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.

Barbara Tracy | Photographer and Artist

My grandmother instilled her love of photography in me. I bought my first camera when I was 7, and have been carrying cameras with me ever since. I love the landscape of Colorado. After an injury which caused me to leave my job as a college English professor, my daughter invited me to live with her on her homestead. In Costilla County where the quiet and daily interaction with nature has inspired me. Read more>>

Sonny G. | Actor | Producer | Business Owner

After graduating high school, I became a commercial actor and really enjoyed the work. The experience I had while on set really made a lasting impact on what I wanted to do in my adult life. It didn’t take long before I realized being an on camera actor was fulfilling on a personal level as well as on a professional one. As I was busy finishing my college endeavors I continued to work in the Entertainment Industry as a professional actor and stage performer. I booked a large acting gig and it was at that moment I began to understand that a creative arts career could very well happen if I put the effort and dedication into my craft full time. Read more>>

Ben Thomas | Animator, Character Designer and Storyboard Artist

Ever since I was young, I was obsessed with animation. I felt like it came naturally for me to draw and create stories, like I was just meant to do it, and it definitely helped that I grew up at a revolutionary time in animation: The renaissance of Disney, the revival of Hana-Barbera, and the introduction of anime to the west on a wide platform. I loved these cartoons and wanted nothing more than to make my own. As I got older, I realized that the career choice would be hard, but I figured that I would rather do what I love than compromise for something safer. It’s made me grateful and happy doing what I do. Read more>>

Veronica PremDas | Ceramicist & Printmaker

I’ve been an introvert since the beginning and always loved making art in solitude. With my parents support the arts became a vehicle for my social engagement and self-discipline. From K-12 I was very active in musical theater programs, art, and dance classes. Later on I studied Art History and Fine Arts post-secondary and spent the start of my career living in a creatively robust and civically engaged community in Nashville, TN working for the Frist Art Museum. I learned from many talented museum professionals, viewed internationally recognized exhibitions, and met artists from all over the world with unique perspectives. Those experiences are still with me everyday. Making art is what I love and I find that the creative process energizes me, plus being tactile gives me a great sense of productivity and purpose. Read more>>

Megan Stevenson | Cookier

I have always had an artistic flare and need to create and express myself through art. How I’ve done this has evolved over the years: from painting & drawing, to wood working, writing and now I decorate little pieces of edible art! I didn’t set out to be a cookie artist, it just kind of developed over the last year. But I have found this form of expression the most fulfilling! Cookies make people happy and they fill tummies. Who could ask for more!? Read more>>

Keith Wood | Rapper

The reason I chose to persue making music is because it’s the one thing I can express myself in the most. It’s like having a therapist but just having a conversation with yourself and being able to express yourself more than you could with some random person. Read more>>

Steve DiFrancesco | Artist

I have always enjoyed drawing and painting was a natural progression. For the first decade or so, I gave away more than I sold. I managed to get placement into a specialty store in a nearby town and was selling as much as I could produce. This encouraged me to explore other sales channels and I opened an Etsy shop in 2011 but it wasn’t until 5 years later that I began to see some traffic and sales. This encouraged me to continue creating seeing that my work was accepted by people outside my circles of friends and family. Read more>>

Pierre Banco | Music artist

The crazy thing is that, I have been dealing with music my whole life. From a baby on up. Music always played a part in my life. My family is real big in music also. From my grandfather, uncles, aunts, and cousins. Everyone has pretty music paved the way for me. It took me till this year to figure out this is for me. Music. Read more>>

Jes Waring | Hair Stylist

I pursued an artistic and creative career because it just fit. Everything about it, I’ve always been obsessed with art, the emotion, expression, effort, the many different forms that it takes. Its an outlet and an inlet. It allows people to see into you and your mind. To show who you are, what you think, what you feel, etc. Art is always changing, growing, ebbing and flowing just like the rest of us and the universe. I’ve always used art to express myself in different forms, hair just really clicked and it made me feel like me. Read more>>

Pryce Martin | Fine Artist & Graphic Designer

When I was little and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said an artist. I started painting as a toddler with my mom and my sister. My mom sat us down at the kitchen table and kept us occupied with every art material and art book imaginable. My sister and I have these songs that we associate with our mom, and our childhood, and summers spent at the lake (the vibe is “I Got You Babe” by UB40 or Sonny & Cher). Read more>>

Clare Keil | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist

I pursued an artistic career in hair and makeup because it allowed me to constantly be creative as well as help people feel beautiful. In this industry you have the ability to share your individual style, skill and artist outlook while helping others confidence and beauty. Read more>>

Angelica Clemmer | Artist

My father is a fine artist, so I grew up with brushes and paint as part of my toys. Its almost like I didn’t really pick or decide to pursue, it is simply who I am. It is something I do everyday. I used to post my art on IG and FB and the XMRadio Disney developers assistant contacted me wondering what my art was etc. It just took off from there, got a sponsorship with a paint marker company and started traveling around the country for surf events doing live paintings. Read more>>

Hayley Gaertner | Photographer and Outdoor Enthusiast

I pursued a creative career because nothing else excited me. When I graduated high school, I realized I was trying to force myself to pick a “normal” career path to study in college, but I wasn’t passionate about anything. I knew I didn’t want to have a job just for the money, I wanted to truly be excited to go to work every day and I didn’t see that happening in a career that wasn’t artistic in some way. Since I was a kid, I was always into drawing, designing, and doing all the artsy things. I eventually became obsessed with photography, and since then, nothing else has ever made me quite as happy. Read more>>

NiqueO | Musician

I pursued music because, I believe I have a lot to offer the world through my music. I feel as though I have a billion stories to share, and it is something different, something new. Most of all something Creative. Read more>>

Jacob Coates | Entrepreneur | Founder of 1707 Creative & Shaped By Sports

I’ve never been someone who liked being confined to a set schedule or routine. I needed something that allowed me freedom of schedule, location, and creative control. I wanted to build something from the ground up that was a reflection of my creativity and passions. Read more>>

Karlos Jeri | Content Creator

For me its about the stories, it started junior year of college, I had never intended to be a creative or pursue any career of that sort. I was studying abroad in Argentina for a month and a half. I was struggling with health issues, depression and a bad host mother. From day two I was already counting down the days until I left, and was having a miserable time. Read more>>

Ashley Victoria | Tattoo Artist

I have always been an artist. As a child I loved to paint, doodle, dress up, face paint, collect flowers to study and draw, anything creative I could do I loved it! I grew up hearing that artists don’t make money, that I couldn’t have a career in art, and for the longest time I listened to those people, and flailed through life working random odd jobs that never felt right. There is always more to learn, to study, ways to improve your skills and artwork, and that is another thing I love about having an artistic career. The learning never stops. I find new artists every day that inspire me to be better, or to try different things! Read more>>

Flip Schultz | Comedian & Actor

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a performer. Something about commanding an audience – whether it’s 2000 people in a theatre or 5 family members at dinner – always felt familiar to me. Like being home. I realized at a young age that I could make people laugh. I could come up with a joke or a gesture or even a pratfall that would cause laughter; and it was intoxicating. Read more>>

Mike Hickman | Actor, Comedian, Musician

I believe there are passions built into us that find their way to the forefront of our hearts and minds. Many times those passions present themselves in the form of natural talent, leading to an increased drive to further that talent through advanced training and hard work to develop the talent. As a child I enjoyed performing for family and friends using whatever device I could find such as listening to songs on television or radio, memorizing them and then putting on a show. I found through my childhood and teen years that music, acting and comedy are a trifecta of creative arts that was becoming not just fun but…purposeful. Read more>>

Derek Garcia | Landscape and Portrait Photographer

I grew up on Disney and was fortunate enough to watch as the Pixar era came to light. I remember getting lost in those visuals and stories. Animation was the driver for wanting to pursue a creative career. Aside from that, I was lucky enough to understand early on that if I was going to be doing something the rest of my life then it should be something I really enjoy. Read more>>

Dazzmin Brown | Dancer, Teacher, Choreographer, Creator, Model

Pursuing a creative career wasn’t always the easiest choice for me. As a kid, I was introduced into many things like, playing music, gymnastics/cheerleading and dancing. I remember wanting to be a model and being too heavily into fashion. Unfortunately, always hearing doubts of how being an artist of any kind doesn’t make any money and just the overall limitations for wanting that lifestyle. it wasn’t “realistic”. Read more>>

Caitlyn Blackburn | Animator & Illustrator

I have loved the arts for as far back as I can remember. I can recall taking the coloring contests very seriously in elementary school, or rather, as serious as I could have at the age of 6. Books were also a big part of my life while growing up because I was an avid reader. People would always ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up, and I would struggle to decide between being an artist or a writer. There was a fascination with stories, but I also loved drawing. I can still remember the very moment I decided I wanted to be an animator. Read more>>

Dustin Thibideau | Photographer

Photography came to me through a friend in college back in 2018. I always enjoy taking spontaneous trips and didn’t mind using my phone to take photos with. I tell people that ask how I get to places is that I just go or my more favorite response: “The store didn’t have the milk I needed so I ended up in Nebraska.” So with the combination of love for travel and a friend touting the benefits of photography in relieving stress, I decided to purchase my first camera, a Canon Rebel T6. Read more>>