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.

Danny Jordan | Violist and Music Educator

Honestly, I know it’s a cliché to say, but I don’t really feel like I had any choice in the matter – I HAD to be a musician. I’ve been fortunate enough to find joy in a lot of things that I’ve done in my life, but never before had I felt so compelled to do or be anything. Even though I originally set out to be a classroom orchestra teacher and am now primarily a freelance performer and private teacher, the need to make classical music was still there. Read more>>

Michael J Hamilton II | Barber/ Fashion Designer/Podcast Host

Great Question. My career path as a barber officially started my creative journey. The ability to transform someone’s look based upon their desires and instructions just spoke to me. But the true genesis of it all, unbeknownst to me, was majoring in Fashion Merchandising in college. Read more>>

Kris Karr | Artist & Business Owner

We all have talents, things that come naturally to us. For me, it is creativity. I didn’t know that I’d be able to pursue a career in the arts when I was in high school because those subjects (art, music, design, etc) were electives and viewed simply an easy class to help boost your GPA. I’m a first generation Mexican-American and my parents did not have the knowledge or resources to help guide me in that area. All I knew is that I had to get an education which was what was expected of me. It was not until I took college art courses that I realized that going into a creative field was an option! I truly believe doing what you are passionate for is what gives yoou the most satisfaction in life, which in turn makes you happy. Read more>>

Deshun King | Master Hair Artist

I honestly feel this creative and artistic career chose me. I’ve always felt a passion for hair and the beauty industry. I grew up going to the salon with my mother and grandmother, at the early age of nine I was styling my grandmother’s hair my mother’s hair and several cousins hair. It’s alway been something that came naturally to me. Growing up in my time it wasn’t popular to be a male hairstylist so I tried to hide it, but my talent couldn’t be hidden. Read more>>

Samantha Kristoferson | Sound Healer & Light Worker

I chose to pursue a creative career because I was given a significant second chance. In the past, I prioritized work over my artistic side, believing that being an artist wasn’t financially viable or that my creative abilities were merely hobbies. However, during the first lockdown in Waterloo, Ontario, I retreated to my backyard office and embraced full-time creativity. The guaranteed basic income from the government was a lifeline that allowed me to flip the narrative. I shifted my focus to my well-being, happiness, and balance, giving myself permission to take risks and prioritize my artistic self. Read more>>

 Saraya Charlton | Visual Artist

Art has always been a way for me to express myself and it’s become very healing for me. I want to do what I love with my life and Art is that. Creating makes me feel alive and grateful for the gifts the Great Creator has given me. Read more>>

Jinal Shah | My current work is at www.hetaln.com, Operations Manager and Media Coordinator

It runs in family and upbringing and so we just tag along with it. It is easier for migrating families to teach their kids their culture, their existing talents or skills that runs in family. Once you are good at it, there is no looking back. Let the whole world fall. My spark in performing arts was because of my mothers passion and my dads singing. Seeing my mother perform on stage and on screen in television series brought me excitement. Since i was a geek, i choosed to keep up to my educational drive. It is not a career for any of us as a matter of fact. We just love to do, we are exceptionally good at it and we attract money from it and then it becomes sort of life that you choose to live. My family has worked for industry throughout and this exposure makes it easier for us to be in this field. It is very normal for people to “assume” it as career. It is a field that we have a knack of and with full trainings. Read more>>