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.

Anya Berlova | Student, Interdisciplinary Researcher, Illustrator, & Entrepreneur

I have always been drawn to the creative sphere. I believe that art in different forms can be a very powerful tool for spreading ideas, for developing conversations around important topics. ‘Art’ encompasses multiple sources of expression, be it film, or music, or illustration, or something else, each carries an immense potential to speak to people in interesting ways. I have personally been fascinated by illustration and film, I’ve felt that I can use these two areas to create work that can be impactful and evoke emotion. I think there is something particularly exciting in ‘the multidisciplinary realm.’ At one point, I decided to combine my passions for art and business. I founded my first startup, Anya Berlova Studio, and created two drawn characters, Sheepers and Puggie, who possess a childlike curiosity and love of adventure, and are not afraid to stand out. I have an illustration/photography series on Instagram. Read more>>

Rachel Kistner | Founder & Designer

I am a creator at heart. I studied Art and Design in College, with a focus in oil painting, but also have always loved working with textiles and product design. I would say my entrepreneurship is driven from a desire to create something new. Read more>>

Scott Santee | Tattooer & Fine Artist

While still in high school, I pictured myself sitting at a 9-5 in a cubicle and it gave me the creeps. I thought what I could do creativley and pursued that with all my energy. Read more>>

Sandra Rozsypal | Dreamcatcher Designer

I always wanted to bring Czech Traditions to the United States, so I started to bake Traditional Ginger bread cookies with traditional decorating. But I had difficult time with shipping, keeping it fresh and edible. After a few other failures, my mom, Hana, came up with BRILLIANT IDEA: “Why don’t you sell  dreamcatchers like me?” She inspired me. Crochet art is handed down in our family for generations, so it felt right. I didn’t have to invest a lot of money, but it took some time to keep it rolling. One year later – December 2020 I came up with idea of creating custom DIY DREAMCATCHER Kits as Christmas presents. It was a big success! So what will I do next? I started my website, blog, new look of instagram – shared more personal stories about me, my family, process of designing, why it is more expensive than other dreamcachters you can find in retail stores… So here I am, specializing in custom designs and event rentals. Read more>>

Ryan Millard | Singer-Songwriter, Session Guitarist

In some ways, I feel that an artistic or creative career chose me. Some background about me is that I am the son of a mechanical engineer. I believe that was passed down to me because I always had a fascination and passion for math and science and those also seemed to be my strengths in academics. As a side academic pursuit, I started studying piano when I was around 5 or 6 years old but it was just an extracurricular activity and not a career aspiration. So for a time, I believed that a career in science and engineering was where I was headed but when I was around 14 I started playing the guitar and it really stole my heart and things developed from there. While math and science seemed to be my strengths in academics, I noticed I did have a passion and talent for creative writing that my teachers seemed to appreciate and encourage. I believe music for me fuses those strengths perfectly because music is very mathematical and scientific in a lot of ways and then writing music is the creative writing side. This is what I believed led me towards being a musician and a songwriter. Read more>>