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.

Kaylin Karr | Singer/Songwriter

For as long as I can remember, the one thing that made me truly happy, day in and day out, was music. In my opinion, in the typical American household, the path to success comes with a college degree and a secure career plan. As artistic as I am, taking risks and taking the path less traveled is actually extremely out of my comfort zone. I had to come to the point where I had to make a tough decision in staying in a secure mapped out route, or branching out and taking a risk to make a career as a singer/songwriter. I feel an immense sense of gratitude for how blessed I’ve been on this path. Doors continue to open for me, and daily I am closer to where I’d like to be. I really am a believer in staying true to your heart, gut, and path. Read more>>

Elizabeth Kautz | Candlemaker- Fleur de Liz Candles

As a former elementary school teacher, I have always had a creative knack and entrepreneurial spirit. I started making candles over 20 years ago and now offer a variety of pillar, votive, tea light, wax tart, container candles, as well as private labeling. It’s not just making the candles that I love- For me it’s the creativity! Things that you wouldn’t think go together and they do! Developing new scents is so much fun! It’s like being a scientist when I create my own concoctions! I also love that candles are a self-care thing and I can create a candle that makes people feel good! If someone has a bad day or they just want to feel good- they light my candles! It’s so therapeutic! I can even “ZEN OUT” just making a candle! Read more>>

Lara Lenhoff | Visual Artist

In many ways, I feel that art really chose me. When I was a very young girl, I was incredibly fortunate to have one of the most encouraging art teachers at school. My family and I had just moved to the United States from South Africa, and I think my teacher could pick up on how difficult assimilating was for me. Ever since I was small I always loved drawing and being creative and that was encouraged by my grandparents and parents. I always had markers and crayons. When I was in my teacher’s classroom, he really encouraged the little I knew about art and nurtured what developed into stronger skills. What he did for me was provide an outlet to cope with things, and that has served me well throughout my life; I have always come back to creating, even if I didn’t necessarily share what I was creating with others. Read more>>

Lindsey Lane | Tattoo Artist

I’ve always been obsessed with art and using it as an outlet for my feelings. Growing up, my grandmother who was more like a mother to me, taught me everything she new about art. Art was our thing, it was how we bonded and that’s all I wanted to do. I was able to keep jobs long term but was never really happy where I was at. I even became a mortician and did that for a few years. As creepy as it may be to say, I did really love that career, it just wasn’t enough. I was still wishing I was drawing or painting all day instead. So, I decided to finally push myself out of my comfort zone and take a risk getting into the tattoo industry and it’s definitely been a wild ride so far. Read more>>

Linny Nance | Musician, Artist, Producer, Composer, Performer, Teacher

I am the youngest of four brothers. Fortunately they were great role models and let me know that an artistic career was possible at a very young age. They lead by example because they were already doing it. Read more>>

CJ Serrato | Artist & Producer SPCMN

I knew I wanted to do something with music once I grabbed my first pair of drum sticks. Just the idea of being a rockstar sounded so special to me as a 6 year old nerdy kid. Once I got older I looked up to bands like Paramore, Queen, Vampire Weekend and artists like Bruno Mars and Selena Quintanilla. Then once I discovered electronic music from artists like deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, Daft Punk, Madeon, Porter Robinson and most importantly Skrillex, I found the path that felt right for me to follow. With all that being said, the one common thing that all of these bands and artists gave me when listening to them was the feeling of hope. For most people, music is a sort of therapy that helps them cope with the crazy world that we live in. Read more>>

Christopher Miller | Writer and Podcaster

Originally, I pursued an artistic career as a painter to express myself and gain recognition, but in time I learned to watch how I work. What is my process of painting? I realized that when I approached painting with this sense of lack and the need to be recognized, I would only create lackful art. When I recognized my wholeness before and while in the studio, I created whole work. As I began exploring the process of painting and watching myself at work. I realized that there were many spiritual lessons to be learned while painting and I began writing them down in my studio. After a period of five years, I outlined my own spiritual journey and decided to share it with others in my book, “The Spiritual Artist.” I also produce a podcast to explore how other people use spiritual lessons in their work. Read more>>