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.

Taryn Vaughn | Model & Creator

I chose an artistic/creative career because it aligns with my personality; a free spirit. To be able to have control of my destiny has always been important to me. I don’t like the idea of someone telling me my worth, therefore I created my own lane to where I can be my authentic self and connect with like minded people. Read more>>

Ty J Williams – Banks | Esthetician & Owner of Blissed Out Beauty

I don’t think I pursued this type of career to be honest I think it just came with me at birth? I have always had a creative mindset even from my days in diapers I would wear my moms accessories or create my own off the wall outfits. My favorite hat as a child was a deflated kick ball that I attached my favorite Scooby-Doo keychain to, I wore that everywhere till it finally “disappeared.” I’ve not had a thought like, “I wonder what they think?” I hope I don’t regarding how I choose to live and create at least! I have also always been attached to painting and drawing faces and landscapes, I love to oil paint, some pieces have taken me three or more years to finish because they change with the emotions of my life. My attachment to music is crazy sometimes, I came to the conclusion, I love to enjoy music because I’ve tried my hand at many instruments; saxophone, trumpet, singing, piano, guitar, ukulele, midi keyboards/mixing. I’m more into dancing with the music I’ve learned! Which carried into my love for hula hoop dancing!. Read more>>

UC sepia Ozjuah | Artist/muralist

What made me pursue an artistic/creative career was all the love and support I have had over the years and also from all the naysayers that said I couldn’t do it. Ever since I was a little girl I have always loved to draw, paint and make things from out of nothing into something beautiful. It has always been like a form of magic to me. I loved the way it made peoples face light up when I would explain to them what I drew. I felt like my mother, who was the most fantastic storyteller there ever was. That’s when I knew I wanted to be an artist. Painting is my passion and my daily healing medicine. Read more>>

Janet Earth | Independent Musician

I’ve always been driven towards creative career options. When I started getting involved in local music, I was completing my degree in Journalism and covering the scene through articles and photography. It was an incredibly cool opportunity to be able to be involved with my local music scene from more of a 3rd party perspective; I loved being able to document shows and interview bands to find out more about how they started and what their passions were. Though I had been playing music since I was in middle school, I only decided a couple years ago that I’d pursue music full time, and discovered that it is my true passion. At that point I had made so many friends and networks within music that the opportunity was glaring me right in the face, I just had to take it. So I got a band together and started writing songs with the purpose of sharing them live, and I haven’t looked back since. Read more>>

Lex Gribbons | Entrepreneur & Artist

I pursued an artistic career because art and music has always spoke to me ever since I was young. I find beauty and interest in the arts and I always knew I wanted that to be involved in my career. A regular 9-5 working from behind a desk just was not meant for me and I’m so lucky and blessed to be able to do what I do. Read more>>

Jessica Kiptoo | Etsy Shop Owner |


Ever since a young age I have enjoyed making and creating things. I have had a knack for it and took a lot of art classes in high school. Also growing up I worked at a place called Cobblestone Arts Center. I worked with adults with disabilities in an arts based day program, took dance class, and painted sets for their children’s theater program. I worked there for 10 years and then decided to peruse a career in nursing. I went back to college after getting a teaching degree and after I graduated I realized I was missing a part of myself. I no longer had a creative outlet. I had kind of let that go to the wayside because who had time to paint with kids running around or take a dance class? I knew that this had to change because being creative had been such a huge part of my life growing up. So I bought a cricut. I had always been interested in creating all the things, and the cricut allowed me to do that. Honestly though, that machine probably sat there unused for a good part of a year before I figured it out. Read more>>

Beth Secrist | Music Teacher & Entrepreneur

I’ve been involved in the arts since I was a kid. I started piano lessons at 9 years old with the belief that music would be my career path and it was. When I graduated from High School, I went to music school and studied applied piano (performance) at a small college in Pennsylvania. I taught private lessons in high school and in college and then continued to teach privately. Though music was always my passion, I ended up working in the corporate world for many, many years in a variety of industries. Eventually, I came back to music, started my own business and never looked back. Read more>>

Gordon Mehterian | Provocateur at TALK gallery

I spend a lot of time validating a deep rooted insecurity. My inner voice consistently narrates a convincing story regarding the astonishing depth of my idiocy. Art-world is just another affirmation, I suppose. Read more>>

Lizzy Barrett | Videographer and Photographer

First and foremost, I love people. I love talking with people, listening to them, and forming those connections that go beyond the surface level. I also always loved taking mental photos. I didn’t buy my first camera until my senior year of high school, so whenever I saw something I wanted to capture – light, colors, moments – I would conscientiously blink and pretend I was taking a mental photo (I still do that to this day). So I knew for a long time that I wanted a career that allowed for creativity, activity, and variance in the day to day. I didn’t, however, think I could have a career as a photographer (or videographer) for a while because I hadn’t seen any women around me doing it. It wasn’t until my dad sent me an article about an incredible female photographer that I was like, “oh! Maybe I can actually make a living as a photographer [or videographer] then.” That was the first time I started to understand the importance of representation in media – both in front of the camera and behind it. Read more>>