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.

Jazmine DiGiorgio | Video Editor

I pursued an artistic/creative career because it simply makes me happy. That’s all there is to it. Being able to collaborate with like-minded creatives to make something into reality is magical in every sense of the word. Do we have our ups and downs? Yes. Can it be stressful and tiring? Of course! But at the end of the day, nothing else makes me excited to do it all over again. Read more>>

Rebecca Tischler | Fashion Designer

Both of my parents are artists, my dad taught and made ceramics at the University of Denver for over 40 years, and my mom is a jeweler who helped found the Boulder Arts and Crafts Cooperative. Art was always around us growing up from not only both of them but also their friends and community of artists. We always ate out of handmade works of art, had hand drawn birthday invites or hand drawn pin the tail on the donkey at parties. Our house was the fun and creative place to go, and it still is. While I’m the only child who made a career in the creative industries, it always felt like home to pursue an artistic path. I started out as a printmaking major at CU Boulder, but was always really interested in adornment, textiles, and fashion. After college I decided to take a leap of faith and made the big move to New York City, where I lived for 3 years, attending the Fashion Institute of Technology, interned at a hat shop as well as for a sculpture artist. Being around these creative people felt invigorating and impactful, and I wanted that life too. Read more>>

Eli & Ryan Solt & Hart | Filmmakers

Ryan and I grew up always creating little artistic projects and videos. Going through high school together, we always found ourselves planning our next endeavor. That drive continued even after high school and we stayed connected by our desire to create. Even though we lived in different cities, we would meet up several times a month to plan new ideas and brainstorm projects. Art gave both of us a different way of expressing ourselves and a freedom to experiment with some of the unique ideas we would come up with. Creating short films and our web series “Temporal Hills” also allowed us to create new friendships and local connections that we would not have gained otherwise. We feel like the things we create have the ability to bring people together and have allowed us to build and become a part of a greater artistic community in the Northern Colorado area. Read more>>

William Brown | Tangleoak Woodshop

Since a very early age woodworking has been my creative pursuit of choice. I always have a custom project going and I’m starting to design the next in my mind. I have never been able to follow a set of published plans. I always come up with my own original ideas, or I will make major creative changes to a set of plans. Expressing myself in such unique ways leads to the greatest satisfaction. Read more>>

Martha Russo | Visual Artist & Educator

I studied developmental biology and psychology at Princeton (1985), and was on a path to be a doctor or psychologist. My other love was playing sports. I was hoping to go to the 1984 Los Angels Olympics for field hockey. But at the last try-out, I wrecked my knee for the second time. Not only were my hopes dashed to go to the Olympics but my doctors all urged me to stop playing running sports because I would continue to re-injury my knee. I was devastated. Basically, art became my new sport. I needed to move around and get tired. I enjoyed working with a material that was very demanding, steeped in glaze chemistry, and the alchemy of fire. The physicality of working with clay filled a big hole for me then and it still feeds my addiction of being physically challenged. Read more>>

Sarah Spoelstra | Graphic Designer and Inbound Marketer

Rapid City, South Dakota. 1994. It all started with a band trip and a pink detention slip. Fed up with my high school fast-food job at Kentucky Fried Rat (ahem, I mean chicken), my mom suggested I start weaving rugs on an old floor loom in our garage. I made enough that summer to fund a band trip to Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii my junior year. Through my family and my collective experiences, I learned how to value hard work, grit, and the hustle of running a business which I bring with me into Moonshine Design. It was 1994, and I was eager to ditch my band geek persona, so I signed up for Mr. Horan’s photography class. He was one of the “cool” teachers — sporting a curly mullet with a pierced ear and into heavy metal and guitars. Back then, I had a bad case of senioritis and an even worse habit of skipping classes that lead to a backpack full of pink detention slips. Mr. Horan offered to let me make up my detention by spending time in Yearbook — either photographing school events, laying out the book in Quark or editing photos in Photoshop 2.0 (aren’t we on version 20 something now?). Read more>>

Renee Jorgensen | Artist, Illustrator & Calligrapher

I have always know that I would be an artist since my early childhood. I made up my mind that there would be no other alternative other than creating some kind of art and as often as possible. Pursuing an artistic career set me on a personal trajectory setting incentives to explore, experiment and refine my skills. Read more>>

Davion Bugarin | Founder of Bluff, Artist, Blog writer, Co-Founder of Prodigees Project

What made me pursue an artistic or creative career is the fact that I’ve always had and passion and a feeling that I would change the world through my words. Since a young age I knew that was my path and everything I am doing know is just leading up to being able to do that more on a daily basis. I have been able to witness how powerful my words are through open mics and through those in my community and it’s truly an unbelievable feeling knowing that your words are touching those around you. Also because music and art hits my soul in such a different way I am art and I am a master piece and there could never be another person just like me and that intrigues my mind. Life is a huge canvas and we paint what we want on it everyday. Read more>>

Breahna Whitehair | Potter and Alliance Manager

I’ve always had an artistic desire. Creating, whether it be with paints, collage, pottery, welding, wood etc. has always brought me joy. I come from a creative family with a low risk attitude. That being said, I never really thought pottery was an option for me, what with the start up costs, space for equipment and so on. After 10 years of having something missing in my life, I decided to take the plunge and go for pottery. I have not regretted a single purchase or decision regarding art since. Why? Because it brings me and others so much joy. Read more>>

Daija Jenkins | Makeup Artist| Enthusiast | Cosmetologist

I chose this career because it helps me stay in tune with my childhood, as well as staying true to who I am. I create a lot of art that is nostalgic and somewhat resembles television characters from my childhood. In a world full of chaos, art helps me express what I can’t necessarily verbalize. I have always been extremely passionate about anything involving art whether it was acting, dancing, singing, creating paintings or drawings etc. Art one-hundred percent makes me happy and I don’t know what I’d do without it!. Read more>>

Kristin Schweitzer | Boutique Owner/Local Business Owner/Mom

I decided to pursue a creative career based on the timing of where I was in life. At the time, in 2015, I was raising two young boys with a husband that travelled a large percentage of the year. I was starting to feel the “itch” to have something of my own, and to fill my time with something that was inherently satisfying. I knew I could not work outside of the home because of my husband’s travel schedule but I didn’t think I had a skill to translate into a business. One day while Christmas shopping, I came across the ribbon aisle and remembered how my Mom always made beautiful bows for our Christmas packages and the greens on the banister at the holidays. Those memories sparked an idea that I would teach myself how to make bows for wreaths and sell them to friends. I watched a Youtube video on how to make bows, called my sister for advice, and sent an email to 80 people. Read more>>

Jennifer Winslow | Owner Red Hen Createry & Chronic maker of stuff

I have always been an entrepreneur, even before I knew what that was. As a child, I would make crafts and trade with friends, like friendship pins, and hair clips and soon realized not only did I really enjoy the hustle, I was good at making “stuff”. When I entered college, I was told by my parents that I could not make a career out of “making stuff” and art had no future, so I had to choose a “real” major. After a few years of studying psychology, I gravitated to graphic design and was hired at an ad agency before I had graduated and off I went into a creative arts field. (Ironically, what landed me the art director position was a handmade 3 dimensional book that I wrote and created.) After various art director positions, I got married and had kids and deciding to have more time with my kids I began the journey of creating for and with children. Read more>>

Mandy Penn | Fine Art Portrait Photographer

I’ve always been a more creative person, even when I was really young. When I was about 22 or 23, modeling fell into my lap. It helped open up a whole new creative outlet and taught me to express more intense emotions. I found that the truly creative shoots were my favorites: the creepy, the intense, the girl in a nightgown curled up in a deserted house… these shoots told stories, and I could FEEL the emotions. I was really good at portraying those emotions. When I moved back to Colorado I was told that I wasn’t “skinny enough” to model, and I put it aside. I had twins, and I decided to step back and spend time watching them grow. What came as a surprise was how FAST they were growing! I didn’t want to miss a single moment, so I picked up a camera to capture those times, and I never looked back. I fell in love with having a camera in my hand, and I found I was really good at photography. Read more>>

Linda Farrelly | Artist

I have always loved art, always loved creating things with my hands. Now that my children are grown, it seems the perfect time to make a change for myself. Read more>>

Om Jaya Maxwell | Musical and Visual Artist

Being an artist pursued me. I have a tendency to escape, to detach from the ordinary. I grew up at the seas edge and wandered the beach alone, Surfing and watching sunsets were an obsession. Young, I banged on a can and attracted my first drum. I practiced fanatically and became a professional drummer. I surfed and I drummed, this was the lifestyle of my youth and would shape my character. Late in my fifty’s a I had an emotional breakdown. I began playing a piano as a healing tool. The passion to create drove me deeply into composing. This practice took over me and again I was living in another obsession, the piano, a tool that would transport me into dreams. Read more>>

Moonglade | Band

Because it brings us so much joy. It is important for us to express ourselves and to have a voice in a world where we are fans of many other voices. Read more>>

Heatherlyn | Singer/Songwriter, Streamer, Teacher and Healer

Often people will ask my how I got into music and I have to say the most succinct and true answer is that music got into me. I knew at a very early age that pretty much all I wanted to do was sing for people. My dreams were waylaid time to time but it was during what you could call a quarter life crisis when I realized I was at a crossroads and that if I went in a more conventional direction with my life I’d both regret and resent it. There came a point when I knew in the deepest way of knowing that I had to at least give music and being a singer my best shot. It was all I ever wanted to do. I had always wanted to write songs, record them, sing to people, and music is simply how I love this world to life. So, I left behind my regular paycheck job and devoted all of my life to this artistic work. Read more>>

Liz Tarricone | Creative Hypnosis Practitioner

I love being creative and I love hypnosis! Ultimately, I am pursuing a creative career because it influences growth and healing in so many ways. Hypnosis is a highly focused and profoundly creative state of mind. When in the hypnotic state, we use insightful, vividly abstract imagery and positive words to change our perspectives. As a hypnotist, musician, actor and writer, I’ve decided to combine creative action with hypnosis as a unique way to use the human body, mind, and spirit to build self-confidence and peace of mind, while healing sadness and anxiety. EVERYONE has the ability to be creative – including those who do not consider themselves to be. I absolutely love teaching clients to open up this part of the mind in order to view life and self with a new perspective. Read more>>

Wellington Bullings | Singer/Songstress

I live a creative life because it makes me happy. It brings me joy to create beauty in this chaotic world, and then live my life in it. I believe that creativity is vital to our mental and emotional health because it allows a space for expression. Without art and expression, we can’t fully explore ourselves or the world authentically. Read more>>

Andrea Dent | Artist and Adventurer

Years ago I read a quote by Elizabeth Braun that stayed with me. “ Art is not always about pretty things. It’s about who we are, what happened to us and how our lives are affected.” Life happened to me and while I was down I was never out! From somewhere deep down inside, the quote returned quietly to my mind along with a burning desire to do good things for others who may be struggling. I picked up a paint brush and painted from sunup to sundown. I challenged myself to learn a new technique every month. I had many to choose from as I was new to painting. Determined to sell my work and use the funds to send youngsters from under resourced neighborhoods on the adventures of their lives, we held art events, 5K races and so on to raise funds and sell art. Read more>>

Amy Creaven Creaven | Dog Product Specialist & Mom

There were a lot of very different factors that went into my choice to have an artistic career. I was working in the field of dog training and many of my clients would have benefited from the use of a muzzle but there is a huge stigma about muzzled dogs. So I dove into creating my own line of “pretty” and approachable muzzles to help my clients access tools that they and their dogs needed for so many reasons. Read more>>