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.

Emmar Grant | Video Artist

I began my creative career wanting to make movies. But I always had such deep influence from artists in my life. People that, sometimes as ritual, create art with processes of their own invention. I began to experiment with sculptural motion picture; movies you could walk through. Read more>>

Troy Grant | Artist

I believe life is all about passion. I know too many people who are in jobs they hate, in college simply to make others happy, and not really focused on what makes THEM happy. So I made the decision to only do things based on passion, and I’m passionate about making music that makes people smile. It definitely gets hard, Covid and all, but there’s nothing I’d rather be doing. Read more>>

Kayla Arnold | Photographer

I’ve pursued an artistic career because it felt the best for me. A lot of art kids, even now days, are pushed so much to fit into this mold that society has for us. I wasn’t the best in maths, working 9-5 was hard for me, and I never wanted to give up my artistic extracurriculars for a job. I was very lucky to have switched to homeschooling for most of my high school experience which let my parents nourish and grow my artistic side. I was a photography apprentice for quite a few years and helping and seeing all that happened, the beauty of a person. nature, or of a big event being captured for forever was what lead me to this career. Read more>>

Laura Petka | Laura Petka | Abstract Artist

Painting has been a central part of my life since a very young age, ebbing and flowing as my life went in different directions. Being an Artist was always my dream job, but admittedly, seemed unattainable at times. Through my career as a Gallery Director, I put my art aside to focus on work and starting our family. It wasn’t until after our second baby, and deciding to be a stay at home Mom, that I began painting again. Diving back into painting gave me a true sense of fulfillment and purpose, outside of being a Mom. Exploring new textures, surfaces, color palettes and paints came to another brief halt when we had our twin boys. As much as I missed painting, the focus for the next two years was on our new family of six, and one baby with a life threatening illness. Read more>>

Hannah Brown | Jeweler Turned Painter

I grew up with a creative and artistic mother who instead of buying my sisters and I coloring books, encouraged us to make our own. She would play fun games with us by drawing a squiggle on paper and we would have to create a drawing out of the shape. Or we would sit and draw each other without looking down at the paper or lifting our pens – this makes for some really interesting drawings – you should try it! As I got older, I started to recognize that any type of art class easily kept my attention. While in other classes, I found myself daydreaming and pages of notes would be covered with doodles by the end of class. I distinctly remember in high school going out with friends on the weekends but excited to go home so I could paint or use my colored wire and leather to make jewelry into the wee hours of the night – yes, I was super cool. Read more>>

Ethan Holtsclaw | Concert Photographer & Lighting Designer

It’s always been an interest of mine! From a young age, I was surrounded by music/music videos because of my parents either watching them on the TV or my father playing gigs with his band. It only grew into something I realized could be feasible with some great friends, mentors, and my parents. Read more>>

Krystal Burhenne | Team Leader & Candle Obsessed Entrepreneur

This business is my side hustle. I have worked in my current full time job field for 8 years. I work in pharmaceutical benefits management and lead teams who make an impact on lives everyday by ensuring members’ medications are received. It is a complex and highly strategic field of work. However, I graduated with a BA in Marketing Communication but then life took me elsewhere. I have never been able to express my creative side in my career. When my husband and I decided to start Luxe Candle & Bath Co. in 2018 it gave us a chance to break out of the 9-5 work week and be creative. We started this company from nothing and it has grown more than double in the last year. Read more>>

Jerrell Truloove | Author & Wedding Photographer

Like most people, I know the dread of going to a 9 to 5 every day for years that is not fulfilling or enjoyable. So whether it be picking up my first camera or publishing my first book, my inspiration for pursuing a creative career is rooted in building a lifestyle that is both profitable AND fulfilling. I’m sure there are lots of people that don’t mind the 9-to-5 life but being able to be fulfilled by the work I do is what drives me. Additionally, I want to be able to say that I was bold enough to try the many creative endeavors that I have because I don’t want to look back on life wondering what if. Read more>>

Greg Solomon | Custom Furniture Builder

I believe God created us to BE creators. There are so many people stuck in a rut of seeking their identity through jobs/titles/positions, etc. I’ve found that it is an extremely empowering feeling to know who you are, and who you were created and redeemed to be. Then you can pour that into what you create. Read more>>

Alex Moushegian | Musician

I think for us it was just fun! We all have the talent and vision to do music and we figured why not!. Read more>>

Simeon Williams | Singer-songwriter and producer for Wild Daydream

In the morning, I wake up playing my acoustic guitar. Before hopping in the shower, I might play some Bob Dylan for good measure. On my 30 minute car ride to work, I’ll pop in an album… I’ve been on Post-Beatles kick as of late; I’m currently enjoying McCartney’s prolific 30 album discography. When I get to the music store for my shift, you’re bound to find me either playing with lyric ideas or chord progressions… or by some miracle both being done together… hopefully well. On my way back home, I’ll listen to side B of McCartney or if I need something a bit more modern maybe Chris Cohen, Jessica Pratt, Angel Olsen, Kevin Morby, Dr. Dog… pick your flavor. Depending on the night’s work load, I might record, mix or master either my own or a client’s work. When I go to bed, I’ll pop something on that’s lite and relaxing… I have been known to spin an Enya record here and there. Read more>>

Emily Potts | Artist and Teaching Instructor

I did not originally see myself pursuing a professional or academic art career, but after exploring many other avenues art always found its way back to me. I was always scared of the instability that being an artist brings, but I realize after seeing peers and mentors being self-sustainable and even successful that I should not let that fear guide my future. Talking about art and making art feels like the most natural way of communicating and expressing myself, I truly love to be apart of conversations in the contemporary art world and hope to keep pursuing my dream. Read more>>

Janet Travis | Writer/Producer/Actress

Creating has always been like oxygen to me. When I took the leap in my early ‘40’s to actually pursue art as a career, I found that it not only fulfilled me, but my passion and drive also inspired my children to view their own world in a different light, with endless possibilities as to what their future could hold for them. As rewarding as writing my first short film and seeing the finished production win awards at various festivals was, watching the reaction from my children as they realize any dream they have is actually possible was the greatest feeling ever. Bringing characters to life and telling important and compelling stories and striving to turn dreams into reality is one legacy I am proud to leave to my children. Read more>>

Janelle Jex | Freelance Artist (of various art forms)

I pursued an artistic career because art is my biggest passion in life! I work with various forms of art including; painting, sculpting, drawing, creating SFX makeup looks, body painting, sewing and more. I’ve been an artist ever since I was a child and I was always working on different creative projects. This hasn’t changed one bit! If I’m not creating art, I’m brainstorming my next piece. Art enriches the soul and my life wouldn’t be the same without it!!. Read more>

Javier Tamez | Tattoo Artist and Painter

I always felt like I wanted to do more than just working a 9-5 job doing the exact same thing over and over and trust me I did that for a long time before I had the opportunity to give tattooing all of my energy and focus. It wasn’t easy at all but I worked hard for it and here we are today. Read more>>

Monica Guajardo | Owner + Stylist | MMG BEAUTY

I decided to pursue an artist career because I knew since about the age of 15 that going into the beauty industry was going to be the perfect fit for someone like me. I never saw myself being stuck behind an office job or having a 9-5 career. I knew I just wanted to meet new people, and create glamorous looks. I was always a visual learner growing up and loved being hands on, so going into my field of work was the perfect career for someone like myself who just loved showing her creative side. I love it, whether it’s applying makeup on a Bride on their special wedding day or giving someone an amazing hair style for a special occasion, this is my passion and what I was meant to do. Read more>>

Kat Calaway | Storytelling Photographer

I’m a very visual person, in love with history & storytelling. Documenting life with heartfelt photos if fun & fulfilling work. However, photography is more than just my profession. After my diagnosis with lupus & fibromyalgia, photography naturally evolved into a therapeutic outlet, allowing creative freedom to express my inner emotions. With eyes wide open, I observe the world and capture seemingly ordinary, yet meaningful moments of connection… with others, with nature, with myself, and with God. This mindset and approach behind the camera is the gentle shift that’s transformed my photos into art. Read more>>

Kent Anderson Butler | Visual Artist & Artist Teacher

I grew up in Northern California and ever since I was a child I have had a spirit of imagination and a heart of an artist. My first artistic experience was with my grandfather. He taught me the craft of stained glass art. I was fascinated with all the amazing colors the glass gave off when the sun illuminated it. I also used to spend a lot of my childhood at the kitchen table drawing. These two experiences lead me to wanting to be an artist at an early age. I have pursued an artistic career because I believe it s a calling and that God has given me this amazing gift to be able to create art and to have an impact on those who experience it. Read more>>

King Qreed | Recording Artist & Influencer

That’s a great question, I’ve been an Artist pretty much my whole life, I honestly believe it’s my destiny. I’m very fortunate to come from a family with such great musical talents. I honestly feel that art and creative work pursued, it was inevitable, I couldn’t escape or lose the thought of being a creative if I tried. Read more>>

Honie Gold | Artist

I honestly think that my career path chose me . When I was younger I was always writing , constantly. Whether it was a poem or a song . I just always had a pen in my hand , since I was eight . Creating images through words . And I loved it . So I just knew I had to pursue music and continue the journey. Read more>>

Sherman Johnson Jr. | Producer/Engineer/Rapper

Ever sinve a kid, I ALWAYS wanted to to do music and the older I got I realized that I didn’t have a choice. Anytime I would try something else or gave a thought to anything other than music, Music would pull me right back iN. The older I got the more I was able to learn more about the business and learning this way is waybetter than tradional learning or going in to a classroom for it. Read more>>

Joey Werkmeister | Photographer, Illustrator & Sr UX Manager

As far back as I can remember I have always been fascinated by art. I grew up on the fringes of it, always doodling but never getting up the courage to take a class. It wasn’t until well into college that I realized the value of it in my life. I had always had a love for the sciences, but one tough semester in my junior year I found myself burning out. My parents suggested I try to find a class which would allow me to pursue a hobby. They suggested it would help me to mentally refocus and breathe. I took one drawing class and that was the beginning of it all for me. I can’t say I “took” the art class as much as devoured it. I spent hours upon hours after class digging into my drawings, bugging professors and grabbing books from the library. As I entered the next semester I bartered with my family to complete my degree in Neuroscience if they would give the blessing to also pursue my new found love. Read more>>


Big Homie Joe (Joe McCormick) | Tattoo Artist

I actually really started falling in love with art once I started getting tattoos. The first time I walked into a tattoo shop it just felt like I was meant to be there. After that I went home, started drawing, and have been chasing the dream ever since. I had a first grade teacher that use to always tell my moms I was going to be an artist one day, so she seen it in me in the beginning. Read more>>

Lindsay Lancaster Jae Carpenter | Owners of Bucket List Living

This business grew out of something we were already doing for our families. Taking our mundane and making it memorable. We love to have fun. Being stay at home moms, BL2 has been the best outlet for that creative fun. We’ve always loved to create. Growing up making jewelry, coloring, making things with our hands. Doing what we do does not feel like work. It’s fun. It’s accomplishing. To contribute financially to our families is a bonus. It’s the best feeling ever to create something from nothing and put it out there for people to enjoy. Read more>>

McKenna Wallace | Musician & Songwriter

I don’t think I’m the kind of person who was cut out to work a 9-5 job, which is partly what drove me to try to find a different option. Becoming a musician was definitely not my goal growing up – I hated performing with a passion and swore that becoming a singer was the one thing I would never do. I played piano and wrote songs through middle and high school, but would mainly just keep them to myself. But I think along the way, I realized that writing was my favorite thing to do, specifically songwriting. When I met my husband, Nate Wallace, who produces music professionally, I finally knew someone personally who was making a career out of music, and witnessing that forced me to reevaluate what I wanted my life to look like. Up until that point, I’d planned to become a teacher and potentially release some music as a side project, but when I really stopped and thought about it, I knew that wouldn’t be fulfilling for me long term. Read more>>