Artistic and creative careers are among the most rewarding, but they also come with unique challenges. We asked some of the city’s best creatives to tell us why they choose to pursue a creative career.

Cathy Balanoff | Art Studio Owner and First Grade Teacher

This is an interesting question because I actually have two different careers that involve a lot of creativity. I own an art studio and I am a first grade teacher. I have always been drawn to art and creativity. I find art to be fulfilling and feel a sense of accomplishment and confidence when I make something beautiful. I believe that creating is something that we often don’t give enough time to. I love watching people come into my studio and make the transition from feeling apprehensive to their face lighting up when they’ve become inspired. It always happens… to everyone! Once people start, the creativity flows out like it has built up for years…it probably has! To me, that means there is a natural desire for us to want to create! Read more>>

Jordan Silvia | Artist & Art Educator

Around 7th grade I knew I wanted a career in the arts. Many of my classmates wanted to be doctors or lawyers or athletes, but nothing ever connected with me as much as art. I was very clear to everyone about my intention to work in the arts after high school. I had no idea specifically what I wanted to do, but it was going to be art, no matter what anyone said, even my parents. I went off to art school, but I still couldn’t find my niche. I jumped around from painting to graphic design to photography, and ultimately to art history. When I graduated, I still had no clue what I wanted to do, and out of frustration, sold all of my art supplies, moved states, and swore off art. Read more>>

Desanna Watson | Mixed Media Painter, Art Educator, Founder of Creative Gist

As a child I recognized that art was a way for me to speak even in ways that transcended my limited vocabulary at the time. Throughout Highschool, Visual Arts was the most important subject to me so when it was time to choose careers there was nothing else that I wanted to do. It was the easiest decision of my life and still is. Read more>>

Kaneisha Whipple | Software Developer, Writer, Producer & Director

Ever since I was little whenever I was asked the question, what do you want to be when you grow up, the answer was always an actress. I was a drama student all the way up until high school, when I switched to information technology so I could have a backup plan in case acting didn’t work out (not to mention trying to get your name known in the entertainment industry can be expensive!). That answer has never changed and I still have that passion for acting, however after years of being an extra and seeing that there were stories that I felt still weren’t being told I went back to school for an Entertainment degree so I could start my own entertainment company. Read more>>

Sheena La Chinita | Nail artist/life enthusiast

I worked in the hospitality industry for years, I initially thought “people are my passion so interacting and changing someone’s day is my calling”. When I realized that I was personally feeling underwhelmed by my work, I decided to look deeper into what I love to do. I realized that as expressive as I am verbally, I could be that artistically. Though, my words had a great impact on others, I knew there was another way to influence people or make them smile and that was through nail art. There’s something personal about designing an area that’s attached to someone’s body and even though I did the nails, I love watching people in awe with the feeling of “these are MY hands, these are MY nails, these are MINE”. I do what I do because I love it and so do they. Read more>>

Christian Proscia | Student Photographer and Content Creator

When I was in 10th grade, I was signed up to take a broadcasting class at my school. Being able to take that class, I fell in love with all things digital arts. During the semester, the world got shut down with the COVID-19 pandemic. While in lockdown, I found an old camera that my dad had and I went around my neighborhood and started taking pictures of anything. I spent that six month period of time learning all that I could about photography. Read more>>

Andrea Ciatti | Fine Art Artist

I couldn’t help it. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve tried other avenues I always come back to an artistic career. It is like a calling, Sometimes when I’m irrationally sad or sensitive I say “thats it, I’m a living drama because I haven’t made any art”. I find art to be such a great way to inspire others, whether it is through your message or through aesthetics. I feel our souls need to be fed too and art is the 3 Michelin stars for the soul! In that case I can’t imagine myself doing anything else but creating and sharing beauty in this world. Read more>>