We asked some of the city’s leading artists and creatives to tell us about how they decided to pursue an artistic or creative career. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Taylor Philibeck | Creator, Photographer and Psychic Medium

Years back I experienced an important loss in my life, my mother passed away. Throughout my grieving process, I created art to help me release my emotions and heal. I shared my journey through various forms of art on social media. With time, my audience grew and I ended up connecting to thousands of people who were experiencing a loss in their life. Knowing I was helping others healthily grieve through art, it made me pursue this full time. Being an artist has led me on a path of helping other’s heal, and that fills my heart with purpose. I had never imagined my journey having such an impact on other’s, but knowing it does keeps me inspired. Read more>>

Daniel Pouse | Songwriter, Lyricist, Vocalist & Lead Guitarist of Certain DaZe

When I was a kid, I used to perform at family gatherings. At the time I hadn’t yet picked up a guitar, so I would sing or play the violin. The music I grew up around spanned from Disney music, to classic rock, and classic plays such Westside Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, and others that my mother performed in as a dancer. As long as I can remember I’ve had a love for music and the performing arts. When I would perform for my family, I remember thinking how cool it was to see the joy I could bring people by sharing my passion with them. Seeing everyone gathered together, putting aside family feuds, they would smile, sing along and cheer like mad when it was over. Those performances were my first introduction to the true essence of music, and it stuck with me as I grew older and performed in plays, learned to play the guitar, and started my first rock band. Read more>>

Jenny LaJoye | Singer/Songwriter

I believe all human beings are inherently creative. We all make worlds for ourselves and those in our orbit. But I think that for some of us, the impulse to create haunts us. Keeps us up at night. Gets us up in the morning. So I guess I’d say that a creative career pursued me. Read more>>

Grace Hoag | Artist

I chose to be an artist one summer when I visited an art market in Denver; I was looking through a woman’s artwork prints and she started a conversation with me, and asked if I was an artist. I was 16 and unsure about my direction in life and where I wanted to be, and my answer reflected that insecurity. She wasn’t satisfied: you either are an artist, or you’re not! I decided then that I was. I started to focus more on my artwork at school and worked on honing my technical skills in drawing and painting in my AP Studio courses. During my senior year of high school I worked five hours each day in the art classroom, and clocked in around 25 hours of work each week. I kept a daily sketchbook. I completed AP Studio twice and received high scores on both portfolios, and this helped me to earn credit for university. Read more>>

Brandi Shigley | Dreamer // Doer // Founder of Fashion Denver // VP of marketing for Bradley Allen

I pursued a creative career because creativity is true to who I am. I feel free and flourish when I can create something from nothing. Creativity flows naturally. Applying creativity to aspects of being a business owner and working with other small business owners, allows me to create solutions where there may be issues. Creativity allows me to think outside of the box, tap into the interpersonal side of a product or service, and move forward fearlessly at the task at hand. Read more>>

Matthew McKinley Hays | Tattooer/Artist

I knew early on that I wanted to make art for a living, so I never envisioned myself in a career that wasn’t creative. After art school I spent about 10 years as an animator and video producer and while that was certainly a fun and creative career, I found myself looking for something that allowed for more creative freedom and expression. That ultimately led me to alter my career choice and pursue another passion, which is tattooing. The creative freedom and the ability to connect with my clients on a more personal level through my interpretation and execution of their ideas has been more satisfying than I ever thought a career could be…even a creative one. Now, after 13 years since I made my first tattoo, I’m just as excited about tattooing as I was then if not more so. Read more>>