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.

Dewane Hughes | Sculptor, Distinguished Professor of Art

I come from a very blue collar background, so college wasn’t a serious consideration, let alone art. However, through a series of fortunate events, I found myself in college (first in my family), and in an art class taught by a sculptor named Mac Hornecker who had a very similar background to mine. An immediate bond was forged through that familiarity, and I never looked back. Read more>>

Ceci Ceci | Nicaraguan Indie Artist

I chose a creative career because it aligns with how my brain naturally functions. From a young age, melodies would come to me effortlessly. It feels like an inherent part of who I am, confirming that songwriting is my true calling. Read more>>

Rich Royal | Entrepreneur and Artist

Growing up in the inner city of West Los Angeles, gangs, drugs, prostitution and violence was the way of life in the 1980’s and 1990’s. However, with all the bad the surrounding the area, it had creative vibe to it. I could feel the story behind of the all graffiti artwork. I was intrigued by all the art morals and graffiti art on the walls. Read more>>

Erfan Ebadipour | Music Producer & Musician

I knew in my teens that music was something I was willing to study the art of. By way of an apprentice to profession sort of relationship. I also knew that it was the only career that afforded me the time and space to live and experience life at my own pace and in my own timing. Read more>>

Dahlia Juarez | Mother & Artist

I’ve been immersed in the world of art since childhood, starting with sketching still life’s and portraits at a very young age. My artistic journey led me to attend an arts magnet high school and eventually pursue a career in the art field, a path that felt instinctive for me. Despite briefly exploring a non-art-related direction, I swiftly realized it wasn’t my true calling. My heart thrives in creativity, and my hands are crafted to build and shape tangible beauty. Read more>>

Taylor Pace | RnB/Soul Artist

I pursued an artistic career because I considered it (1) the most true and (2)what I was purposed to do. It’s what I’ve always been and it’s what I do best. I’m not one to go with the crowd, of any sort. Being an artist for me is definitely not about following along with the trends or flavors of the month but instead granting value to my individuality and the individuality of others in order to continue the legacy of celebrating and recognizing the contributions of every voice. But that’s just half of it because it’s also my love and respect for the art of music or, more broadly, communication. I’m literally enamored with and addicted to it. So I feel that is the legacy that the true artist has been carrying since the beginning of time and I’m here to be apart of that legacy for whatever reason. Read more>>

McKenna Kasowski | Songwriter, Creative, & Dreamer

I have been a dreamer and a writer ever since I can remember. Every single society since the dawn of time has had some form of creative expression; which is proof that creativity is innately human and necessary. I hope to leave a lasting legacy with my music and art. Read more>>

Juan Jose Lopez Rodriguez | Mexican Folk Dance Professional Dancer and Choreographer

I pursued an artistic career because it is a way to connect with my culture and the rest of the world. A non-verbal way to show what people are and how they correlate. Read more>>