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.

Matt Jones | Songbird Jones, Roots Country Band, Frontman

Simply put, songwriting and singing is what I enjoy most. I am grateful I have discovered this fact. Many people aren’t so fortunate. Read more>>

Matthew Broyles | musician and writer

It’s certainly not the safest thing to do. But when something keeps calling you, it’s difficult to imagine just letting it go. We only get one chance to live, and what we do with our time here is important, regardless of whether or not it maximizes GDP. Read more>>

Deborah Valcin | Storyteller & Filmmaker

Ever since I was a kid, I was always telling stories. I would write stories about heroes saving towns from murderous plants, and make up stories to make my sister laugh on long car rides. Writing was always the best outlet for me to tell those stories and develop them into something larger as I got older. I pursued an artistic career because it was simply the most natural thing in the world to me. Writing turned into scripts and scripts turned into short films. I believe that my passion for storytelling can take any shape, but filmmaking and being part of the world of telling stories visually is the medium that really lets me express my vision to the fullest. Read more>>

Damon Clark | Singer-Songwriter

That’s a good question. I’ve always had a deep interest and fascination with the arts in its many forms: singing, acting, cinematography, drawing, painting, literature, composition, and so on. At an early age, I found that I was very good at a lot of artistic disciplines. I also found math and science easy, but I was marginally less interested in pursuing those as a career path. So, I imagine I made the “choice” to be an artist for many of the same reasons people become lawyers, doctors, accountants, and the like. I’m good at art. It comes easy. and it’s where my primary interests lie. Read more>>

Shailaun Manning | Artist

I pursued an artistic career because it gave me freedom to be myself authentically and inspire people to do the same. Read more>>

Brandon Hunt | CEO & Celebrity Wardrobe Stylist

I pursed an artistic career for several different reasons. One of those reasons was I wanted to have freedom. Not only the freedom to wake up and do what I wanted but the freedom of expression. To me, being able to create everyday is liberating. Growing up, My mom owned several different salons and my dad was an architect. Seeing my parents pave their own way was a huge inspiration. My main reason for being in this career is because I love helping others to be more confident and look good. Having a career in fashion makes it possible for me to leave my personal mark on the world. Read more>>

Rabia Inayat | Artist, Business Woman, & IT Professional

I pursued artistic business (I actually have two!) because I have, since a young age, always loved different forms of art. At the moment SunLily Events is a side business since I do work full time in IT, but hopefully in the future it will grow bigger! Read more>>

J.R. Bradford | Actor

As a kid,I thrived most in creative spaces and felt free when doing it. Then,I did a production in High School(O.D. Wyatt High School) where I literally walked onstage and received a standing ovation without even speaking. I had a reputation for being class clown so they couldn’t wait to see what I would bring to the character. After that moment,I said to myself, “This is what I wanna do for a living.” I’ve been an artist ever since! Read more>>

Bernice Bivens | Owner & Artisan

I chose an artistic career, because I wanted to focus on what I’m good at. I can come up with an idea in my mind and make it reality. It’s an extremely satisfying feeling of accomplishment. The smallest thing can be beautiful or captivating. It’s my job to find those things and present them to the public. Like beauty, my art is temporary. Read more>>