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.

Syke | Artist & Musician

People always tell you to do what makes you happy, then find a way to make money out of it. I can’t see myself living my whole life working a job I can’t enjoy, even if it comes with a fat paycheck. My mental well being means the most to me, and creating things makes me happy. Not just with the music. Honestly anything that allows me to express myself and share it with others makes me pretty happy so, i figured i should probably dedicate my life to this. Read more>>

Krystal Rodriguez | Artist & Tutor/Teacher

The need to create has always been innate in me for as long as I can remember. Art was always a way for me to cope and escape reality, when life was unclear or confusing. I create art as a way to survive and a way to connect with others, and in turn share that knowledge with my students. Having a career that separates my creativity from the way I make a living has always seemed like an inauthentic existence. I think to deliberately choose to live a creative, unconventional lifestyle that the general collective disproves of, is a brave way to inspire others to live in their truth. Read more>>

Yissel Cabrera | DJ & Music Reporter

Art has been part of my life since very young… literally. In elementary school, while my peers & friends were taking ballet, karate or soccer classes, I was being dragged to art / painting classes. (I say drag, because that’s what it felt like. A hobby chosen for me, not by me.) Looking back now, I’m not mad at all for it. I think at a very early age, that helped mold me into an artistic person I otherwise wouldn’t have been. So, I wasn’t the most atheletic growing up but my drawing lessons were teaching me other lessons you don’t get from a coach. It was teaching me to be creative, to see everything with an artistic eye, to appreciate art & aesthetics. That was instilled into my DNA so yea, I could never feel passionately about pursuing a career that didn’t allow or encourage me to use my creativity to it’s fullest potential. Read more>>

Camden Colwell | Photographer

At a relatively young age I could see that adults around me working 9 – 5 jobs weren’t very happy and didn’t seem fulfilled in their occupation. I didn’t want to become like any of those people, I felt like I had more to offer the world than just working in a cubicle until I died. Doing something that I genuinely enjoy for the rest of my life seemed more appealing than just clocking in at some pointless dead end job. Read more>>

Summer Lomba | Photographer

I decided to pursue an artistic/creative path because I feel like art has been ingrained into me since I was a little girl. I learned how to play the drums at nine years old, started writing music until I was 12, and then became obsessed with photography and film at 15. My dad is one of my biggest supporters and early influencers when it comes to art because he’s the one who taught me how to play music and appreciate art at a young age. What pushed me to pursue this path was when I took a business class and hated it. I couldn’t imagine myself working with numbers and analytics. So I decided to go with my gut and to keep doing what makes me happy. I don’t care to be crazy rich or famous, I just want to do what I do, travel, love, inspire, and make unique art. Read more>>

Olivier Ganthier | Visual Artist / Digital Artist

I did choose an artistic career because I love it at first. Art is a universal and visual representation, that can speak to anyone without any language barrier. From this, I felt that I could use my artistic expression, my creativity, to impact the world on my way. I always feel that ,we, artists, have the power to affect, inspire and influence people in any society. One of the things I appreciate the most about my art, it’s how it can change your mood. it is like, a contagious smile, but in a painting, that will keep smiling forever, reminding you to cultivate a good mood. even if you woke up unhappy, watching this painting, can eventually change your mood and help you have a better day. Here was one example, but there is more that I want to do with this visual language, impact the world, bring peace, love, positivity… In my artistic career, I want to do more to inspire the youth and the kids, to dream, and dream bigger, especially coming from a country like Haiti. Where we face different issues, but we still make dreams Happen. Read more>>

Victor Telleria | Artist & Musician (VKZ)

I decided to pursue an artistic career because at the end of the day, art is one of the things that fulfills me the most. In every aspect. Art makes me feel and think so much more than any other medium. It moves me forward and provides a certain type of happiness I can only truly find when making art, especifically music. To be able to create pieces of art (music) that provide deep feelings (be it happiness, sadness or euphoria) and share it with the world for them to experience, is the ultimate career choice for me. Read more>>

Roehl Acosta | Visual Artist

I don’t think the question exactly fits my case but more of the other way around. I was surrounded by very creative people from the start. From my grandmother to my father and the biggest factor of all, the infinite support of my mother. At a very early age, I was fascinated by my grandmother’s drawings and my father’s watercolors which eventually led me doing the same. Taking numerous art classes and workshops up to secondary school which led to a more serious commitment and took up fine arts in college and majoring in industrial design. I could say I was heavily influenced by my father. My father’s love for woodworking is where I learned the intricacies of said medium. He helped me develop my woodworking skills when he’s not busy doing his “lawyering”. This took me in one direction and my father’s passion for cars took me into another. They were parallel paths which at that time seemed irrelevant for the things I would be doing in the future. I learned metalcraft, welding and custom painting in my father’s automotive shops and gave me more options to advance my art further. I’ve always wanted to challenge myself by and through of these otherwise unmalleable materials. Read more>>

Jay Harmon | Colored Pencil/Graphite Artist

I have always been artistic. Most of my jobs throughout my career have been art-related. I’ve worked as a paste-up artist, editorial cartoonist, TV Art Director, Newspaper advertising artist and Middle school art teacher. I’ve always wanted to further my knowledge of art. Although I never went through the normal channels (I don’t have an Art degree, I’m self-taught) I have learned from various sources everything I wanted to know. I have always had a burning desire to express myself artistically. Read more>>