Deciding to pursue an artistic or creative career path isn’t for the faint of heart. Challenges will abound, but so many of the artists we speak with couldn’t be happier with their choice. So, we asked them about how they made the decision in the first place.

Jessica Johnson | Wedding & Family Photographer

Growing up I wanted nothing to do with art. I always thought I was the least creative person. In my high school I was a member of the health academy, where I went and job shadowed at health facilities. My goal was to become a dental hygienist and I was just 2 classes short of applying to a dental hygiene program. After about 3 years of working in a dental office as an assistant, my dad offered to buy me a nice DSLR for my birthday. I became obsessed with finding the perfect camera and my passion for photography started to grow. Read more>>

Jason Sinn | Commercial and Editorial Photographer

As unlikely as it may sound, I actually began my photographic journey back in 2010 when I was in the U.S. Coast Guard working at the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. My usual everyday job was doing search and rescue in San Francisco, but when I flew into Louisiana they needed more people called “Field Observers” so they slapped a camera in my hands and had me travel up and down the coast taking pictures of damage and oil sheens. Read more>>

Natalia Vinueza | Artist & General Manager of Wonder Wonder

For me, pursuing a creative career was never an option — it was a necessity. I’ve worked in different industries throughout my working life and I was never happier than when I was doing something creative. Since I was young, my parents took me to art classes. When I was in high school, I would always finish my classwork before my classmates and then run off to hang out in the art room, practicing drawing and picking my art teacher’s brain. When I decided I’d enroll in an art college, my parents were not surprised. Read more>>

Anne Jensen | Family Photographer & Videographer

I didn’t set out to have a creative career. All I knew for sure was that I wanted to be a mom, and it was fun to have something on the side so I went through several businesses as a young mom. When my third child and first daughter was born, everything changed. I remember looking online and seeing the most beautiful photos of babies in these cute poses. And I wanted to create that myself. Read more>>

Crista Reid | Director of Boulder Burlesque

The arts have called to me since I was a child. I always new I wanted to be an artist, and followed my passion for jewelry to obtain a BFA in Metals and Jewelry from California College of the Arts. Shifting into the world of Boulder Burlesque, a performance art dance troupe based in Boulder, Colorado, feels like an extension of my fine arts background. And, I can certainly say, the child inside me who loves glitter, sequins, and bright colors is very pleased by the costumes and props I get to play with! Read more>>

Mark Brockman | Fine Artist

As a young child I spent most of my life in my own head, this lead me to drawing and since comics were of great interest to me that’s what I drew. My gaol as a teen was to be a comic book / fantasy artist, but a seed was planted in me by my high school art teacher to go a different direction. At some point in the art class, I think my teacher grew tired of my drawings of superheroes and barbarians, he set in front of me a piece of drift wood and said, ‘Draw this”. I did, and it opened up my mind to the fact that real life can be a subject for art. I still live mostly in my own head and my art, my paintings and drawings are a way for me to express myself and share my expressions with those who are willing to look. Read more>>

jack cackovic | artist / owner & operator of never surrender services

It’s pretty simple: I pursued artistic endeavors because I was good at it. I think we all are generally pushed to pursue things we are good at and if I was good at something else I probably would have done that. I keep pursuing artistic endeavors because I have a need to just make things, for my own mental health and to understand the world around me. Read more>>

Lorena Fox | Freelance Designer and Fine Artist

I’ve always been drawn to all things creative, that part has been a given. It’s been in my core for as long as I can remember. The trick was to find the best type of creative career for me. I discovered Graphic Design in college and after many years in agency settings, I now have my own freelance-based design business. I also started doing fine art steadily and constantly dabble in other new creative endeavors for fun. Finding and taking a painting class was a New Years Resolution to myself 5 years ago and I’m letting it go where it leads, without too much stress or pressure. It’s my creative outlet to my creative career. Read more>>

Jennifer garza | Wedding & Portrait Photographer

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always loved art. I remember taking summer art classes and I was constantly drawing in sketchpads. It didn’t matter what kind of art it was, I just always enjoyed doing something creative. As I grew up, I think I took almost every single art class that was offered throughout middle school and high school. That included, painting, still life drawing, pottery, digital art, and photography. I always knew that I wanted to have some sort of career in a creative field. Read more>>

Danjo Harris | Banjo Mercenary

I think the pursuit of artistic endeavors is a double edge sword; On the one hand I get this incredibly profound outlet to express my emotions and philosophies on life and on the other hand I get to see how much joy and inspiration my art creates in the world. I think everyone has experienced the healing power of art and music specifically in their lives and I feel so blessed to be a part of the process. Also in my own world when I’m experiencing turmoil, playing music/ performing/songwriting is an elixir of sorts that coverts afflictive emotions into positive energy: something beautiful. Read more>>

Coast to Ghost Ltd | Live band/musical artist

As a live band, we persued an artistic career so that we could devote our time and efforts on creating music that offers a unique experience for people that listen to it. We realized that writing and performing music is what we all wanted our full time occupations to be so we decided to embrace our music as the product of a business. However, before we knew we were going to make it a career we all just wanted to have fun and try to make some new music that we could listen back to and be stoked on. Read more>>

Ashley ( IndigoAshley ) Young | Author, Illustrator, Painter and Designer

With an unending source of creative flow, I knew my career had to encompass art and design. I sought a graphic and web design path to allow me the financial resources to explore my other areas of interest, illustration and painting. Wrapping my head around many aspects of art and design satisfied my drive to create helped me expand my skill set. Read more>>