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.

Heidi Mendoza | Interior Designer

I pursued a creative career in Interior Design because I value the impact of my surroundings immensely. I am an Aesthete, which means that I have refined sensitivity toward the beauties of art and nature. I love the opportunity to have an impact on the space and its occupants. Everything from the layout of the space to the finishes can contribute towards health, mood, and productivity of people. I love seeing the connection between the user and the space whether residential or commercial space. I’ve always been an artistic and creative person, but I grew up in a family of Entrepreneurs, so I did try the business route for several years. For a long time, my life was a zigzag between art and other careers. I sang in the bands, went to TV & Radio Broadcasting school. I danced in groups, sang in bands, and got a degree in Accounting and Marketing and worked in business field for several years, but it wasn’t fulfilling, and fulfillment is an essential part of a career, so I finally gave in to pursue my true calling. I think my violin playing dad was especially happy with my decision. Read more>>

Olivia Lovely | Hairstylist & Makeup Artis

Initially styling was a essentially just my side hustle, a creative outlet that brought in extra cash. To be honest, I had no inclination to make anything more of it either. I was the director of marketing and sales at a small, woman owned background check company, making content, networking, understanding the business and industry I was completely satisfied with the work I did there. Hair and makeup artistry was simply another channel for my creative side. I was going to cosmetology classes in the evening after an 8 hour shift and beginning to build a part-time clientele. Looking back I have no idea how I had the energy, I was running on dry shampoo and a handful of dreams. The turning point really came in 2016 when I joined an incredible team of other stylists to do hair at New York Fashion Week right after becoming licensed. Read more>>

Nicole Bendig-Lamb | Master Cake Designer & Lead Instructor

I have always had a passion for expressing artistic creation through food and cake art, but what made me realize that this needed to be my career is seeing the joy that it brings to others! Nothing makes me happier than to hear from my clients that my cakes have touched their hearts and created a memory that lasts a lifetime. Read more>>

Sarah G. Keesen | Artist, Founder & Creator of The Dream Tree Studio

I’ve been creating ever since I was a little child. At age 5, I remember having an “ah-ah” moment at a family reunion. All my relatives were complaining about their jobs and how they couldn’t wait til the weekend and for vacation to come. I thought to myself, “Why are they spending their lives going to jobs they don’t like day in and day out? When I grow up, I’m gonna do what I love for a living!”. That declaration stuck with me over the years, and I can actually say at this point in my life, it came to pass! I’ve always wanted to be a full time artist, creating and painting for a living. I love inspiring others to be creative and to “color outside the lines” of their regular routine. I’m all about igniting that God given creative spark in others and to go for those seemingly impossible dreams! There’s a quote I love by Les Brown that says, “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss you will still be among the stars!” Read more>>