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.

Greg Benton | Lead Singer & Rhythm Guitarist of Native Station

I wanted to be able to do something I enjoy for a living. I used to play sports and I guess I just enjoy entertaining people. Plus, the lifestyle that comes with a creative career is much more likely to lead to happiness for me than an office job. Read more>>

Wisdom Body Collective | An Artist Collected Rooted in The Sacred Feminine

Working creatively is deeply natural, second only to breathing. It is through the mode of creative expression that we’ve been able to reconnect with our bodies and earth, ecologically and psychologically. -Steph I am not sure that a creative path was ever exactly a “choice.” No matter what I did throughout my early life, I was constantly called back to writing. It was a matter of embracing what I love most with open arms and mind to see where it takes me. It is the space where I feel most alive, where I feel the most myself, entering an intimate conversation with my psyche and channeling the work of other creatives and writers who inspire me. I turned to writing as a career path because it is my most genuine life and the community that holds me. I live through language. -Chris I’ve never known anything else was a viable option to sustain life on all levels. Read more>>

Andy Bercaw | Theater Owner

I started playing music at a young age, and have been a touring musician for nearly twenty years, so traversing into a creative career came very naturally. Read more>>

Deirdre Denali Rosenberg | Conservation Photographer & Storyteller

From the time I was really young it was quite apparent that I was a little bit unconventional. No job or career path that was presented to me during my school-age years appealed to me, and frankly, they all sounded terrible. I had an extremely hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I might spend the majority of my life working at something that stole life from me, instead of making me feel more alive. I really struggled deeply with that. I went to college for a bunch of various degrees that I half finished. My heart wasn’t in any of it, so I failed. I didn’t even really try. I was just trying to figure out what on earth to do with my life. I had always been deeply in love with photography. I was always the person at the party or show with my camera and I spent a great deal of time photographing the natural world. I just didn’t realize that it could be a real career. Read more>>

Paige Zang | Visual Artist

I chose an artistic path because I want to inspire others and visualize relatable feelings or thoughts to encourage or evoke something within a person. Choosing to pursue an artistic career path has taught me that there is always going to be struggles, but you can find comfort, safety, and freedom all within your art. I want to move people the way art has moved me. Read more>>

Edie Angela Fuertes | Photographer & Creative Marketer

In the words of Yousef Khanfar, “Photography is my language; I only speak with my eyes. The camera is my passionate pen, light is my infinite ink, and film is my paper.” Growing up with my father, grandfather, and older brother as painters, I was constantly immersed in creativity as a child. I experimented with a variety of mediums along the way, but photography spoke to me louder than others. Through the camera’s gaze, the most ordinary instances came to life. Photography is the sealing of moments that otherwise would vanish, and because of this, it holds immense power. Photography invites me to interact and give meaning to the world that surrounds me — whether through vast landscapes or intimate portraits. With my camera, I share the innermost narratives of who I am, and also bring forth the narratives of others, as a witness and mirror. Read more>>

Kelly Halpin | Freelance Illustrator/ Professional Mountain Runner

I have been drawing since I was able to hold a crayon. My mother was an artist, both illustrating children’s books and painting. My father was a big supporter of all the arts, photography and film included. I feel like I had a solid foundation and very supportive parents to be able to explore all aspects of art and my sister and I were encouraged to create everyday. We didn’t watch much television growing up and spent most of our days outside playing. I feel like this aspect of childhood is incredibly unrated. Creativity comes from a lack of structure. Filling the void, so to speak. When I was around 11 years old I began pursuing photography and filmmaking. I made films and spent my summers taking film courses all through high school. I loved telling stories and eventually found myself getting a degree in film at Art Center College of Design in California in 2007. During my time in college, my passion for illustration was relit and I found myself spending more time drawing than working on my films. I worked as a storyboard artist while I built up my portfolio as a pen and ink illustrator. Read more>>

Adrian Michael Green | All Lower Case. Adrian Michael | Writer + Founder Of Lovasté

It’s been a calling. a beautiful humming that has always been in the background of my life. and for many years )the majority of my life( i did all the things that were expected of me. and that has been helpful. it has gotten me to where i am. while working full-time in different educational spaces whether at the university level or elementary school level or high school level or middle school level i created. on the side. but even that seems to diminish what i was actually doing. i was growing. slowly. but i wasn’t ever able to full immerse myself into the creative space. being able to connect with students and the adults that guided them has been fulfilling but i sort of just fell into it not really taking the time to ask myself what i wanted to do or who i wanted to be or better yet how i wanted to feel. and so teaching became my life for over a decade and then came to a head with the introduction of covid. Read more>>

Emma Moody | Actor

I pursued an Artistic/Creative Career because it was one of the things that has always come most naturally to me. Part of the thrill of being alive is having the opportunity to step into our authenticity, and our humanness. I think Art is sort of the epicenter for that type of experience. Being able to have the freedom to create, express, and build a story or an emotion or an experience through art is nothing short of magical. I have always felt like I have something within me that I want to share. An energy and a feeling. Like a burning. My favorite way to express that is through Acting- specifically, film. The ability to bring text, sound, color, light, and movement into something tangible yet vast is so cool to me. Film has the power to transport and transcend. Sometimes it just feels good to bring ourselves into a moment in time, a story, a thing of beauty. To laugh, to cry, to evolve, to see worlds outside of our own, to be inspired, and to be human. In some ways I think art can be less of an escape for people, and more of a coming-home-to. Read more>>

Milo Alfring | Tattoo Artist

Before I had ever considered creating art as a means of income to support myself I was already creating art with the free time that I had. Whether it was an official job or not I saw being an artist as something that I really desired. Because of this I think that by the time I was offered a position as a tattoo artist it just seemed to make sense, it seemed like a very smooth transition. Read more>>