist of all time according to Rolling Stone, Billboard and millions of fans across the globe. Read more>>

Malcolm Bowen | Professional Actor

Growing up, I thought that for sure I would get into tech and computers and the like. My parents–mostly my mom, were definitely pushing me towards computers because I became self-taught and was teaching not only them how to use them but also fellow classmates in school. Read more>>

Pengyifan Lou | Film Producer, Casting Director, Filmmaker

Mostly because film has always been a part of my life, and it affects me tremendously. I didn’t have a lot of family time when I was younger. The most time we spent together was when we went to the theater and watched films. Read more>>

Sara Davis | Actress

If you asked five year old Sara what she wanted to be when she got older the answer would’ve been an actress. Again, if you asked 8 year old Sara the same question, the answer would have stayed the same. Read more>>

Shedell | Actor

I honestly wouldn’t know what else to do. I have all these thoughts and emotions that want to find there way out of me and acting has been my greatest opportunity to do so. Read more>>

Josephine Hall | Writer & Creative

Even though I studied Creative Arts at University, after graduating I still felt that societal pressure to find a “sensible” career option for myself as opposed to pursuing writing or art. Read more>>

Chelsea Tanner | Mindset Coach & Flutist

I initially chose my career path as a classical flutist because it is what I was good at in school. Both of my parents are also professional musicians so I had great examples of what a career in this field could be. Read more>>

Paula Valenzuela | Mixed media abstract artist

I have made art since I can remember. Growing up I had classes with very good Chilean artists, but always kept my art making as a private passion that I shared with a small community. Read more>>

Bayne Gibby | Actor & Writer

I always knew I wanted to become an actor. I entered A local summer talent show around age 3. I sang The Oscar Meyer Wiener commercial jingle and won the Honorable Mention Award, which was a paper plate covered in tin foil. I was sort of hooked at that moment and never looked back. Read more>>

Philip Gay | Artist . Designer . Maker – Founder of Timber Robot Studio

I have always felt the need to create things. As a child I used to take things apart to see how they worked, or would build my own toys from bits and pieces of wood or plastic. I loved technic Lego and making things move. Read more>>

Honor Frisco | High school student, violinist, pianist

Even though I don’t formally have an artistic career, seeing that I am still in high school, the arts is a large part of my day-to-day life. I was initially thrust into my musical journey by my parents begrudgingly. Over the years, however, music has shaped who I am today. Read more>> 

Kathi Schulz | new media artist

There was never a point in my life where I questioned that all I want to do is make art. I went to art school right after high school and didn’t spend much thought towards how to make a living and how broken the art market and the system we live in is. Once this occurred to me, I was already so invested in my practice that it was too late. Read more>>

Ashley Feuerstein | Owner of My Mystic Mane

I’ve been creative my whole life. From taking piano lessons at the young age of 2 1/2 years old, art classes as a child, to becoming a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, creativity flows within me. Read more>>

Bambi Haze | Recording Artist, Writer, Producer, Engineer

Being able to make a living off of my passions has been my goal for as long as I can remember. As a child, I began to express my creativity through various mediums- writing poems and short stories, learning instruments and performing solos in the school choir, eventually starting my own bands and collectives with other artists. Read more>>

Katie Avila Loughmiller | Social Practice Artist and Co-Founder & Director of LUNA

I grew up being the only Colombian person I knew. I was adopted into a caucasian family, grew up in a predominately white neighborhood, my teachers in and outside of school were white, and even most of the books, movies and TV shows I watched centered white characters. Read more>>

William Nunn | Voice Actor, Writer, and Content Creator

It made me happier and more fulfilled than anything else. I love storytelling and creating stories. Being a part of them as an actor is also very rewarding. It’s challenging. It involves a lot of hard work, and patience. And yet I find myself still wanting to do it. Read more>>

Maya Knell | Actor/Creator/Comedian

This is the only thing I can or will ever do. I’m not kidding. Sure, I am passably competent at other tasks and jobs (and will probably have a day job for a WHILE longer), but art and creation are the only forms of work I’ve ever wanted to do. I’m not religious, if there’s a reason I’m here, this is it. Read more>>

Helena Mayer | Artist / singer-songwriter

I had a love for music starting at an early age. I remember many big family gatherings where I threw concerts for anyone who would listen. I loved seeing the ways the music I played impacted those who would listen. Read more>>