Deciding to pursue an artistic or creative career path isn’t for the faint of heart. Challenges will abound, but so many of the artists we speak with couldn’t be happier with their choice. So, we asked them about how they made the decision in the first place.

Phebean Davies | Chef, Food Photographer and Culinary Educator

From a very young age, I always found myself engaging in creative projects both at home and school from drawing caricatures, dying fabrics, cooking, painting, building cupboards and looms and so on. However, growing up in an African household as many would relate, pursing a creative career, such as a professional chef, painter and similar creative fields is a rare consideration, so I was encouraged and decided to do something more “prestigious” – Dentistry. Read more>>

Le Mind | Dj & Producer

The artistic talent comes passed down from generations in my family which influenced me both musically & artistically in my childhood. Read more>>

Crystal Allen | High Fashion & Runway Model

For me I have always seen myself as a creative person. I love putting different ideas and concepts together. I love the extra input of any project I work on. I have always been asked, or told I should model and here I am. Honestly, I feel like having an artistic and career chose me. Being a model has chosen me. Why? Because I have this vision and reassuring self-confidence that comes not easily, but swiftly to me. I know there are other women and men that do what I do, but I always focus on the how. How I am able to do what I do? Read more>>

Krystal Goldsby | Artistic Creator

I pursued art because art always came back to me no matter what I did or how much I strayed away from it. Since I was a kid I always use to love sketching and painting but it was always more of a hobby. Ya I was good at it but I didn’t really take any steps to push that talent and in my family sports had a big influence at that time. So it would be years going by that I wouldn’t even pick up a pencil to draw or a paint brush unless I had a art class or something. But, even with playing basketball for as long as I did I was never really passionate about it. To be honest I was never really passionate about anything else I did the way that I was about art. Read more>>

Joyce Billet | Visual Artist

Creativity is the only way I can express myself and feel alive. I worked for a decade as an architect before moving on to a full-time career as a visual artist. Both fields are creative and very connected. I believe it is only a matter of approach. I felt that being a visual artist would allow me more freedom for creativity and having the time to explore my own interests at any scale possible. Architecture is present throughout my work and it has a strong influence on every piece. Some of the concepts I develop in my practice become larger scale sculptural elements such as furniture or public art pieces. Read more>>

Sabien T Willis | Comic Artist, Professional Illustrator & Former Disney Animation Artist

Well it was kinda always in me. I definitely see it as a genuine gift from God. As I got older I see it more as me being a steward of this amazing talent, keeping it sharp and keeping it relevant. Its a tool in God’s tool belt to impact the world, so I never take it for granted. I am super grateful to be able to do what I do with it on such a hi level. In my BC(Before Christ) heydays it was all about using it for me, myself and I. That’s an inward thinking mindset. Today I use it more outward focussed to encourage young and old. Read more>>

David Pritzker | Founder at Raw Surf

I chose this question because the answer has evolved over the course of my journey along with myself. And perhaps in explaining so could help others to grow as well. Initially I was inspired by a woman whom I fell in love with that later broke my heart. I could have said she is my muse and that is what keeps me going. But I learned throughout this adventure that it is not for another that I do what I enjoy, it is for my own love of self. I would work to prove my worthiness, Read more>>

Renee Keil | Visual artist and retired performance arts director, teacher and choreographer

I have always loved to tell stories. As a child I wrote plays, directed my friends, designed the sets and costumes and of course was the leading player! I learned to draw from my mom, I loved to paint, write plays and poetry and sing and dance. When I was at the University of Pittsburgh studying acting and directing, I remember telling my acting/directing professor that my dream was to be able to integrate my talents and love for both visual arts and performance arts. He steered me into the path of directing and working as an acting, dance teacher, director and choreographer. Through this career choice I was able to channel my inner creative muse by designing beautiful (not all beautiful) pictures on the stage. Read more>>

Lala J’zhane | Creative Director & Beauty Mogul

I love this question-, because you know what’s funny is I’ve been a self-taught creative all my life. As a child,I wanted to be the next big thing on Disney channel. The thought of being able to be anyone I wanted to be, to be able to sing and dance and express myself in different characters and different hair makeup clothes & so forth was just life-changing. Not only did I think I could possibly be the black Hannah Montana I knew that I could be the one to create the real-life cheetah girls and take over the world all while creating and producing my own fashion line and magazine. Read more>>

Marquita McAllister | Portrait and Beauty Photographer

I’ve always had a love for photography and music, and when I was in my 20’s I dove in head first with performing locally. As shy as I am, all of the nerves dissipated as soon as I walked on stage. The biggest show I was ever blessed to a part of was opening up for DMX in 2007. Even back then, I always had a camera with me. I was always buying the latest digital camera and was in love with the art of it. It wasn’t until 2016 that I decided to “up my game” and get something more than my point-and-shoot camera. Read more>>

Barbara Bucci | Retired florist & Treasure Box Creator

I think that the artistic career/creative career actually choose me. It was a natural flow that I followed, a feeling that just seemed “right”; so right, in fact, that I’m still following the flow, even without knowing where it will take me Read more>>