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.

Brooks Whitehurst | Guitarist, Singer, and Songwriter with Honest Men

For as long as I can remember pursuing music has been the only thing that I saw myself doing. I think it’s been less of a conscious decision to pursue music and more a result of how my passion specifically for playing and creating new music has naturally affected certain life decisions. Read more>>

Kimberly Kort | Acrylic Fluid Artist

I have spent my life planning events, parties, meetings, and family life. I enjoyed all of it very much. Unfortunately, I had been getting migraines for the past 15 years and they were progressively getting worse. Once my two children had finished high school, I made the decision to stop working full time. Read more>>

Najwa Seyedmorteza | Movement Artist, Choreographer, & Dance Instructor

I decided to pursue an artistic path because I’ve always been extremely in tune with my emotions and imagination. My emotions always lead me into interesting gardens of wonder, and that intrigued me. I feel as though I see the world through a different lens. Read more>>

Monica Acosta | Graphic Designer

Creativity and art have always played a major role in my life. I always knew I wanted to have a career where I could express myself creatively and being a graphic designer has definitely provided me with that. Read more>>

Paul Smith | Tattoo Artist, Machine Builder, Ink Maker, & Luthier

In one word, Freedom… but, of course it’s not that simple. There are a lot of variables in play at this point in my art my career. When I think back to being a kid, I really don’t remember a day when I wasn’t drawing on something. I think I was born to do it. Read more>>

Travis Chick | Tattoo Artist

I’ve done a number jobs ranging from a meter reader at an electric company to a mechanic for a transit company, but nothing ever felt fulfilling no matter how much I put into it or how good I was at it. The one thing that has always remained constant for me is my love of art and the expression of one’s self through art. Read more>>

Ashley Dugan | Design & Illustration

I never imagined myself doing anything other than something creative, it was always the way I expressed myself. However, My creative outlets have evolved over the years. When I was little I just loved to draw anything, sketch cute little animals or flowers. Read more>>

Norman Matthew | Billboard Charting Songwriter & Producer

Honestly, for me. Sometimes I truly feel I didn’t choose music. It chose me. There have been times I have tried to walk away from it. Discouraged, jaded, burnt out, scared. Whatever the reason. But something about a heartfelt hook and melody over a great groove keeps calling me back. Read more>>

Angela Yeung | Food Stylist

I think everyone wants to create a better world. Food, art and design is my pathway to help contribute to that. It helps that I was raised in an artistic family. My father was a professional photographer and my mother was a fashion illustrator. Read more>>

Reed J Kenney | Photographer

Originally, I had wanted to go to school for design. While in school, and working different coffee jobs, I realized I had some kind of affinity or eye for making photos in a way that felt pretty natural, so I started to pursue this on the side. Read more>>

Jill Danahey | Artist

I’m not a young artist just starting out or fresh out of school. I’ve drawn and painted my whole life, but married fresh out of college with my fine arts degree and moved with my husband’s flying career. Then came children, community and volunteering. Read more>>

Mike Williams | Comedy Magician

I think I pursued a creative career out of a love of happiness, a search for freedom and as a personal challenge. I knew from a young age I was going to be a professional entertainer. Growing up, my fondest memories were experiencing live entertainment with my family. Read more>>

Andrew Oh | Writer, Filmmaker, Cartoonist

This is the kind of question you might never ask yourself and may never know the answer to. At a certain point, you make peace with this vocation. Its origin, whether through serendipity or deliberation, becomes irrelevant and other whys and wherefores take precedence. Read more>>

Ian Cochran | Lead Singer Cowboy Diplomacy

Nothing makes me happier than playing music. Writing and performing songs is my favorite thing to do. It just makes sense to me to try and make this my career. Read more>>

Jackson Russo | Lead Singer & Guitarist for MNKR

I can’t speak for everyone in the band, but I really think the world is a better place when there are ways to escape your day to day or there is a piece of work that a complete stranger has created that you can relate to. Read more>>

Carolyn Rayner | Marketing & Advertising Specialist

I have always been creative. I started dancing at a very young age and discovered the theatre in high school, then went on to major in theatre and dance in college. I wanted to be an actress and be in musical theatre. Read more>>