We asked some of the city’s leading artists and creatives to tell us about how they decided to pursue an artistic or creative career. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Rumbie Praise | Celebrity Makeup Artist

Makeup is art that I am so passionate about since a young age. I would even wear it to school even though it was prohibited. That’s how much I love makeup and I just love the joy it brings others/clients when I enhance their beauty. Read more>>

Jeff Hamm | Director, Editor

I’ve always been an artist. I grew up sketching, drawing and painting with my grandmother who is a nationally known quilter. From there, I was able to learn the skills of perspective and shading that carry over into my work in VFX still today. The art of storytelling (editing and directing), however, comes from growing up with a family that enjoys telling stories. I love being able to see a story come to life from paper to big screen. Read more>>

Dr. April Bee | Wellness Coach, Journalist and Artivist

Being a black woman in social work, I recognize the unique barriers that keep us from feeling worthy, being successful, being seen, heard, or valued. I recognize that societal norms and microaggressions have kept so many of us from having the space to express–emotions, experiences, aspirations, and needs. Therefore, I felt that it is my duty in this field to provide a platform and space for our community to express individually and collectively. I seek to create innovative approaches for us to address the trauma we have endured, as well as share the joys we have experienced. I seek for this to expand in social work curriculum and be utilized in more clinical therapeutic settings. Looking at famous movements of artivism (such as the Chicano Movement), this sets a precedent in how powerful and necessary artistic expression is for the liberation of oppressed and marginalized communities. Read more>>

Alycia McDonald | Photographer

I pursued a creative career because one day I realized that photography was something that gave me so much joy. When I was young my parents got me a camera and printer for Christmas and it changed my life. I remember my extended family came over and I used my camera so much that night that I ran out of photo paper and ink all in the same day I got it. I had so much fun with it that I wanted to learn more and photograph whoever would let me. I just looked at it as a hobby though, I really felt like it could never be a career because I didn’t know anyone who was a successful photographer at that age. I never saw it so I didn’t believe it could be done. The older I got I honestly began to notice other people have more faith in my “business” than I did. Read more>>

Michael Gibson Jr | 2x Emmy Winning Producer, Award Winning Filmmaker, Comedian & Host of The Avert Your Eyes Podcast

Creativity is so deeply ingrained in me I feel like I could not have chosen anything else but to pursue things to release the valve so to speak. Like most people, I have been surrounded by media. I just knew that I had to be involved in it in some way. My father instilled a very eclectic love for music as he would dance around the living room when I was younger. I remember watching I Love Lucy and a litany of of other television programs, films, and stand up comedy specials from a young age and I loved the enjoyment I received from all of it, but also recognized the art of story-telling from a early age as I recited these jokes and stories to my friends. I have always been enamored with language, loving how the right combination of words can evoke a certain feeling from the person reading a book, listening to a song, watching a film, or gazing upon a photograph. Read more>>

Carmen Friday | Culinary Artist & Owner of Cooking With Carmen

I didn’t have much of a choice it became more so of which creative direction was I going to choose. Being blessed with so many God given talents in this category I had to narrow it down and figure out which one makes me happier and drives me the most. My passion for baking and cooking shines the brightest out of everything, I live and breathe for this. Read more>>

Rapheal Crump | Artist

I always think back to my earlier years as a child. I would spend my free time drawing while waiting for my mother to finish work. One day a client of hers came in and saw one of my drawings, the lady liked it so much she offered me money for it. At the early age of 5 I was bitten by the entrepreneur bug. Since then I have always made a living off of my artwork. Every job or opportunity that I have had was based on being creative or in the creative field. Being creative is a passion and a love of mine, It is something I do daily, I practice my skillset, I study, I engulf my life in the arts. I truly love it and being able to make a living doing what I love gives me fulfillment at the end of the day. The fact that my work touches and connects to people is what keeps me going. Read more>>

Juniper St. Butcher | Freelance Artist

I don’t think I ever explicitly planned for this to be my career path, it just kind of happened. I’ve always been inspired by the entrepreneurial life my family pursues, and it somehow ended up working out for me. When I was younger I always dreamed about having my own business or working in film, but something better fell in my hands. I almost avoided this career path because I was told that it would be difficult to get a career like this. Now I’m 21 years old and self-employed, I get to work with basically whatever I want. I can create art and photography and film and keep a roof over my head. Who wouldn’t want that? I proved them wrong. Read more>>

Pooja Mehta | Certified Make Up Artist & Real Estate Agent

A creative or artistic career was a natural progression of what I love doing. From my childhood, I have been into arts and creative work and had lots of encouragements from my family and friends. As I was nearing completion of my undergraduate degree in English major, i also enrolled myself in a Interior designer diploma and started my professional journey as an Interior designer. When I moved to United states, decided to extend my creative goals by doing a course for Make Up Artist and its been a very satisfyingly and humbled journey over the last 10 years or so. Each make up requirement in unique and has its specifics, and that is the challenge that keeps me going. Recently during the Covid times, I decided to certify myself with the challenge of being a real estate agent and now look forward to bringing artistic or creative twist as a real estate agent as well… Read more>>

Armando Sebastian | Artist

Since I can remember I was always drawing and sketching, I also grew up traveling to Mexico City very often I remember we would go for long walks in downtown and we would visit museums and ancient ruins, I think that really made a significant impact in my early years. I first wanted to become a fashion designer and I designed costumes for some plays in Monterrey Mexico where I’m am originally from. As the time went by I found myself leaning more towards painting so that’s why I decided to pursue my career as an Artist. Read more>>

Robert S. Garza | Multimedia Artist

I made art my entire life. I was cartooning and doodling all throughout school, and I never once thought about life without some sort of artistic practice. As I got older, though, I thought having a creative career was realistically out of my reach. I didn’t feel I had the talent or opportunities others did, nor did I feel like I could take on schooling I thought I would need. I entered the work force in college and have been “between semesters” since. After working several dead-end jobs, I made the decision to bring art back into my life. I‘ve since spent a lot of time surrounded by other working artists and seeing the ways one could live as a creative professional. Somewhere along the way, I carved out my own living by selling my art and created a career as an illustrator, designer, and painter. Read more>>

Bonnie Achariyakosol | Principal Interior Designer

When you have a creative nature, you can’t really thrive unless you have an outlet for that energy! I feel so fortunate I found Interior Design as a career and love working with clients to create their dreams. Even if I hadn’t initially pursued a creative career, I think I would have found my way into one. Its just like breathing to me: essential! Read more>>

Carla Bible | Owner/Operator

Having my own business was always a dream of mine when I was a little girl. I have always been creative so I wanted to make money while doing what I love to do. I love creating “edible art”. Read more>>