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.

Arden Snow | Recording Artist & Music Producer

That’s a great question. If I am being honest, I originally went to college for pre-law with the intention of going to law school. When I graduated, rather than go to law school right away, I decided to work for a law firm to decide if I really wanted to pursue law school as I did not have the money and I would have to take out loans. Ultimately, I chose not to go to law school and rather work as a paralegal while I pursued my creative interests. Read more>>

Routine Caffeine | Band/Musical artist group from Louisville, KY.

Each member of Routine Caffeine decided to pursue an artistic/creative career for different reasons. Madison: “I hate corporate America and I don’t do well sitting behind a desk. I like artistic careers because you get something from performing, but so does the audience. I always wanted to be a professional dancer and when I got my first job, I knew that the only thing I wanted to do was create art.” Read more>>

Matt Maenpaa | Freelance Journalist & Photographer

I don’t know where I would be without creativity and it has, in many ways, informed most of my life. I wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, but the arts have always fascinated me. The creative spirit drove me into a culinary career as well, working in fine dining as a cook and chef and making art on a plate. Read more>>

Monica Storey | Lifestyle & Documentary Photographer

If you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, one of the things I would have told you would have been a photographer for National Geographic Magazine. I have always been drawn to creative pursuits. It is healing, meditative, fulfilling and gives me purpose to create in any kind of way. I dabble in a ton of creative hobbies and want to try everything! Photography just clicked as a career goal because it is something I’ve always stuck with and enjoy doing. It really took off when I became a mother and wanted to document every single raw, mundane and beautiful moment of my children’s lives. Read more>>

Madi Jeno | Elopement Photographer

I’ve always been artistic. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved photographing things. I didn’t know at the time, that I was artistic in anyway, I had this cookie cutter idea of what that meant. I never put myself into that category, and never viewed myself that way. As I got older though my instagram was purely photos of random things, and I always attached poems from books I would read in my spare time. Eventually I started photographing people on the side, while I worked multiple jobs to get by after high school. Read more>>

Stefano Pellegrini | Astrophotographer

As soon as I can remember I always been a creative guy. When I was young I used watercolours, and growing up I was sure that i turned up being a comic designer. Then, after the University I become a communication designer and, thanks to my job in the Spirits business I create several bottles for liquors (Disaronno Velvet, Engine, Tia Maria, Zucca…) After the lockdown I decided to change my life and start as a freelance and focus more on myself. For this reason I decided to give more time to my passion: Astrophotography. In the last two years I’ve been around Europe, alone in the night shooting at the stars. Read more>>

Ruby Hahn | Artist

For as long as I can remember, I was always creating. As a young girl I would spend day in and day out drawing or doodling, making paintings for my family, working on murals inside closet doors or hidden spaces, etc. As I grew up, the dedication to my artistic processes evolved and developed with me. I chose some form of Visual Art for every elective throughout Middle School and High School. I remember my first ever “Senior Capstone” show where I displayed all of the paintings I had worked on in a semester on one gallery wall. Read more>>

Sandy Sammon | Wreath Creator & Retired Teacher

I’ve always strived to be the kind of person that tries to make a difference in the lives of others. For more than thirty years, I had a rewarding career as a First Grade Teacher. Throughout the years, I made great efforts to have a positive impact and enhance the lives of my students. When that chapter in my life came to an end and I retired from teaching, I found myself still wanting to make a difference. I turned to crafting which allowed me to use my creative abilities to make creations for others. From a very young age I’ve had a true passion for crafting. It gives me such great pleasure to create beautiful things that bring a sense of peace and joy. Read more>>

Mark Gustafson | Music Producer, DJ and Promoter

It’s a little odd that I ended up pursuing an artistic career because while music has been a passion my whole life there was a time that didn’t look like Awesome Up was the direction things would go. After college I was in medical school where I decided I didn’t want to be a doctor. I needed to try a different path for my life. Long before that, my father was a pastor and I grew up playing music in churches. By the end of high school I played guitar, piano, bass and drums. Personally, though, I was into a much wider range of music than I was performing on those stages so I started an alternative rock band and began lessons in Delta blues guitar. Read more>>

Audrey Smiddy | Watercolor Artist

Personally I can’t imagine my life without art! I started experimenting and creating with watercolors from a young age but my real interest in art didn’t take off until high school when I started rearranging my bedroom into a little studio. I’d find myself doodling and daydreaming about what I could turn my art into and if I could start up a small business out of it! I’ve had a lot of different jobs throughout the years and no matter what, I’ve always come back to a job where my artistic ability could be used! In January of 2022 I finally took the leap and started creating and posting consistently of social media and I haven’t looked back! Read more>>

Jim Ringel | Author of the Lama Rinzen Mystery Series

I think I’ve always approached my career choices by pursuing the job that seemed like it might be the most fun. The money’s important, of course. And the ethics of where I worked. But fun is what sustains a career. Fun gets me up in the morning and to the desk even when I’m groggy. Read more>>

Marny Emerald Light Photography | Owner & Photographer

I have always pursued careers that were “practical”, but I kept art close through the years. I loved drawing and painting as a child, my parents may not have appreciated my art as much on the cabinets but who doesn’t love some color! High-school is where I got to feel clay for the first time and I was convinced pottery was it for me, that was until I developed a roll of film. Read more>>

Ben Fisher | Artist

I decided to pursue an artistic career because creating art has always been a major part of my life. I grew up in a household with two very different parents. My mom was the more artistic one. She had a home business decorating cakes and she also made and sold porcelain dolls. I spent many days in the kitchen helping with orders or on a road trip to a nearby ceramic show. My dad on the other hand was always very analytical and by the book. He was an engineer at Motorola and had a woodworking shop at home where he spent his free time. My mom taught me to be creative and to use my imagination. Read more>>

Miguel Alejandro Ramos | Math professor and Artist

I studied math and education, but I have been interested in art my whole life. So I have had two paths in my career. The first as a math teacher, which I consider creative as well. The second path in art, in which I have explored painting, dance, theater, writing and music. Pursuing an artistic career connects me with who I am. It is a way to explore my inner self and manifest my own beauty. Art requires discipline, concentration, contemplation and a world view (perspective). Read more>>

Izzy Stringham | Bookstore Owner

makes me happy! I find that in my work life and career, I’m always happiest when I can incorporate creativity into my work. I’ve had many different jobs in the past, including teaching skiing, running a baby products design company, and working in retail. I’ve noticed that whenever my job enables my creative side, my work is better, more successful and more profitable. I really believe that tapping into my artistic vein gives me an authenticity that customers will pick up on in my work. In my current project of opening an Independent Bookshop, the entire platform is about creativity. Read more>>