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.

Dave Ingraham | Photographer & Graphic Designer

I’ve always loved creating things. I loved drawing early on. My dad had a nice workshop, so we’d always be in there building something. I like being able to point to something and say, “I made that”. That’s why I get so much gratification from both graphic design and photography. Read more>>

Nicole Nappi | EFT Tapping Teacher

I personally decided to pursue a creative career because I found out I’m creative and I love being creative! I spent a long time not thinking I was creative at all. I actually have 2 degrees in accounting. So as an accountant, I feel over time I got lumped into the “not a creative” category. But once I realized how good it felt to use my creative muscle, I knew it’s what I needed to spend more of my time doing! I honestly can’t believe I spent so many years not being creative or thinking I wasn’t. Read more>>

Ondine Geary | Dancer + Managing Director, ATLAS B2 Center for Media, Arts & Performance

First, a caveat, framed as a SAT-style analogy– my creative life : a career = a sandwich made from all the leftovers in the fridge : dinner. It’s often surprisingly delicious! But I’m not exactly meal-planning or even necessarily eating a balanced diet. And while I’m not sure what I’ll eat next, I’m pretty sure I won’t go to bed hungry any time soon. Ok, now to the question. Simply put, my dad. Read more>>

Chelsea, Liz, Jevaughn Drew, Lawrence, Williams | Owners of Soul Hause

Liz Lawrence: I choose both an artistic and creative career because they’re both my passion and purpose which allows me to help other like minded people along the journey. After quitting my 9 to 5 two years ago I can’t imagine myself going back to the lifestyle of working for someone else. I’m in full control of my day to day and I enjoy being able to make a career out of my passions. Being able to do what you love everyday is blessing that I am forever grateful for. Read more>>

Lance Green | Artist/ Teacher

It’s really pretty simple. I love making art and I’m very good at. I come from an art family on my dad’s side- Grandmother was a master china painter, Uncle was a jazz musician, and stepmother was a Norwegian painter- very avant garde and a best art friend for life. As a kid I moved around a lot with a dysfunctional and at times violent family, and drawing and making art was my sanctuary and joy. I finally ended up living in East LA from 8th grade through college where my high school art teacher, Linda Stevens mentored me and followed my career for the next 40 years. Read more>>

Tim Furlow | Visual Artist

I’m not entirely sure I chose the arts. I’ve had very little interest in anything outside of creative endeavors for as long as I can remember. When I was around 3 my auntie sent some of my drawings to a famous mouse-eared network, and to everyone’s surprise, they showed them on the air, along with my name. I’ve been chasing that rush ever since. I’ve been working independently as an artist for 7 years now. Previously I was involved in retail and retail management, for 12 grueling years. Read more>>

El Nolan | Artist, Witch, & Coach

Art is a special type of magic that I discovered when I was young, and it led me to pursue a Creative Writing degree in college. I’ve been able to combine my psychic spiritual experiences with different media in art, including poetry, fantasy, painting, charcoal, and oil pastel drawings. Through this process of grounding and connecting to my spirit, I’ve channeled other spirits and energies so they can express themselves through my work, which has been at times terrifying and other times exhilarating. Read more>>

The3rapy | Hip-Hop Artist

I kind of just fell into it. Being an artist was never really a part of my plans. I always had a lot of friends who were either instrumentalist or involved in the music industry one way or the other. So because of that I often found myself in that kind of creative environment. One day I decided to try my hand at songwriting and I haven’t looked back ever since. For me it’s therapeutic, hence my moniker. Read more>>

Cara Bukacek | Food Blogger, Food Photographer, & Recipe Developer

I have always been a creative. Photography and cooking give me an outlet to create, share, and relieve stress. During the early days of the pandemic, I had lots of time to play around with recipes, food styling, and food photography. After sharing some of my photos and recipes on social media, I started to receive postive feed back that inspired me to consider food photography and recipe development as a potential career. Since I have made the decision to pursue this “dream career” I have experienced a sense of contentment and excitement that I have never before experienced. I truly believe that I have found my calling. Read more>>

Peter Sky | Tattoo Artist

I always knew on some level that I was interested. I’ve been drawing since I was very young so it was a natural progression of something I always was attracted to. I knew if I didn’t do this; I would regret it for the rest of my life. I used to draw on people’s arms in middle and high school and it progressed from there. Read more>>

Michele Morgan | Owner of Charlotte the Figgy

I realized years ago that creativity is my medicine. It allows me to feel fulfilled and happy. If I’m not using my creativity, I feel stagnant and unfulfilled. Read more>>

Tommy Dyer | Brewery Co-Owner

From a young age I always had an interest in making things. This career path fulfills my basic passion of creating something to be enjoyed by other people, whether it’s a visual graphic, environment, service, or product experience. The greatest part of what I do is to see a product come to fruition in the hands of others. Especially when you take a risk at creating something outside of the norm, there may be some self doubt of it’s reception, but when you see someone “understand” or “get it” and enjoy it, that is the most rewarding. Read more>>

Destino Mondragon | Music Artist, Model, Fashion Designer, & Creative Director

I know it’s super cliche to say, but music, art, and performance literally saved my life. I was struggling a lot in my freshman year of college mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. My parents had recently divorced, I wasn’t really focused on school or my classwork, and I just felt lost. I remember thinking to myself “What is my purpose? Why am I here? What am I doing with my life? Does any of this even matter?” Etc. Life was never hard until I went to college and tried the whole college thing. Don’t get me wrong, Read more>>