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.

Karen Hoglund | Pet Photographer

I’ve been an artist ever since I could pick up a crayon, but it took me a while to discover photography. I grew up with film cameras, and a roll of 12 exposure film was considered a luxury reserved for vacations. During my childhood, it was communicated that art only meant painting and it should be just a hobby. I did win awards for my watercolors in high school, but it was assumed that I would pick a more practical college major. Since I also liked math and science, I started college as a Nursing major. During sophomore year, my microbiology professor noted that my lab drawings were way better than my lab reports. He was correct, and I ended up changing my major to Art. I’ve been employed as an artist in some form ever since. I started as a graphic designer, and I’ve been a photographer for the past 10. Read more>>

Torey Sandbom | Photographer

I grew up with a fascination for art, especially written and digital art. I took photography classes after I received my first camera from my grandfather, and I kept with it ever since. I began taking photos for fun, picking up editing techniques, learning about the mechanics of both a film and digital camera, and that eventually led to the blossoming of my small photography business. When I began my time at university, I started my major in English, and I found a great appreciation for literature. I aspire to be an author, and I spend a lot of my free time writing short stories. I fell in love with historical fiction throughout my studies and wish to continue my creative pursuit in the genre. Read more>>

Sheary Clough Suiter | Visual Artist

Whereas the career choice I made before I became a full time artist…dental hygiene…was routine and predictable, the artistic path is one of uncertainty. Every day in the studio is an exploration and brings surprise into my life. I am never bored, and most days I am full of the excitement and joy of living the life of a maker, even on days in which the quality of the work doesn’t bring immediate satisfaction. Read more>>

Kelli Lightfoot | Artist

It was really just something that happened organically. I have always loved any and all things creative, especially painting. In my 20’s I would paint portraits of my friends dogs as gifts. It wasn’t until my daughter and son were born that I started to brainstorm ways to make money from home. At one point I came across an advertisement for pet portrait artists. Although I didn’t get the job, the seed was planted and I started painting watercolor pet portraits. That was four years ago and since then my art has grown to include a much wider range of subjects from people to wildlife as well as a variety of mediums. Read more>>

Phillip Conner | Landscape Artist

Much of my life I have either felt out of place, awkward or just disconnected from everyone. So, for me, art from a very early age, was a place of security. When i am painting, sketching, or doing anything creative, I felt comfortable, no longer lonely or isolated but open and included. So, searching out an outlet for my artistic and creative side and pursuing an artistic career was a natural thing. I am the happiest when I am painting and I enjoy sharing my art with others. Read more>>

Randy Segura | Arthotspot Studios

I pursued this career because of my love for creating, and creativity. There’s an intense focus I have when I’m in the midst of creating, and seeing that as a young man told me all that I needed to know. I was a criminal justice major when I first went to college, which also helped me to realize what I wanted and didn’t want to do with my life. When I switched to commercial art it all started to make complete sense, and over the years I gravitated towards working for myself. Basically, I can do art all day and feel refreshed in my satisfaction with the work I’ve just done not tired or spent like the feelings I get from other forms of work. Art to me doesn’t feel like work at all. Read more>>

Brian S. Converse | Author

From a young age I loved the extraordinary. Whether it was fantastical adventures or chilling horror, I liked the idea of stories outside the realm of normal. I didn’t begin my writing career until my early twenties, which is late for this type of artistic endeavor, and I didn’t see it as a career choice until much later. Even now, I’m practical enough that I have a job that pays for the mundane every day bills while pursuing the dream of my creative career eventually being able to support myself and my family. Part of this is being able to set my own artistic standards in everything that I create and not compromising to another person’s aesthetic. Read more>>

Jon Francis | Artist and Public School Teacher

Art has always been a gut feeling that I have followed. If an Idea hits me, I have to pursue it. I have a feeling of urgency to formulate ideas and get them going in the studio. I get excited in the process of developing ideas. More recently I have focused on oil paint on canvas or panels, but I am always exploring ways to combine and use various other mediums to express my thoughts. Sometimes the amount of ideas and images are so overwhelming that I end up painting over old canvases just to get my thoughts down on a surface. I love the excitement of creating ideas. Read more>>

Danny Black | Tattoo Artist

It’s what always felt most natural to me . To be an artist and also be able to use your skills and make a carrier from it is like never having to go to work . Sure their are more risks when it comes to a steady monthly income and at times it can be stressful . But there is also alot more freedom with it as well . If it wasn’t going to be tattooing then It would have been interior design ,landscaping or becoming a chef .For sure a path in which I am able to create and express myself while also paying the bills is what has always been the way for me . Read more>>

Jina Cruz | Owner of JfamilyShoppe

The reason I pursued a creative career is because I’ve always felt a big need in my life to create for not only my happiness but to bring others happiness too. Whenever I create something that someone loves it brings me a great sense of fulfillment. There’s no better feeling then seeing a big smile on someone’s face from something I’ve created but and I knew I could never live a life without experiencing that feeling often. And being a mom i also want to show my children that you can be successful by doing what you love that you don’t have to live a life you don’t like just to make a living. So I started my small business doing just that. And every day I am so grateful to have a career doing something I love and that my children will have inspiration to do what they love as well. Read more>>