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.

Courtnie Heller | Photographer & Artist

Art was always a part of my life even when I was little. Arts and crafts was always my favorite subject. For me when I was young, it wasn’t a time to “goof off” like the other younger students in my class. It was a moment to express myself, relax, and focus the task at hand. Not even realizing or caring that I had an artistic vision. It was something that i wanted to do and enjoyed doing. I was always enrolled in an art class from elementary school all the way to receiving my bachelors degree in college. I currently have a freelance photography business as well as starting my own merch as of right now. I’m hoping to secure a building in the art district in a couple of years. Read more>>

Nohelia Machuca | Handmade Jewelry Maker

Because I understood many years ago that it is a gift from God and He always directs my path. I am the third generation of artists in my family. I grew up surrounded by art in my house. I always enjoyed being part of that environment and talk about designs with my mom makes me feel peaceful and motivated. Definitely, it’s my passion! Read more>>

Shedia Nelson | Artistic Director and Programs Manager at URGENT, Inc. and Published Author

Innovation birthed me through love ’n story telling lookin’ at Scattered showers warmed by the sun peaking through clouds smiling in a rainbow got me reaching for 
water streaming down my window pane clotted in silence lost in thought like memories keep folding inward creating more meaningful memories imprinting a legacy of storytelling film making photography ’n adding ink to paper spitting’ lines in rhyme in rhythm ’n swelling of my heart expanded in love energy cradling years of memories caressing thoughts manifesting abundance All that is me all of my flaws all of my strengths all of my beauty I am more than enough this love is overflowing let this waterfall rain on me wash me of all these emotional scars trying to heal. Read more>>