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.

Rodney Jordan Jr | Artist

I have always loved to draw. Growing up i would build and create things that’s where my creativity came from. My Grandad’s build things one was an engineer and the other was a carpenter. So i was always around creative people. Also my aunt is an amazing artist. So seeing them be creative in their everyday life. I believe that can make art my career. Read more>>

Dawun-Jamaal | Artist & Creative Architect

I chose to pursue my own creativity early on in my life as a conduit to simply survive. I wasn’t an outcast but I knew I was different and so I found peace in creating. Read more>>

Keva Nicole | R&B Music Artist

I chose to pursue being an artist because I see almost every aspect of life as a form of art and creativity; we as human beings are like walking canvases with different stories to tell through the gifts that we’ve been blessed with. My gifts just so happen to include music and modeling, I convey myself the best through these “mediums” and figured why not allow them to take me as far as they can not only in my personal life but in a career as well. Read more>>

$ONRAE | Rapper & Photographer

It was the only way I felt like I could truly be me in full form & not have to compromise myself for anyone or anything. While also allowing me to be inspired by others freely & try new things without caring what anyone has to say. Read more>>

Briyanna Wilson | Music Curator, Graphic Artist and Freelance Music Blogger

I think I decided to go down this particular path because of how different I’ve always approached life from a very young age. Using creativity and thinking for myself has led me down a more creative lane. I was also very artistic as a child and followed through with my desire to make things throughout all my years of schooling. It was only natural I decided to start a brand for myself driven by my own kind of creativity and love for curation, as well as for writing. Read more>>

Rebecca Lansdowne-Collins | Pet Portrait Artist & Teacher

I have always been an artist. When I was in my late 20’s my Mom died early at 54. That was life changing for me as she had been laid off from her job the year before that. It was a job she had been in for over a decade and seeing her go through all that she went through was a wake up call. I had never been great at negotiating for raises and never felt like I had the ability to earn what I was worth by working for other people. So I started a handmade card business and ran that for five years, then I started artpaw.com and I am still making pet portraits along with doing less commercial work for myself. Read more>>

Tamarah Wild | Animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, Canine Massage Therapist

I didn’t pursue this path. It unfurled. Ten years ago none of this existed for me, Hadn’t crossed my mind as something I wanted let alone something that would in the span of a decade completely change me. Read more>>

Kathy Robinson-Hays | Artist and Art Restorer/Conservator

I pursued an artistic career because it just seemed the most natural thing for me to do. I remember learning to draw at a very young age by copying cut out paper dolls and creating a completely new wardrobe for them. I always felt that the arts offered the most freedom and self expression with limitless boundaries. At sixteen I made up my mind that I wanted to be an artist. Read more>>

Mehrnoush Moslemi | Makeup Artist

When I enrolled in college back in 2012 I had the intentions of becoming a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist. My main goal was to help people feel beautiful, no matter their age, race or background. Once I realized that the medical wasn’t something I wanted to pursue I discovered my love for makeup. Makeup has given me the ability to help my clients feel beautiful. Whether it’s for their wedding day, birthday or just a fun night out, seeing their faces light up when they see how amazing they look makes me so happy. Working in a creative industry give you the opportunity to be yourself and share your skills with the world. It’s an incredible feeling to find a career that you love & that truly makes you happy. Read more>>

Stephanie M. Casey | Lovage Inc. Founder / CEO

When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with movies – especially offbeat movies which challenged the norm around me. This was in the early 90s so the internet was a tiny baby and movies were the main way to immerse oneself in far away or different cultures, places, and spaces. The soundtracks of these films filled my walkman headphones and later my CD mixes. I understood that movies had more emotional impact on people and culture than even politics or education. And I wanted to be a part of that entertainment world contributing to exposure and change for progress and growth. Read more>>

Jett Thomas | Actor & Creator

I have experienced no greater feeling than being able to make people feel something. Being an artist has opened doors for me to be able to creative and evoke emotion which I feel is a very powerful tool. The first time I made an audience laugh was the most fulfilling feeling I had ever experienced and from that moment forward I knew what I wanted to do. Read more>>