Artistic and creative careers are among the most rewarding, but they also come with unique challenges.  We asked some of the city’s best creatives to tell us why they choose to  pursue a creative career.

Brenda Melgar | Real Estate Agent, Larson Home Group, BSW Real Estate

For as long as I can remember, I have been an artist. Growing up in Houston, Texas, the Livestock Show and Rodeo was a huge deal for the city – concerts, funnel cakes, cowboys and cowgirls, animals, and the Rodeo Art Show. I auctioned off artwork there at an accumulated $45,000, and I thought I would do it for life. I graduated from the top entrepreneurship program in the US at the time, the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, in hopes that maybe one day I would use that degree for something creative. Unfortunately, as an adult it became more difficult to conform into getting a “big girl job” that offered me flexibility, creativity, and emphasized my customer service skills. It took many years; I took a back seat as a stay at home mom for 8 years and encouraged their many awesome achievements, but eventually I knew it was time for me to be around more adults, nurture my own needs for community, thrive in a fast-paced environment, and use my creativity. Read more>>

Alicia Lopez | Maker, Designer, and Crochet Creative

From a young age I knew I wanted to do something creative. At the time, I wanted to be an author and sell a bunch of books and have movies made from them. And honestly, a part of me still wants that. But as we grow up, we eventually detach from our childhood wonder, wipe the innocence from our eyes, and start to believe what the adults are telling us. Things like, “Being an artist isn’t a REAL career, what’s your plan B?” or “How are you going to make enough to survive on an idea like that?” or my personal favorite, “Your hobby isn’t a viable business idea.” And hey, I get it. The adults in our lives want to see us succeed and do well in life, but I also think a lot of this dialogue is based on fear and sometimes jealousy of not being able to do it themselves. I still have a full time corporate job so I’m not exactly living the self-employed artist dream (yet), but that doesn’t mean it’s still not possible or that I’m not on my way. I have so many exciting things coming up (including rebranding), and I’m hopeful that these things will get me closer to the goal of being fully self-employed and doing something I love. Read more>>

Emma Rose | Visual Artist

My parents always said I could hold a pencil before I could do anything else, putting pencil to paper was second nature to me. Growing up I always said I wanted to be an artist. I was provided with the tools to pursue that dream by my immediate family, but was encouraged by my peers to follow a more “practical” path. In college I studied psychology with a minor in studio art, but after graduating realized a career in art was what I really wanted. In all honesty my decision to finally pursue my art in a more serious manner was due to my stubborn nature and desire to go against the norm. Read more>>

Mina Rosenberg | Photographer

Since I was little, I was inclined towards the artistic world, from doing design in collage I migrated through many different medians and genres of art. But none have grasped me like photography,  It is my outlet to capture a subject’s energy and soul for all to see. There was something in photos that always fascinated me, capturing a moment and saving it forever,  struck me deeply, however I never thought it would become. a lifelong pursuit,  I have spent thousands of hours learning the craft and every time I learn something new it opens doors to new areas of knowledge and skill for me to explore. Read more>>

Mindy Hunter | Surface Pattern Designer & Maker

As a child I loved to read comics and would practice drawing cartoons for hours. I dreamed of one day being a comic strip artist. However, I ended up getting a B.S. from Colorado State University and working in long term care. My career was very rewarding but took a lot out of me emotionally and I eventually began to pursue a business on Etsy sewing baby items. After a few years I discovered surface pattern design and took online classes to learn how to design my own fabrics. I immediately fell in love with the process and now design all of my own fabrics as well as sew everything in my shop. I really do feel lucky everyday that my childhood dream of being an artist has come to fruition (even if I’m not making comic strips!) It is wonderful to live in a time that artists and creatives can make a living through their craft. Read more>>