Artists and creatives face innumerable challenges given that their career path often doesn’t come with a playbook, a steady paycheck or any form of safety net. It’s definitely not easy and so we asked a few of the artists and creatives we admire to talk to us about why they chose to pursue an artistic or creative career.

Alyssa Myers | Dancer, Choreographer & Performing Artist

Ever since I was little, I knew that I wanted to be a dancer, but the type of dancer I envisioned for myself has shifted and morphed over the years. Being a freelance artist actually wasn’t what I had in mind upon graduating from USC Kaufman. However, I knew that I had a strength in choreography. After working on several passion projects pre-grad, I came to trust that I could grow this part of my artistic career. I also find that this opportunity for leadership allows me to create environments with other people that reach for values and pursuits that I passionately wish to witness in society. I think that artists have the opportunity to speak about many areas and relations of life that regularly people may not give themselves the space to feel. I want to create art and dance that allows the audience and artists inside the work the ability to experience, discover, and become aware of their bodies’ own intuitive nature. Read more>>

Darby McVay | Videographer

I’ve always loved shooting videos. I started shooting my friends and being shot by friends skateboarding at an early age. Growing up I watched every skate video that would come out. I always loved how they put the music to the skating and always really “felt” it. All making videos is is invoking a certain feeling to your audience. I had no idea how to monetize off making videos and ended up getting stuck working construction most of my twenties. As time passed I knew I was miserable and that’s not what I wanted to do in life. I picked up the phone and called Media Tech Institute here in a Dallas ready to enroll. They told me classes started in two months and I needed to get a GED. I called up a friend and asked him if he could come over everyday and teach me algebra! Long story short I passed and get enrolled. I graduated December 2017. During the time I was in film school I was working the front desk of Paradigm gym in Dallas. Read more>>

Jonathan Johnson | Children’s and Middle Grade Book Author

I didn’t pursue an artistic or creative career, the career actually chose me. Due to circumstances of life ranging from finding out that I was adopted to experiencing kidney failure and a kidney transplant…twice. There were a few things that persuaded me to write. I was in need of an outlet to clear my mind while I was dealing with kidney failure and adoption while in high school. During that time, I turned to writing my thoughts out in a journal that my parents bought for me. Years later, those thoughts turned into books. As I decided to further my writing career, I eventually married and had kids. While seeking out books to read to my children, I realized the lack of representation of characters that looked like my children and many others. Due to the positive response of my books, parents bringing their children to meet me at book signings, and parents sending me pictures and videos of their children reading my books with joy has kept my fire for writing burning bright. Read more>>

Soheyla Rashidyan | Founder & Director of the Museum of Visual Art

“Creativity belongs to the artist in each of us. To create means to relate. The root meaning of the word art is ‘to fit together’ and we all do this every day. Not all of us are painters but we are all artists. Each time we fit things together we are creating – whether it is to make a loaf of bread, a child, a day.” – Corita Kent I did not try to be an artist. I have always had so many questions – scary ones, funny ones, great ones, stupid & childish ones, and unanswered ones – all types. My life has been a continual search for harmony, composition, movement, unity, and variety, looking for the details to find balance and proportion of the bad with the good (mystery of my life). In such a search, we can discover peace in baking bread (taste life), making fragrant tea or freshly brewed coffee (smell life), planting beans (to see growing), looking to the sky and seeing shining stars (to feel glory), looking at trees, with their roots firmly in the ground but able to sway in the morning breeze. Read more>>

Ashlie Sellers | Nail Artist

I had worked in retail for years in a position that had a creative spin to it. I was a visual merchandiser which was a lot of fun! But I had a taste of what it was like to be a creative and I knew that if I could be creative everyday in my work life it wouldn’t feel like work. Read more>>