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.

Lee Leprechaun | Producer and dj

I decided to choose a creative career the day I realized I never wanted to work a normal 9-5. Which is odd cause working on a creative career as an artist you’re working pretty much 24/7. The little down time we have is used learning and researching more techniques that can be used to help push us further. Read more>>

Alfonso (Low Tone) Mendez | Musician

I wanted to showcase my talent. I also wanted to give people something to relate to. Money was never on my mind. Instead, my purpose was to inspire and give hope to people who come from the same type of environment that I come from. Read more>>

Tony Gonzales | Photographer & Videographer

Throughout my life a camera has always been in my hands. Whether it was creating a family video, taking photos with friends or just a project that I wanted to have fun with for school. What finally pushed me to follow this passion was a photo I took of my wife in Iceland. It’s a portrait of my wife’s eyes when we went whale watching. When I look at that photo I’m reminded of that entire trip and all the fun we had. I remember how cold it was on that boat. I remember how the wind and rain felt when we went hiking. I realized then that photography and videography was something I had to pursue. One picture was able to bring me so much joy and I thought, ‘I wonder if I could master this craft’. I loved the process and the adventures that this career has taken me. I can honestly say that this career has brought a lot of passion into my life. I’ve never felt more in control. Read more>>

Kennedy Norman | Interior Designer

I was originally a pre law / political science major in college. It was so monotonous and demanding, and looking back now I feel like it was sucking my soul out. I wasn’t doing well in one of my upper level courses, and my professor whom I had had for multiple classes told me he would pass me if I changed my major. So I sat in his office for a couple hours talking to him about what I was interested in. At that time, I was buying furniture for super cheap off Facebook and refinishing them to sell for much more than I bought it for. He immediately said, “Have you ever thought about interior design?” No. I had not. I didn’t even know Mississippi State had an interior design program, or honestly that such a program existed. Read more>>

Jaclyn Paige | co-owner, Pollengenesis

I pursued a creative career because nothing else felt right. After degrees in Psychology and Student Affairs, I job hopped for 10 years, trying to find something that fit. Everything in my career field felt stifling and other positions were ultimately unfulfilling. I could never fully be myself while working for someone else, and I often felt unchallenged and underutilized. This creative career I’m making in Pollengenesis is the first that’s felt true to who I am. My business feels like an extension of myself because I have the power to use all of my talents for good. I’m artistic in the styling behind our plants, in our branding, and in my paintings. I’m organized and assertive, which are both traits and skills necessary to be the effective COO that I am (someone please tell Andrew that I just gave myself that title). Read more>>

Audra Blumn | Hairstylist

When I was 20 years old, all the could think about was makeup. My parents tried to get me into cosmetology school but I had no interest in hair at the time. In 1998, I went to Florida for a summer and graduated from Joe Blasco Makeup School. Being young and a bit naive, I came home after graduating because of a boy. That didn’t work out, and my family had already spent a fortune on my schooling and living expenses while in Florida so I got a job at home with hopes that I would save up and move back to Florida or go to Nashville and do makeup for country music. Read more>>

Shamieka Anderson | Family & Lifestyle Photographer

I would always look at my surroundings or people going about being them in their own style and think that would make a dope photography piece. I would go to New Orleans and lot and would just take photos my entire trip. From there I just know I wanted to pursue photography. Read more>>

Sari | Baker & Content Creator

I pursued an artistic and creative career in baking because I found that baking was fun and very pleasing. You can do so much with it, one of the things I love to do is create content and make tasty desserts. I find happiness and freedom in what I chose to do and thats why I enjoy it so much! Read more>>

Dook Dootson | Vocals / Guitarist at Learning Names

I think most people don’t choose a creative career. It’s something that chooses you and seems to draw you in like a moth to the flame. It’s baffling why anybody would choose this life. It typically doesn’t pay well, it’s long hours, it causes strain with relationships – strain even just trying to live a regular life. It’s a constant source of struggle and often requires secondary undesirable jobs to fund the pursuit. But for creative people there’s something constantly tapping on your shoulder, pushing you to build something and spread it to the world. Read more>>

Bak’n’4th Shyam & Erwin | Music Producers

We grew up surrounded by music, both in spiritual congregations and in our homes. We had parents who filled a lot of our home life with rich varieties of music, and put us through different music lessons so that we were also very hands on with instruments. So, there’s been something almost natural or inevitable about music being the avenue through which we’ve pursued our careers. Read more>>

Ashley Johnson | Voice Actor

My thought process behind starting my own business was one that took a number of years to actually take seriously. I have always known that I want to own my own business just wasn’t sure in what. After graduating from Grambling State in 2013 I decided to leave my current job offer of being a news reporter and move back home to Dallas and try to continue my media career. Although it has been tremendously trying, I have always trusted and believed that God would see me through to whatever he has planned for me. Read more>>