We asked some of the most creative folks we know to open up to us about why they chose a creative career path. Check out their responses below.

Jennifer Funnell | Visual Arts Teacher & Artist

Well, I think it was a pretty innate thing for me. When I was younger the only careers I ever imagined had a strong creative component to them. Interior design, photo journalism and architect were among some of the first. I settled on art teacher in the 9th grade after a friend mentioned that’s what she wanted to do. After she said it, it just made so much sense for me too. Today, we are both art teachers. I knew that I wanted my career to be connected to something that I was passionate about since I would be doing it for a very long time. Art has always been a way for me to express myself and connect with others. I love being able to have a creative career because it allows me to keep growing, both as an artist and as a teacher. Read more>>

Tasha Christensen | Author & Youth Mentor

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. Since I was a kid, I’ve written and imagined stories and dreamed of becoming a novelist. But I didn’t really decide to pursue writing as a career until I had my first daughter, June. Having a kid is a kick in the pants in many ways, and it forced me to decide how I really wanted to spend my time. I decided that while June was napping, that would be my time to write. And I did – sometimes typing with one hand while the other was rocking the baby. In those stolen moments, I wrote my first fully polished novel. I’ve held other jobs through my life, from marketing to audio engineering. But writing is and will always be my passion. I don’t think I could give it up if I tried. Read more>>

R.W. Perkins | Filmmaker

I’m not sure I had a choice, I was going to live this life, or I probably wasn’t going to make it… at least on an emotional level – That and the fact that creation, especially when I was young, was the only thing that made sense to me. I didn’t understand having conversations that didn’t have to do with listening to music, writing, reading, painting, watching, or making a movie. Writing and directing is the creative language I best understand, so that is how I ended up a filmmaker and why I pursued an artistic career. Read more>>

Evan Mann | Founder and Creative Director of Otherworldly Productions

Well, there was nothing else for me, except the impulse of creating weirdness, that was worthwhile and life giving. As if I have this genetic quirk, perhaps even an extra internal organ, in which produces a stream of creative juices that get rapped inside my body. The pressure builds and the need to release is essential for me to be the human that I am. At one point, after graduating college with an art degree, I was a direct care provider for people with mental and developmental disabilities. It was a beautiful occupation in many ways, but there was very little room for creative expression, and it paid less than $9/hr. Nothing about it was sustainable for me. Read more>>

Delton Demarest | Illustrator and Muralist

I pursued a career in the arts because I always had a passion for hand on practices and exhibited this at a young age. I was always inspired by anything visual, in print, and otherwise as a child, I think that initially led me to pursue a creative career. Read more>>

Cassidy Andryana Walker | Artist With A Camera

Photography saved my life in a sense that it helped me escape my reality. It let me explore different avenues of photography and helped bring my imagination to life. Photoshop helped me as well bring an artistic flair to my photo editing. It is also a form of therapy for me. Helping process each concept of the process of a photoshoot is quite soothing. Read more>>

Taylor Newlun | Photographer & Environmental Scientist

I didn’t initially pursue a creative career–I think it pursued me. When I take photos I become completely lost in myself. I become lost in creating and enter a flow state. I believe that when anyone enters a flow state they are able to produce works of art that come from the soul. Creating from the soul gives us the opportunity to positively impact humanity by releasing some of the very best parts of ourselves. I hope that by being so emotionally involved in my work, I can help others find emotion in landscapes that will help promote building healthy relationships with nature. Our planet is unfathomably beautiful and deserves to be cherished. Read more>>

David Gannon | Portrait and Corporate Photographer/Social Media Manager

It all started from drawings I did as a kid. My parents were big supporters of my creativity. I would sit all day drawing these intricate TeePees and pictures of whatever the infatuation of the week was. I would draw birds, trees, race cars, and a lot of Kiss (the band) members. After graduation, I struggled to find a college that fit well, and I was discussing this with my parents and my mom said “David, you used to draw ALL the time, you would be really good as an artist for Rolling Stone magazine.” I was dating a girl at the time who’s cousin worked for Rolling Stone, so I reached out to him and asked how he got his start. He said art school! So….within 4 months I had found a school, applied, got it, and the rest is history. Well, not really. Read more>>

Jamie Sivinski | Wedding & Portrait Photographer

When I was growing up, I was always drawn to creative arts. I played around with a lot of different things: pottery, dancing, drawing, whatever allowed me to express myself. My family also moved around quite a bit, and having that kind of outlet helped me explore who I am during all those changes. Photography, in particular, was always something I had a passion for because it incorporates a lot of art forms at once, and so when the time came to decide on what I wanted to do, that’s what I dedicated myself towards. I love being able to grow as an artist and find the beauty in objects and scenes that other people might easily pass by. And through photography, I can invite people into that creative world and encourage them to share the important facets of their lives as well. Read more>>