Artists and creatives face innumerable challenges given that their career path often doesn’t come with a playbook, a steady paycheck or any form of safety net. It’s definitely not easy and so we asked a few of the artists and creatives we admire to talk to us about why they chose to pursue an artistic or creative career.

Victoria Schaefer | Photographer

Initially my career started as a hobby. I started with landscape photography because landscapes aren’t difficult to pose and don’t talk back to you. The problem with landscape photography, though, is that It doesn’t pay well. I personally don’t think that anyone pursues a career in photography for the money, Its more about the passion of It all rather than the paycheck. I love being able to show people different places that they may have only seen in their dreams. My goal Is to motivate others to travel and see the world. If I could spend my life traveling and capturing It all on my camera, I would. Read more>>

Danielle SeeWalker | Artist, Writer, Curator, Mother & Businesswoman

I don’t think I chose a creative path, I think it chose me. I have always been a creative spirit since forever. There was a period of time in my life that I steered away from the arts and focused on a “conventional” corporate career and didn’t think I had time to feed my creative energy. Years later. I found myself lacking a fulfilled life and knew I needed to be creating. Creating art is medicine for me, it’s a lifeline. Read more>>

Susan Peiffer | Poet | Youth Advocate

All my life I’ve been championed in the arts. I started writing poetry when I was very young and have little notes and cards written in verse from my childhood. My first poem was published in the seventh grade and I was encouraged in leadership in the arts through high school and college. In my adulthood, after I’d taken a year to tour and write, my mother took ill with ovarian cancer and I returned to the East coast to be with family for the duration. She was a woman with a dry sense of humor who when I took a job in youth ministry while sporting 16 visible piercings, embroidered me a shirt that said, “Blessed are the pierced–for they are holey indeed”. On her deathbed, in one of the last times she was able to speak, Mom, completely lucid, looked up at me and stated very directly, “Susan, you can either grow up or become a poet”. I think that made the permanent choice for me. Read more>>

Catherine Garcia | Filmmaker & Photographer

My father died when I was 4 years old. My baby brother was born a week later. It was hard to understand at that age everything that was happening. I needed an escape as I grew up and began to understand all of these things. Movies became my escape. My mom and I watched so many movies. I always found it fascinating how something that wasn’t real could feel so real to me. I loved that I could escape into the reality of the world of whatever movie I was watching and forget what was going on in mine. Even just for a few hours. As I got older I began to discover photography. I began to learn the photos had the same effect that movies did. Except, the photos were real. They captured real-life moments. We could keep a moment forever encapsulated in one photo. I began wanting to create worlds for other people to escape in, this was my drive for becoming a filmmaker. I wanted to capture those special moments for other people. The ones they could have and hold onto forever, this made me want to be a photographer. Read more>>

Briana Paxton | Artist & Art Restorer

Creativity has been a part of my identity from a very young age. Many of my relatives are artists and musicians, so I come by it honestly. I started my own business, Briana Paxton Fine Art LLC in 2011, but it was mainly a side hustle. After working a series of deeply unfulfilling “real jobs,” I decided that my mental health and happiness are more important than a steady paycheck. About six months ago, I quit a particularly toxic job in order to focus on my business full-time Read more>>

Shawn Minor | Artist / Developer

I have always done music and been around musicians because every member of my family either plays an instrument or sings. It’s still hard to say if I chose it, or it chose me, but I believe I pursue an artistic career because it is the only line of work in which I feel truly fulfilled – nothing beats making a genuine connection with your audience and providing a sound experience they’ll commit to memory. Read more>>

BIG | Artist

Since I could remember I was obsessed with music everything about it! At age 5 or 6 I shown The chronic 2001 after hearing it I just knew 100% I wanted to do music Read more>>