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.

Natalie Lerner | Artist + Digital Coordinator + Social Media Consultant

It’s what I saw growing up, both of my parents taught at Ringing College in our hometown. I was totally blind to the fact art an unusual career until I was in high school and my friends started talking about what their parents do – I primarily viewed them as teachers, art was their choice of focus. I was always encouraged to make things by them, but I felt shy since they were both really thoughtful and fierce creatives respectively. As a teenager, I wanted to rebel so my idea of that was becoming a forensic analyst or veterinarian, but art was a constant in our house. I was always drawing or doing something without their influence, so going to school for something creative felt natural. I grew up with the privilege of watching my parents problem-solve and balance jobs with their own practices so the idea of tackling this stuff didn’t feel impossible, I’ve watched them survive and manage to raise me. With time I’ve grown to appreciate what I learned from them infinitely. Read more>>

Jasmyne Sippio | Elementary Art Teacher & Art Business Owner

I pursued an artistic career because art has always been my biggest passion in life. From being a little girl sitting in my room drawing pictures I saw from the comics to designing a 3D model of an image I wanted to recreate myself. I always made sure I enrolled myself in every art class that had an opening available. From elementary to high school, I took basic drawing, painting classes, and 2D, 3D art classes, and even woodshop. After graduating from high school, I attended Santa Fe College in Gainesville where I earned my A.A degree in graphic design. A few years later, I attended The University of Central Florida where I achieved my B.A degree in Studio Art. By acquiring my Studio Art degree, I was able to expand my expertise in art by taking classes such as book binding, mixed media art, ceramics, sculpting, painting, and drawing. Read more>>

Jade Dyamond | Visual Artist

I feel like as we grow up, we lose sight of our dreams/what we enjoy doing; we conform to society’s standards and leave it all behind. I have always had a love for art ever since I was a child. I took one painting and an art class at Michaels during highschool and one painting class during college. After I graduated with my engineering degree and started working, I had a lot of free time, and wanted to fill it with honing a skill. I like creating. I like challenging myself every piece. I’ve started doing commissions more often, and I love bringing visions to life and even evoking emotion from my personal pieces as well. Read more>>

Lisa Kaw | Artist + Designer

Compared to other creatives, I got into art later in life. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I picked up a paintbrush. At that time, I was living in Boston and had recently left my job as a speech language pathologist. I was burnt out and needed some time to just be me. I traveled a lot, and I felt inspiration wherever I went- the colors, the culture, and all of earth’s natural wonders. I dabbled in painting as a hobby, but it wasn’t until a few years later, when I moved to south Florida, that my art career took off! I started painting bright, colorful creations that matched my new sunshiny lifestyle. I felt a powerful connection to art that I had never felt before. But creating became much more than a form of expression as I faced debilitating anxiety and an eventual diagnosis of OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). The canvas became and continues to be a place of respite, a place where the world is quiet, and all I feel is joy. It’s a sanctuary where I have been able to harness my obsessive energy and transform it into a thing of beauty. Read more>>

Gabrielle Moore | Visual Artist, Fashion Designer

I always thought I would become a veterinarian or dentist when a was younger, I never really considered art as a career back then. As I grew older, my love for the Arts and lack of comprehension of the Sciences also grew and I I eased into a more creative area of my life. Creating art and fashion is where I feel most at home. The feeling of coming up with an idea no matter how far-fetched and impossible it seems, along with visualising and constructing it in my mind even before it goes on paper brings me a sense of euphoria. Words are not one of my strong suits, so my art and creativity has been a platform for me to express my emotions and thoughts. I chose an artistic and creative path in order to tell stories, create and change spaces and perspectives on everyday things. Read more>>

Elanese | Recording Artist

I decided to pursue an artistic and creative career because I’m a firm believer in following your heart. I always tell people that life is too short to waste it doing something you aren’t passionate about. Of course, everything in life is about balance and working hard at anything means there are going to be moments you have to do things you’re not super excited about, but ultimately if you have a calling I think you should tap into it and follow that instinct. No matter the obstacles, things that are meant for you always have a way of working out. I’ve been singing since I was a little girl and music is the thing I love most in the world. It’s the universal language. It can touch so many people in so many different ways regardless of their backgrounds and I think that’s beautiful. I chose to pour my heart into what I love to do. Read more>>

Cardo Ruiz | Musician, Member of “No strings Attached” Duo

I pursued an artistic career, because I am very passionate for it. Since i was very young, i was always surrounded by musicians. My uncle, and grandfather would always sing or play different instruments, which always caught my attention and i found it extremely interesting. As i was growing up I started getting more and more into music. I guess you can say it’s in my blood, and I wanted to keep that legacy going. Read more>>

Karina Schmitt | Publisher and Author Karina Schmitt

There are many ways people can express their artistic skills. For me, it is through literature and love for freedom of speech which motivated me to first open Sophie Publishing House in March 2019. We have now grown to encompass not only local authors but also from several other states. The written word is crucial to how we construct our identity and liberties and it must be unconditional, which has been a challenge throughout history as some people find it difficult to deal with opposing views, but that is precisely the reason why it is so important for writers to stand steadfast on their right to freedom of speech for otherwise quality literature will simply die. Read more>>

Eduardo “Gualo” Jaramillo | Music Producer & Audio Engineer

I was raised with a very transparent and in-depth understanding of what love is; the good, the bad and the ugly that it may imply. I learned that though love has unexplainable and euphoric effects in one’s mind, body and soul, it can surely require a significant amount of sacrifice to obtain and maintain. I was lucky enough to fall in-love with music along with the science of sound at a very young age. Pursuing a career unaligned with what I loved could’ve been equivalent to marrying someone whom you are not in-love with… devastating. So for a kid to fall in-love with music and sound, enough to want to make a living out of it, in a city like Miami in the 2010’s. where almost everyone around you is some sort of “art” major, isn’t really the most convincing and promising residency in “the land of opportunity”. Surely, there’s no way I’d marry without being in-love so bring on the sacrifice and whatever it takes because I wasn’t gonna let anything get in the way of my source of unexplainable and euphoric effects: music and sound. I’m married to it and choosing what I love over anything was a decision that was made before I was even aware I made it. Read more>>

Nathasha Rumbos | Singer

I’ve always been fascinated with the entertainment industry and it was something I was always passionate about. From a young age I would watch singers on TV and I would always think to myself like hey this would be awesome to live a life of adventure. Being a musician is an adventure because of touring and all the crazy things you have to deal with and I feel this is the way I want to live my life. Create music and connect with people through my art!. Read more>>

Kyron | Singer/Songwriter/Pops

I’ve been a fan of music ever since I was a kid. I knew I wanted to do music after watching a Mariah Carey interview/performance and listening to her talk about how she writes her own music and seeing how she captivated people made me believe i could do it too. So, I did. Read more>>

Erika “Amerika” Brooks | Digital Fashion & Brand Stylist and Photographer

I pursued an artistic and creative career because both allow me to use my God-given skills and talent to fulfill my purpose in life. I’ve never felt more fulfilled at any other time. Being a creative and showcasing my skills through the images, words, and videos I create is not something I take lightly. I do everything with purpose and with God at the center of it. I know that whatever I choose to show the world is meant to inspire and inform, not just entertain. A lot of time people see others operating in their “zone of genius” and don’t think that they can or they just don’t know how. My advice is to think about what it is that makes you truly, genuinely happy. Find that thing and do it. It might be more than one thing. Everyone’s art and creativity is unique to them. Someone’s art may be provided by a service based business. They have a way with words and are able to teach someone how to do something. Another person’s art may be creating with their hands (artist, jewelry maker, etc.) They have a way with bringing their vision to life through a product. Read more>>

D’Mauri Jones | Visual Artist & Musician

I feel it was God’s calling! Before my artistic career I was playing football. Due to a surgical injury my Redshirt Sr year I had a lot of self healing to do. With not being able to move much I was able to focus on art which was a therapeutic escape for me. I gained a bit of exposure on social media when I posted my first one. Then my first commission came which lead me to start my career. Read more>>