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.

Max Mayoral | Artist

One of the motivations behind pursuing a creative career was losing my full time job. Although i was a couple of weeks out from leaving while i was juggling making art, getting laid off was a massive push to want to be my own boss. But really the main reason is just because i love to do it and i love being known for the work that i produce. And with enough research and drive I haven’t looked back and its been almost a year now that art is my full time job. Read more>>

Brittany Borders | Brittany Borders’ Photography

I didn’t really choose the creative path. It honestly chose me. I have loved photography for as long as I can remember. My Granny started buying me disposable cameras when I was about three. I grew up in an Army family and we were always traveling to wherever my mom and dad were stationed, so my Gran would mail the cameras to me, I would take the pictures, and the next time I saw her, we would develop the film and go over my pictures. She was also a photographer and taught photography as well, so she would show me where I cut someone’s feet off or how it was blurry, etc. We did this for most of my childhood. It wasn’t until I entered high school that my love of photography became the focus of what I wanted to do with my life. I got on the yearbook photography team and began taking photos. When the yearbook was finally published, I was hooked! I loved seeing my images in print. Read more>>

Sherie Renell | Wardrobe Stylist & Graphic Designer

I having been pursuing an artistic and creative career in fashion because, fashion is a true expression of how you feel in the moment. It allows you to be bold. It encourages you to take risks, and forces you to be seen. I absolutely love seeing my clients with a new found confidence after each of our styling sessions. Read more>>

Joe Billy | Musician / Performer / Drummer / Solo Artist

Music, to me, has been one of the few things in my life that has always made sense. No matter how confusing, chaotic, or troublesome everything may get, music was always a way for me to escape, to cope, and express myself. I have had an emotional connection to music ever since I could remember, and have always wanted to be a performer. My interests and career ideas have bounced around for much of my younger life, but no matter what, my heart always came back to music. Read more>>

Mandy Marylane | Singer Songwriter & Guitarist

I am pursuing a creative career because being creative is a huge part of my nature and who I am. I want to live a life that will allow me to be able to create consistently. Creative careers are by far the hardest ones to make a living off of, but in my opinion, some of the most rewarding. It’s not about the money. It’s just about being able to create. Creation is literally life. Read more>>

Roxanne Gould | International Gray Hair Fashion Model

Choosing an artistic career is the only natural thing to do when you are an artist. It wouldn’t make any sense to try and be anyone but yourself and force yourself into a role that didn’t come naturally. We all are born with talents and you can feel when a job supports and encourages those talents. It’s a way to find happiness in life by being able to find a career that you enjoy and can’t wait to do when you wake up in the morning, that gives you a sense of satisfaction plus fills you with a feeling that you’ve contributed to society in your own unique way. Read more>>

Amanda Jackson, NCIDQ | Partner & Designer, Hospitality Design Guild

While so many interior designers always knew their calling, I have to say that I was not one of them. I thought pursuing the creative arts would never lead to a career, and I just imagined ending up as a starving artist. So, I studied neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin instead. My roommate and I decided we wanted to spend our summer backpacking through Europe, so I worked and saved my money waiting tables, and traveled overseas on a shoestring budget for two months. When we arrived in Barcelona, I utterly fell in love with the city, and after visiting La Sagrada Familia, I immediately realized that architecture and design could be a career pursuit that I could truly be passionate about. I came back home and changed my major to architecture and interior design, and I’ve never looked back. From that point, I devoured books on Antoni Gaudi, Dorothy Draper, Louis Kahn, Frank Lloyd Wright, and other well-known architects, and studied various furniture movements as well as set designs in old films I watched. Read more>>

Zach Moore | Owner

Throughout my childhood, all I ever wanted to do was create. Whether it was building a fort with my friends, drawing, filming for a school project, writing stories, or creating a silly dance to perform in front of my family, I was always tapping into my creativity. Being creative provides an excitement and unpredictability in my life that I allowed myself to lose for 15 years while working in the restaurant industry. Like many other creatives, I pursued a safe career rather than take a risk by pursuing my passion. However, I finally realized I was stifling my true nature and decided that I needed a change of scenery. After moving to St. Petersburg, I went back to school to jumpstart my personal creative process and met many other creatives along the way who inspired me to keep going. All I have ever wanted to do is create films and be in a space filled with creativity and artistic value, so I decided to start this business. I had been doing freelance work, but I knew I wanted to create on a bigger scale with a group of talented creatives. Read more>>

Ali Francois | Private Chef

I pursued artistic/creative career because I could never see myself doing something that wasn’t artistic/creative. Coming from a music background, I’ve always enjoyed making something out of nothing for people to enjoy. The same goes with food which is why it goes hand in hand for me. I still get to create something out of nothing for people to enjoy. And I love the challenge in doing it day in and day out. Pushing myself to be better than yesterday. Read more>>

Lana Wise | Guitarist & Retail Manager

Being a musician is in my blood. Both of my parents play guitar, and growing up I was surrounded by a very musical family. I was always involved in an orchestra, choir, or band, and in college I explored the technical aspect with audio and recording. Music has been my outlet, my saving grace, my method of communication, and my true passion. However, performing doesn’t always necessarily pay the bills, so by day, I’m a manager at a music store, where I get help people along their own musical journeys. But by night, I put on my favorite boots, strap on my sparkly blue guitar, and and get to rock out with my best friends. As the guitar player of The Bango Bango’s, I get to pay tribute to women in rock, and express myself through song. Read more>>

Isaiah Simmons | Multimedia Artist

If there have been any constants in my life, I’d say the yearning to create has been the most protuberant. That feeling has been calling out to me, but I ignored it for quite some time while I focused on my athletic and coaching career. During that period I managed correlate my sport to being an art form where the athlete is a blank canvas and is need of a good composition (training program). When the pandemic began in 2020, The university I was working at let go a number of employees; I picked up a maintenance job for the city while I waited to see if my position would be reinstated. Ultimately it wasn’t. I found myself in a situation where I had just moved across the entire country and was let go of that job after only eight months. I hated the tedium work I was doing for the city, and knew that there had to be more out there. I decided that I wanted to have more control over my career, and the thing I knew best was how to create. Read more>>

Diamond Moore | Artist/ Jewelry Maker

I pursued a creative career to freely express myself and work towards my happiness. Growing up I was told creative careers were not viable and I needed to be “something that made money.” I followed that path for awhile but in the end creating has brought me the most joy. Read more>>

Albert Name | Carbon Nerve

As far back as I can remember, I always had a fascination for the arts. and always gravitated towards subjects that had some relation to arts. Approaching high school in the late 2000’s, the thought of being in something musically related linger, but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. Mind you, I was dead set on pursuing a typical STEM degree and making a living off of it. It wasn’t until rediscovering electronic music that I would want to purse music as a sustainable career. In 2012 I found tools on how to create music and ever since then, I have been finding my way in this music thing haha. I can’t see myself NOT doing music or anything arts related. I have tried before stopping entirely, but I am an individual that enjoys creating content. Sharing what I feel in the most authentic manner with the world and having people interpret it in their own way is a great feeling that drives me to keep on creating. Read more>>

Cristian Suarez | Pattern Maker & Designer

I’m so drawn to the creative industry is because I’m so terrible at communicating through spoken words; whereas creating something (in any form) allows me to express myself freely without the risk of over sharing—while yet allowing myself to be completely vulnerable. Design allows me to say nothing and everything at the same time. Thankfully, my wife has the patience to deal with this sort of nonsense. Lucky for me, she’s an expert with verbal communication; so I’m able to better myself through her. I didn’t go to school for fashion, nor did anyone in my family have that sort of background. I just never had the money to buy new clothes, so I learned to be very resourceful by thrifting and finding designer clothes that fit beautifully or needed minimal tailoring. I also went through the phase every kid goes through trying to fit in by wearing hollister and Abercrombie, but over time I started realizing that because I don’t say much. Read more>>

Shatara Miller | Entrepreneur

Making candles started out as a hobby to relax and calm my soul that eventually turned into a busy. I am very passionate about my business and make each candle with love and patience. Read more>>

Stephanie Navarrete | Fashion Designer & Artist

I decided to pursue an artistic career because I could not see myself doing anything else. It does not matter the time of day, random ideas and inspiration come to me and I feel a need to respond and give life to those ideas. Read more>>