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.

Jean Grant | Filmmaker, Writer & Healer

I didn’t choose to be an artist, it chose me at a very young age. At three-years-old, I remember telling my mom I wanted to be an actor, I remember writing a musical for My Little Ponies–and then a few years later for Queen’s Greatest Hits, I remember singing everything from Annie the Musical to Schubert’s Death and the Maiden and then eventually learning to play Coldplay’s A Rush of Blood to the Head on the piano. And once I found acrylic paint and charcoal, I started creating art pieces: worlds and dreams I saw so vividly in my mind. Looking back, I needed to express myself creatively because it was the truest language to me. Truer than the limits of the English language, truer than my family of origin’s lack-there-of-communication, truer than what I learned in my 7th grade social studies textbook, People Magazine, NBC news, and so on. Read more>>

Zachary Asdourian | A&R Manager

To me, being an artist is defined by the ability to “create value” versus the concept of “acquiring value”. Most people spend their lives carving out their career as a personal safe space, which does not exist for artists or creatives whose work is a constant, living reaction; attempting to find solutions or answers to the conditions we face, individually as people and collectively as a society. I chose the artistic career path in order to foster an open mind for myself and for others, and to embrace that constantly “reactive” state of mind. Read more>>

Miranda Dressler | Illustrator & Designer

I have always loved making art and from a really young age I got this idea that I wanted to work in animation. As a kid I didn’t understand what that meant, exactly: I just knew I wanted to be one of the artists making my favorite cartoons. I’m autistic, so I’ve always been kind of ‘in my own head’ a lot of the time. I was the kid sitting in the corner of the playground with a sketchbook at recess, totally absorbed in drawing my own comics and making up stories. I grew up constantly moving around and have lived in the Midwest, the South and the East Coast but I knew the land of animation was in Hollywood, so I also become super focused on moving to Los Angeles. Read more>>

Mari Fix | Sacred Sound Healing Practitioner & CEO

In my work, offering multi-sensory Sound Healing / Sound Bath Alternative Health appointments and events , I value integrity and true Service. I would say that there are popular myths about sound and healing that don’t necessarily adhere to reality, so I do not disseminate them. For me, since I value integrity, this puts my work into a different category, as I don’t see my clients and our interactions as a means to a personal end. Rather, I see interaction as an extension of my values, so truth telling is paramount in this relationship. In other words, the hype is taken out. Advertising thus does not become something done inherently to make money; instead, I seek to provide an experience that highlights the re-imagining of a new paradigm, a new life, a new possibility and a new way of being. Read more>>

Skylar Funk | Musician & Activist

There have been a small handful of moments in my life where a realization hits me with such force it feels like a billboard falling out of the sky and smacking me with a message like “HEY! You should do this thing!” One of them was in junior high, watching jazz band perform when I was only in concert band. I was filled with envy and admiration and I knew I had to get into it. Another time was about a year out of college, some evening after working my desk job (I had a degree in environmental analysis and worked for a couple non-profits or energy efficiency contractors exploring that type of career), watching a couple friends who had bands playing a show at a club in LA. I ended up buying a loop pedal and moving into a garage and my music career really started there. I had always done music in school for fun, but that was the moment I knew I couldn’t live without performance and went for it. Read more>>

Moorea Masa | Musician & Artist

I am honestly grateful to say that it wasn’t much of a question for me. I’ve always known that I wanted to do something with music, and it has felt like a guiding light for me in my life. It feels like the ultimate pursuit that aligns my own spiritual journey and my desire to give to others. It’s not without its crippling anxiety, and self doubt but I’m grateful Music has been such a powerful force that I’m able to keep coming back to. Read more>>

Micheline Abounassar | Fine Artist & Writer

Born in 1980, my name is Micheline Abounassar “artist Micha” & as an artist to the Stars for over 20 years, through my art story, i will explain why i pursued an artistic creative career & the thought process of starting my own art business. My art story began at the early age of 5 years old, on a warm sunny day while sitting at my grandmother’s table, randomly sketching on a piece of paper, when suddenly my sketch turned into something more. Through what I believe was a spiritual vision, as a young artist i began a sketch that would be titled a “message of love”. On one side of the paper i sketched a nun on her way to church, and on the other side i sketched a group of kids throwing trash and running around a pool. The sketch was juxtaposition between good and bad. I remember feeling wise beyond my years as my pencil hit the paper. Read more>>

Olivia Mia Orozco | Performative Pop-Ups Founder

I don’t think I picked it, I think I was born into it and embraced the fact that I was going to be an artist whether I wanted to or not. My mother was a professional dancer and choreographer, and my father a writer and English professor. I started dancing pretty much when I started walking. What I have pursued has been an understanding that it’s okay as an artist to evolve and to move from being in front of the camera to behind and to help produce creative endeavors. I feel this strange obligation to help bring about the completion of other people’s visions. As long as I’m working on a creative endeavor I’m happy. Read more>>

Jessie Eveland | Actress & Musician

It has never really felt like a choice to pursue an artistic career for me. It has just always been apart of me since I was young. I an incredibly thankful to my parents for exposing me to so many of the arts since I was a toddler. I always looked forward to my dance, piano, guitar, and acting lessons. It was because of this exposure that I realized any career in the arts would make me the happiest in my life. Money, fame, or glittering gold has never been the draw to acting for me. As an actress, I believe it is incredibly important to showcase the human element in all of it’s beauty and ugliness and this keeps me going. I am not afraid to show every spectrum of the human element. I have always been a theatrical person, strongly feeling emotions to their most heightened state, sometimes to a fault, so why not make a career out of that? Read more>>

Coco Columbia | Musician

Making music helps me make sense of my experiences and my emotions. I’m able to express things I couldn’t tell anyone; feelings I couldn’t even articulate to my closest friends. I experience music like a loyal golden retriever— It never fails to bring me joy and it’s always within reach. At the same time, it’s elusive and mysterious and I’ll often find myself chasing a sound or a feeling the same way I’d chase a new lover. I never feel as high as when I’ve just written a new song or when I’m able to transform pain and heartache into something beautiful. When I experience music on this level it’s makes me manic— it’s euphoric, like weed or wine or the wildest sex—only better. Whenever I’m in a phase where I’m writing a lot of new material, I never find myself reaching for substances or distractions and I feel happy and content to be alone with myself. Read more>>

Moises Reyes | Freelance Photographer & Videographer

Many reasons to be completely honest. All my life my career interest have changed but I always knew I wanted to create or at least be in a industry that creates. If that makes sense. I love the idea of creating things or at least doing things that are new to others. I love being able to look at something and call it my own work/creation. I guess the overall idea of letting my creativity take over my career just caught my attention. Read more>>

John Goolsby | Master Storyteller

I discovered early on that I had an ability for understanding human emotion and to influence others. I skipped a year of high school graduating as a junior and started taking business management classes in college. I was working part time in a grocery store and by age 22 I was the most profitable department manager on the west coast for Safeway Stores. A few years later I could see the industry changing and felt it was time to start my own video business having really enjoyed photography and video classes in High School. My first job was a wedding and I watched the final product with the client who liked it so much she cried. I was hooked. Not only did I get paid which is a necessity but I enjoyed the personally satisfying reward of a very happy client. Read more>>

Harmony Gerber | Photographer

I was brought up in a household where everyone worked in healthcare; my family was (and still is) extremely “left-brained.” I was always enamored with the how & why of who they became as professionals, but I always knew deep down that I enjoyed the arts, music & expression entirely way too much for me to go down the same path… So, why did I pursue becoming a photographer? Because it’s fun, that’s the truth of it. There isn’t anything in the world I’d rather do. When I first started out, I was shooting a lot of landscapes, random scenes, objects in the studio, anything I could to practice developing & printing in the darkroom, but there was a depth of solitude to that, where the relationship was between myself, my camera and the darkroom, it was my muse, but it was very lonely, figuring out who I wanted to be as an artist, I love people, and I also play music. Read more>>

Agnes Grumslys | Owner & Skin Care Expert

As we know art comes in all different shapes and forms. For me art is people. I know I create beauty from inside out, and not just on a superficial level. The results are shown on their skin and on top of that, I make someone feel more beautiful,confident in themselves. This is the best reward and I couldn’t be any happier I chose this path for my career. I feel blessed. Read more>>

Siobhan Hebron | Artist, Writer & Patient Advocate

I remember the poorly chosen words from President Obama in 2014 so distinctly: “A lot of young people no longer see the trades and skilled manufacturing as a viable career, but I promise you, folks can make a lot more potentially with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree.” I remember hearing them on my commute home from my job as an artist’s assistant as I crossed the giant intersection of Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards, driving back to my apartment in the years following my graduation from art and art history undergraduate programs. The long-smoldering fear flared up again for a moment; had I made a huge, life-altering mistake, as relatives and friends and now the president was saying I had? Within four months of that comment I would find myself diagnosed with brain cancer, facing the financial reality of my new situation, and deeply regretting my naive optimism of a career in the arts. Read more>>

Rhonda Faber Green | Jewelry Designer

Designing, painting, creating, thinking of new products has been in my DNA as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl I watched my father “create”, who was my inspiration and my role model. Few things he would do: he carved a beautiful ship out of a tree trunk. He made a child’s life size car when I was 5 years old, that I could drive around in. He had so many talents from painting, to sculpting, designing to wood working, basically he could create and build anything. He worked as a model maker and a toy designer at Mattel. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else besides creating and designing. I paint, draw, learned how to make pottery, I am currently writing and illustrating a few children’s books, I designed handbags, I am a jewelry designer, a calligrapher, I also became a tattoo artist. Basically, I think I can design anything…. Read more>>

Theodosia Marchant | Artist

Even though there was a strong artistic influence running in my family when I was growing up, I did not pursue an artistic career when the time came for me to start my studies. I studied law and in fact practiced as a lawyer in London for many years before deciding to emigrate to the US and make a new start and change my life around. I moved to the US with my partner in 2013. Prior to the move art was a very personal affair and by that I mean that very few people knew that I was painting and was interested in the arts. Weekends were filled with gallery hopping, talks, art receptions and anything I could get involved with. The flame was always there but never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to turn my life around this way and be doing what I am doing now. Read more>>

Jill Seidner | Jill Seidner | Interior Design

I think it was destined to be that I pursue a creative career, that of becoming an interior designer. Since I can remember, I have been drawing furniture plans and houses. While other kids in school were drawing stick figures, I would draw floor plans and layouts of houses. When we got to play with clay and play-doh in school, I used to mold it into rooms complete with furniture. Later on, I started rearranging the furniture in my bedroom. I actually have a letter I wrote when I was in about second grade, where we had to write “When I grow up…” and I wrote how I wanted to be an interior designer like my mom. In the letter I listed all the things interior designers do (looking back, I actually can’t believe I knew some of the things I wrote!). I guess when you grow up with a mom working at her drafting board (until late at night, which is what I remember!) – you learn these things! Read more>>

Nika Yazdani | Pastry Chef & Cake Designer

Although my parents both studied the sciences (my father is a chemical engineer and my mother is a nurse), I think it was my mother’s talent for cooking, baking, sewing, and other crafts that really helped me to develop my creative side. I never really considered a creative career until after undergrad, when I realized that I was happier throwing dinner parties for friends than I was studying for exams. I loved seeing the joy in their eyes when they tried a new dessert or a flavor pairing they hadn’t thought of before. Sometimes it takes a new presentation of an old favorite to expand the ideas of what dessert can be. During the early days of the pandemic, I gathered friends together online and taught informal classes, where we’d bake a recipe together, share photos, and ask questions. I love learning every day to improve my own skills, and now I had the chance to pass along information to friends and clients. Read more>>

Marcellus Cox | Award Winning Writer & Film Director

I Pursue Filmmaking because I’ve always been hooked to movies my whole life, it’s the only medium where you can visually showcase what’s on your mind and how you see things in the world and I honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything else in the world. It’s a passion that extends way past just pointing a camera and shooting, it’s a passion where you have a opportunity to touch Lives with your story and that’s the greatest feeling in the world. Read more>>