Deciding to pursue an artistic or creative career path isn’t for the faint of heart. Challenges will abound, but so many of the artists we speak with couldn’t be happier with their choice. So, we asked them about how they made the decision in the first place.

Jubei Mercado | Graphic Designer / Creative Photographer

I am an Air Force veteran of 10 years. I started my career as a hydraulic technician for AWACS radar planes… but quickly learned that I didn’t fit in that world. I’d often get teased for not liking trucks, fishing, and football… you know “manly” things. I found success my first few years doing squadron art for aircraft. I eventually was able to shift my military career into photography where I ended up thriving. As my photography progressed, so did my need for edits… I ended up becoming very good at Photoshop, and I loved the images I could create pairing Photography and Graphics, nothing was off the table visually at this point. After I left the military I attended the Art Institute of Dallas, and after a couple of years, I determined they couldn’t teach me any skills I hadn’t already acquired on my own. I’ve been doing Graphic Design and Photography ever since. I love my job. Read more>>

Madison Newman | Graphic Designer

I love design, and I always have. As a child, I loved to scrapbook; I enjoyed thrifting and renovating furniture in college; I have a BFA in dance from UNT, and my husband and I are currently working on designing and renovating our home. Design and creativity have always been a part of my life, but I didn’t start learning graphic design until my mid-20’s. As an adult, I’ve had a hard time “choosing a career” because I had so many things that I enjoyed doing but never knew how to pursue them as an actual job. Graphic Design changed that. I’ve always seen my love of design and creating things as more of a hobby. Now, I get to do this for a living, and it’s incredible. Read more>>

Glory Rodriguez | Artist & Entertainer

Pursuing the artistic journey was not what I originally had in mind. I was majoring in Civil Engineering back in 2018 when I first realized I had chosen the wrong path. I had another passion that I needed to pursue. Although I was pretty impeccable with solving math problems, I wasn’t truly happy with my choice of career. Knowing the artistic world is very competitive and at times not guaranteed, it did not stop me from walking away from the ‘’system of success’’. Go to college, get a degree, work a 9-5. Quitting college can be very disappointing for a lot of people. The fear of judgment from family and friends was pretty overwhelming, but it did not stop me from pursuing my dreams. It was honestly the best decision I have ever made. So, why art and not engineering? Well, as a kid I loved to entertain, make people laugh, and make them feel different emotions. Aside from the entertainment world, I also paint. Painting let’s me create my own little world. Read more>>

Devy Dior | Rapper

Man growing up music and art has always been a factor in my life. One of my uncles made music & the other knew how to draw i loved art but I can’t draw even if my life depended on it. So I would write lyrics in my notebook instead. As I got older I would go to local shows out in Dallas and just be like “damn I wanna be able to do this one day” Everyone rocking out & getting turnt having fun. And i haven’t looked back since. Read more>>

Destynie Clemons | Photographer

I’ve always been intrigued by the arts but never found my niche until college when I bought a nice camera to initially take good photos of my freelance makeup clients that I worked with on weekends. I went to college for Fashion Marketing which I loved but after graduating and working in corporate world for literally 6 months, I knew I sitting in a 9-5 would be the death of me. Though I was thankful for the experience, it was enough to drive me and take my hobby of photography more serious and turn it into a full time job. I find such a freedom in getting to create on MY terms. It truly is a dream job!. Read more>>

Brooke Blakeslee | Pianist/Musician

I decided to pursue this career because music is my passion. Music has been a part of my life since I was a young child. I felt that I would be doing a disservice to both myself and the world around me if I didn’t share my gifts in some way. In addition, music allows me to challenge myself. Whether it is learning a new song to play, writing songs, recording, mixing, or producing–all pose a challenge. I get great satisfaction when I accomplish these things and when my followers enjoy my work. I also believe deeply that life would be meaningless without art. Often times people take creativity for granted–you don’t just see it in music! It’s in the movies you watch, the books you read, the songs you hear on the radio. I wanted to be a part of that artistic sort of contribution to the world. Read more>>

Emily Dunn | Wedding + Portrait Photography

I didn’t think I’d be a real photographer so when I started at 15 I just called it “somewhat photography”. Well, I kept getting more and more friends and their friends asking for more photos. I had always enjoyed taking photos and I loved creating storyline within my photos. As I’ve progressed throughout the years I realized this was no longer a “somewhat” photography business but a legit one that I loved. So I renamed it Laced in Grace Photography. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic and nothing makes my heart happier than photographing someone’s important day. For some their adrenaline rush is sky diving or roller-coasters but for me it’s wedding photography. Knowing you can’t ever relive or recapture that moment is thrilling. I absolutely am so grateful for every wedding and client I meet. Read more>>

Najee Amor | Recording Artist & Record Label Owner

I chose to pursue an artistic career for freedom of expression & because I was inspired by those before me who not only made it look & sound good, but were also able to convey a message through their music. Read more>>

Ekow Ashun | Dj

I actually had not really thought about myself ever getting to this point as a d.j, I always had a passion for music but never really thought I would be one to be playing it for people. The only reason I really got into being a d.j. was that my dad was a d.j. I then just started helping him with some gigs here and there when I was younger. Then before I knew it, I was doing some gigs on my own. I started seeing some potential with it so I began putting more focus and effort into it. It was not until I had gotten into college till started understanding the business side of things, and that is when things really started taking off for me. I knew I was going to have to make sacrifices in order to make my business successful. However, I also knew that this is definitely something I could make a career out of if I worked hard enough. Read more>>

Mijaíl Martinez | Musician, Songwriter

Th idea formed early. I’m from a college town where a lot of people are upwards-thinking, career-minded, but there’s also lots of old hippies and beatnik types. I would sing on the street when I was 16, mostly old ranchera songs, country music, and flamenco. There’s such a vibrant music scene where I grew up, and it was so fun to go to those shows and have that part of me come alive. Being a musician seemed like a viable option. My grandfather was also a pro musician so you could say it’s in the family. Read more>>

Deepa Gheewala | Cake Artist

Since childhood, my creative brain has always been very active. I always wanted to pursue a career as an Artist. I was a software engineer by profession, and it never allowed me to leave that handsome salary and do some less paid creative jobs. It was after I had kids and I choose to stay at home, I found baking very interesting and slowly learned and improved over time. I realized this is a great time to pursue my career in the Artistic field and that is how I started growing. Read more>>

Clarissa Lyzette Murguia | Artist and Jewelry Maker

I grew up having an appreciation and love for the arts. Ever since I can remember, drawing was one of my favorite things to do as a child. Thanks to my mom, I attended an arts middle and high school which was a privilege since it gave me all the skills that made me who I am and much more. After I graduated high school, I knew I still wanted to major in something related to art in college since it was what I knew best. I am now an art education major, a full-time artist, and a jewelry maker. During quarantine last year, I decided to start my own handmade jewelry business after one of my close friends asked me to make her a custom pair of wire earrings. After hearing her encouragement to make more jewelry, I realized I had the potential to make something out of my talent. I named my brand after my name, Clarissa Lyzette, which I thought sounded perfect. During the process of figuring everything out on my own, I realized I also wanted to be a businesswoman along with an artist, and an art educator. Read more>>

Jason Robert Villarreal | Actor, Singer, Designer

Why would I settle for anything boring? The tides are always moving and ways changing. It keeps my journey from going stale. When you pour love and creativity into a project it helps me feel that I have purpose. My goal in any creative endeavor is that I can make an individual smile, laugh, cry, just move them in one way or another. It gives me the opportunity to shine a light on something outside of themselves in hopes to help them become better and greater. Read more>>