Artistic and creative careers are among the most rewarding, but they also come with unique challenges. We asked some of the city’s best creatives to tell us why they choose to pursue a creative career.

Emily Winnenberg | Mural Painter & Floral Designer

I graduated from university with an English degree in 2015, and after a number of internships that offered little in the way of compensation or growth, I started my art career at Trader Joe’s. I was responsible for signage, displays, murals, and décor! After 6 years of developing my skills, I decided I wanted to expand the scope of my work and dream bigger. With the support and encouragement of friends and family, I launched my own business in 2021 and began working full-time for myself this year, January 2022. Read more>>

CamRoyce Jackson | Photographer

Funny enough, in high school I was on the yearbook staff & fell in love with photography then. Being able to capture a particular moment & translate that into a million words is such a powerful and rewarding thing to do. Unfortunately after high school I no longer had access to a camera of such good quality. This along with other factors caused me to slowly forget about my new found love of photography. Though I would never 100% give up on wanting to return to the field. Read more>>

Liza Slaughter | Actress

My heart does not know any other way then to follow my dreams. We only have one life, and I choose to do it doing my ultimate passion. My hearts desire and goal is to be a part of telling important stories. Stories and characters that help someone get through the most difficult time in their life, to make you laugh, to make you feel seen, heard, or see the world differently than you did before. My goal is to be a light, to bring love, passion, and feel purpose. I am a full believer in going for your dreams, passions, and goals. So, if you are in a job you hate, change it. Read more>>

Ada Onuoha | Entertainment Manager & Consultant

Originally, I was interested in becoming a politician, but quickly realized that I would be able to make a greater impact in the entertainment industry. Being born into a musically gifted family, I was naturally influenced to be artistically inclined. I particpated in dance, choir, modeling, musical theatre, and my mother made music as well. Read more>>

Eddie Esler | Songwriter, Musician

I had definitely tried my hand at many other jobs, but deep down in my soul I knew both writing and playing music was my passion. It’s the only thing that makes me happy, so somewhere along the road I knew I was doing something right, and to keep following it. Read more>>

Jody Ferguson | Author

I worked for twenty years in DC and overseas as a defense contractor. We had always wanted to move back to Texas to be near family, but professionally, it just couldn’t work. Finally, a series of events caused us to sit up and say, “Hey, if we don’t move now, when will we?” So we moved back to Austin to be near family and I began a second career as a novelist. Historical fiction was the perfect fit for me, blending my love of history, knowledge of foreign cultures, and my creative bent Reading great novels teaches us so much about humans, with all of the accompanying beauty and warts. Read more>>