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.

Sam Ken | Oil Painter

I was interested in art at an early age. I was always drawing my favorite superheroes on any scrap piece of paper I could find. My mom bought me basic “How to Draw” books that helped me figure out how to create various things. My appreciation of animated movies was always based on how I well I thought the characters were drawn. I was never much of a reader, but I was drawn towards books that had cool drawings or paintings on them. I took art classes all the way up to high school, learning to draw and paint better along the way. Read more>>

Garrett Mogel | Photographic Storyteller

I would say the photographic industry pursued me. Over an eleven year period I discovered photography. It became a constant in my life with defining moments telling me I was on the right path. Eventually it caught up to me and became my career choice. It was my senior year of high school, we had just been assigned our final art project and the only instruction was to accomplish a goal with our art. I decided the goal of my project was to prove the idea that a photograph can speak a thousand words. The project consisted of three main parts, a completely dark room, a large illuminated print, and a calming instrumental song. Read more>>

Taylor Ricks | Artist & Photographer

As a child, I have always been very creative and wanted to pursue anything in art, whether it was fashion, painting, music, or photography just to name a few. I feel as I have grown the more I wanted to explore what I could do. I will never settle if I know there’s something more out there, but saying that I have found something I love which is photography. Ever since starting my business of photography I stay searching and learning to become a better artistic person.
I pursued this career path because it was meant for me. I was built for this and nothing more. Read more>>

Treena Elizabeth | Creator Of All Things Gnarly

For me, being creative isn’t really an option, it’s a need. I’ve always felt the need to create and make new things. In high school I found myself ditching my normal classes to finish my art projects or simply just sit in and hangout in the other various art classes I wasn’t assigned to. I moved myself around a few high schools trying to get the most out of the art classes I could, but was left wanting more. I left school at the age of 16 knowing that the traditional lifestyle mold wasn’t for me. I found fashion and costume creation when I left school and quickly dove into creating stage ready looks for local entertainers. After years of entertaining and creating wearable art, I was introduced to the over the top world of wrestling. Read more>>

Kei Castillo | Creative encourager, mentor, and passionate enthusiast

Actually, haha, art has ALWAYS been my passion, but it’s more as if art chose me–I’ve always hated traditional office jobs, while simultaneously thriving at any position that had art at its core. I’ve worked in a pottery studio, as an artistic mentor/assistant, as a paint and sip instructor (which definitely inspired this canna-spin-off!), and many more. I’ve always had a passion for art and am a very firm believer that we ALL can make beautiful art that we’re proud of–this is actually a core tenant of my business and a HUGE reason why I do what I do. Read more>>

Jean Kowalski | Artist – Abstract Expressionism and Holistic Health & Wellness Therapist

Creativity has been in my life since my early years. Drawing was my escape to nature; to explore the forests, the waters and all that live within. I dabbled with pencil and with pen & ink, creating drawings of the images that nature implanted into my heart. Over the years, the busy-ness of life set my art aside until that internal creative pulse would not allow me to push it aside any longer. It was around 2000 when I began creating once again. This time I choose to bring color into my work and learned how to work with acrylic paints. Using a paint brush was much too intimidating so I started with fingers, sticks, feathers, whatever tools I could find. Read more>>

Chad Blakely | Artist and illustrator

As a little kid in the late 70’s/early 80’s, I was bit by the Pop Culture bug! The visuals of Star Wars, Spider-man, and KISS just blew me away; eventually I took to drawing them and there was no stopping me. Since then, I have been drawing non stop, every and any chance I get. My notebooks in school were full of half-assed notes and hundreds of doodles; drawing the people in front of me or what ever comic book character struck my fancy. This non stop love of Art has lead me into my creative endeavors as an adult. Writing and illustrating comic books, creating artwork for clients, drawing fan art of my favorite fictional characters; these are all things that bring me joy. I have always been a storyteller, and creating artwork is an extension of my storytelling. Read more>>

Interpretive Tyranny | Band

As people we felt that there was no outlet to let the world know the way that we feel. It is easy to get your voice lost in the superficialness of modern popular culture, especially with the bloated nature of social media. It seems that everyone is trying to be the same as everyone else these days, and when you are trying to be something different, you get drowned out. So, we thought, how do you stand out and let your voice be heard? Hard, punk-funk, and everything in between music. Read more>>

Brent Thackery | Painter, Glass Blower, Digital and Tattoo Artist, Musician

Freedom. As i entered the work force as a young adult i quickly realized that i was a slave to this socio~economic system and my boss and mentor, Chaz Kaiser, told me *You have to work the system, or the system will work you”. I had always felt that i wanted to make art everyday but now i felt i had no choice. I could follow my dreams and possibly be broke or try to fit into a 9-5 job and live paycheck to paycheck and MAYBE live long enough to retire and be free, and with social security being raided every year i didnt hold much hope for the fed govt to secure my future retirement. Read more>>