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.

Giselle Lily | Singer/songwriter

There are 100 reasons why I could say I pursued a career in music, but the short (and cheesy) answer is music is my life. Growing up I was exposed to a lot of music, specifically by my mom who was a concert pianist. Read more>>

Brett Vaughn | Guitarist and Music Educator

Because I knew I’d never be as fulfilled doing anything else. It’s that simple. It’s something I’ve known since I was in my early teens, like it was hardwired into my DNA. You have to stay connected to that feeling in the face of any and all obstacles and adversity that this business throws your way. Read more>>

Garam Moon | Tattooist

I lost all my money when I was 25 and couldn’t hear anything. When I wanted to give up on everything, I suddenly thought like this. Good! I have nothing to lose! I’ll definitely get it if I do it!’ So I wrote down what I wanted to do in my notebook, and I picked out one of the things I wanted to do most. It was a tattoo. Read more>>

Virginia Felix | Ceramicist

I have always been drawn to being creative. I spent a lot of time experimenting with different mediums as a way to express myself. I tend to look inward when seeking for answers about the world and using the ideas that occupied my imagination helped me make sense of it. Read more>>

Domi M | Licensed Nail Artist

My interest and love for nail artistry started in middle school. I’ve always loved nail art and enjoyed going to the nail salon with my godmother, who was also one of my teachers. Once I was “allowed” to have acrylics and working part-time, I went CRAZY! I loved long, bright, colorfully designed nails. Read more>>

Natalie Kalei | Singer/ songwriter

I was raised in a very creative and artistic environment. Having family in the music industry had a great influence on me at a young age. I always had a natural love for the arts but I was also always encouraged to build on my passions. Music is my passion and I couldn’t imagine life without it. Read more>>

Jessie Edelstein | Visual/Performance Artist

I pursued a career in art because I realized I needed to follow my natural abilities instead of repressing them. Growing up in a small, suburban town on Long Island, I was discouraged to be creative and to do anything that was considered “outside the mold.” I was always bullied by my classmates for being weird and constantly berated by teachers for doodling during class. Read more>>

Hector Ruano | Bass player & Harmonica player

I can’t imagine doing anything else, since my childhood I have had the desire to be an artist, I loved to draw, I loved to create and above all I loved to sing or imagine that I was playing an instrument, Despite this, it was not until my teens that I had my first musical instrument and started taking music lessons, Being a musician in my country, Venezuela, is not an easy task, there is a lot of uncertainty around artistic careers but being a musician is what I really wanted, so despite the obstacles I decided to keep my decision. Read more>>

Israa Al-Kamali | Director & Screenwriter, Co-Founder of Independent Iraqi Film Festival

One of the most defining aspects of our humanity is our ability to tell stories through artistic expressions. Ever since I was a kid, I was always reading and writing stories and poetry. My imagination was so vivid that I would spend hours daydreaming about plots and characters. Creating stories was an escape mechanism from the reality I experienced as an Iraqi kid. Read more>>

Bethanya Abebe | Artist/ painter

I have always been exposed to art since a young age. My father is an artist, I spent a lot of time in his studio growing up watching him paint. I believe that has a huge impact on my interest in art. I chose to be an artist because of my love for creating, it seems i can’t separate myself from it. I’m thrilled to do this for a living. Read more>>

Dylan Maharaj | Hip Hop Artist

I’ve wanted to pursue my music career since I was 8 years old. Hip Hop is really all I had to keep me going as a child. I was always so fascinated by the artists I was listening to, and I was able to relate to a lot of what they were talking about. I realized then how powerful words can truly be, and I wanted to make that same impact that my favorite artists left on me. Read more>>

Janky Dood | Artist

I’ve been creating art (specifically drawing) since I could hold a pencil. It’s always come naturally to me. However, in my late teens I started to fall into the trap of practicality and began ignoring my creativity. Two years into a science major, I realized it was not right for me and I switched into art. Art isn’t something I just want to pursue.. It is a need. Read more>>

Taylor Green | Professional Dancer & Freelance Photographer/Graphic Designer

I pursued a creative career because to be honest I was left with no choice, my heart has always been leading me to an artistic career path. When I started to dance, I realized that I had to have this thing in my life forever. Read more>>

Sierra Paletta | Actor, Model, Creative

The decision to pursue a career in the arts came completely instinctually. When I was getting out of high school I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life (in terms of my career) and when I thought about what truly made me happy it always came down to something artistic. Read more>>

Cindy Whitehead | Author, Skateboarder, Sports Stylist

I’ve always been a person who gravitates toward artistic endeavors. When I was growing up, I was an avid skateboarder – skating pools and half-pipes and ended up turning pro as a teenager. Skateboarding is all about creating lines, finding your flow, having your own style, and being creative. Read more>>

Stan Jones | Recording & Mixing Engineer & Professional Fashion & Portrait Photographer

I decided to pursue my career in film and photography years ago as i studied and worked as a professional recording and mixing engineer. I fell in love with still photos, black and whites mainly. The side told a story audibly but the visual put everything together. Read more>>

Sylvia Magana | Owner & Designer of STEMS BY SEM

Since I was a little kid I had a passion and enjoyed anything to do with an artistic and creative background. My parents always supported expanding my creativity and allowing me to express myself. Read more>>

Bita Masoumi | Artist and Graphic Designer

I am a Graphic Designer and Artist, based in California. I am known for my works in a style called “Recycled Painting,” which consists of painting on discarded materials and the backside of discarded paper packaging—mostly from food products and waste papers, with a message of fighting against food waste. Read more>>

Sergei Panov | Music educator, self published author, and entrepreneur

It’s a family business I suppose, my mother is a piano teacher, my sister is a math teacher, and my father builds musical instruments, so naturally I gravitated towards a creative career in music. Read more>>

M.r. Fitzgerald | Filmmaker + Artist

For as long as I can remember, I always made up stories in my head. Even as a young child growing up on a Minnesotan organic farm, I would think of characters and adventures for them to go on and I could visualize it all clear as day. Read more>>

Andrew Esquer | Composer for Media and Musical Theatre, Music Director, and Playwright

I guess the short answer is that I couldn’t see myself feeling fulfilled for the rest of my life while doing anything else! The longer answer is a little harder to pin down. My stated field is music, but over the years I’ve been an educator, a music director, a videographer, and a playwright, in addition to being a composer. Read more>>

Yuri Siebeneicher | Jewelry Designer

I love creating small things since when I was a kid. Spending time in the beautiful nature in Hawaii helps me to create something I would love to share with everyone. Read more>>

Rhett Logan | Multidisciplinary Artist + Designer

It always seemed like a natural extension of myself, to express my thoughts and feelings through an artistic medium. Sometimes I’ll look at work from 5 or more years ago and think, “Oh, so that’s what was going on with me at that time.” You unravel parts of your inner self through the traces you leave behind, with art it’s just more apparent and exaggerated. So, it seemed really obvious to me that the direction was a creative one. Read more>>

Julieann Hardy | Entrepreneur and Visual Artist

I’m not sure I ever decided to pursue a career as an artist, it has always been the only option for me. There is a spark I feel in my mind every time I am creating something. Read more>>

Juhanna Rogers, PhD. | Playwright, Actress, Equity Expert, Community-Builder and Scholar

When I was sick with Covid and bilateral- lateral pneumonia, pursing my artistic work and passions were all I could think about. Pursuing my talents or better yet, putting them out and into the world was my only conceivable regret. Read more>>

Aimee deBeer | Musician

I was a bit of a wonky child- or, at least I felt very much that way. After my family moved from South Africa to Texas, I had a hard time fitting in. In order to cope with the feelings of being a loner, I found a sense of home and solace within worlds of sound. I had a walkman and would find old cd’s at the local used bookstore and listen to them over and over again. Read more>>

Riya Kumar | Film & TV Composer

First, thank you for your invitation. I am honored to share a platform that has featured my heroes and role models in the composing industry. I am a High School senior aspiring to become a Film and TV composer. I’ve been fortunate to have had some early success in this field, motivating me to pursue music as a career. Read more>>