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.

Jason & Jonah Howard | Folk/Rock and Newgrass Band (The Cross-Eyed Possum)

Simply because that is the avenue through which we can execute our best work. A combination of creativity/inspiration and a solid work ethic is where anyone’s best work comes from. As a musician it can be easy to fall into the trap of believing that inspiration alone should be enough to drive the entire process without putting in the effort and hard work to realize what the inspiration should/could be. For example, both of us had trouble practicing our instruments when we started pursuing music seriously. Read more>>

Dan Young | Western landscape painter

On some level, I don’t think I had a choice. It was a drive that I had to chase. It was never about income or status. It was a life choice that made me happy. Through the tough years, I never questioned giving up. I made sacrifices so I could keep going. It was about pursuing something that was very important to who I am as a person and why I’m here. Read more>>

Emily Lord | Family Adventure Photographer

A few years ago, I listened to an interview of author Elizabeth Gilbert where she talked about the idea of following your curiosity instead of your passion. At the time, I was working at my dream job in a career created from my passion for the environment and people. I studied Sociology and Women’s Studies in college and completed my master’s degree with a focus on environmental sociology. After graduating, I worked my way up from seasonal positions in the conservation field to a full-time Digital Outreach Manager position with one of the country’s oldest and largest land trusts. I got to help communicate the importance of land and water conservation as well as outdoor recreation to a wide audience of people. It was the perfect combination of my passions. I was also stressed out, burned out, and unhappy. Read more>>

Desmond O’Hagan | Fine Artist

I knew I had the potential skills, and I know I had to try while I was still young (mid twenties). I also felt that I would regret not pursuing an artistic career when I was older. It was important to challenge myself and put my skills to work regardless of the risk. It’s not a career that one goes into lightly and is riskier to begin when you’re older with more financial responsibilities. To sum up, I wanted to paint and succeed. Read more>>

Nico Vasquez | Painter & Tattoo Artist

I pursued an artistic career because I felt lost and I wasn’t happy with what I was doing in my life. I studied an analytical career at college, where most of its success was determined by memory and how you were able to solve problems in a more strategic and logical way. Even though I graduated and I’m really grateful for the opportunity, I felt lost on the path I was going. and my escape from it was drawing in classes, painting with oil and acrylics in my free time, and social life. When I realized that creating art was a limitless form of expression and while doing it, it made me lose my notion of time, body and environment – something which didn’t happen while studying for other subjects-, I figured out that I had found my passion. Read more>>