In our experience, most folks, including ourselves don’t have enough of an understanding of risk and the role it plays in our lives and careers and so we have made a concerted effort as a team to have conversations about risk with our interviewees. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Kat “Katsnaxxx” Janis | Fine artist & Illustrator

I will do my best to answer my thoughts on risk by summarizing its relevance in my life for the past 5 years as a professional artist. My goal is to be as authentic as possible in hopes to relate to a beginning artist, freelancer, small business owner, or anyone in the midst of pursuing a dream or goal. I am not going to provide any advice or claim to have “the answers”, but I do hope that by sharing my experience some readers will find relief in the challenges the journey brings. In 2014 I made a decision to commit myself entirely to pursuing my dream of becoming a professional fine artist. I was 24 at the time, so the idea of “risking it all” was very exciting. My mindset was very bent on attitudes like, “hard work works” and if you just work really hard eventually life will reward your effort. It had worked for others, why not me? Perhaps this is true in theory, but I also subconsciously expected this to happen on a certain timeline. Read more>>

Julie Pauline | Creator of Sugar Pill Photography / Travel & Documentary Photographer

As an artist who is an introvert, everything you do feels like a risk. One of my biggest challenges not only as a photographer but as a person is managing my shyness. I often reiterate to people that I am not just a shy person; I am also an introvert and a naturally reserved person. I can find it difficult to express myself completely in certain social situations. Whenever I doubt myself too much, it usually comes from the point of view that no one will understand or appreciate what I’m capturing or sharing, and so I remind myself that there are others like you; who see what you see and appreciate what you appreciate in the world. So don’t worry so much about those who might not understand because in the end it will be worth connecting with those who do. Taking risks in my career has opened new paths for me. Over the years I’ve jumped around a bit and tried different roles in photography and film production. My style of photography has always been a documentary style, that’s my passion. Read more>>

Sakina Manji | Metalsmith & Jeweler

I have always questioned too much, and never saw anything wrong with my curiosity. I was constantly asking risky questions, trying risky things, and expressing myself artistically- however that looked. I was raised in a very strict household, so being who I was, in itself, was a risk. However, for whatever reason- I never doubted that part of me and I carried that spirit into my work. My biggest achievements, artistically, have come from taking the biggest risks. Read more>>

Latin for Glory | Multidisciplinary Artist & Designer

I am who and where I am right now because I took an essential risk. I made the decision one day that I rather risk everything I had – and I mean everything – to become what I was always meant to be: an artist. The calling to pursue art became stronger than the false sense of security I had. The fear of losing the opportunity to chase my dreams grew worse than the fear of facing financial struggles and failing. So I took the leap without looking back. The moment I quit my job, was the freest and most aligned I had ever felt. A month later, I was painting in my art studio and preparing for my first solo exhibition in the Miami Design District. To this day, I continue to take risks that push me out of my comfort zone and as a result I have found my freedom, voice, and growing career. My advice to anyone hesitating or afraid to pursue their dreams – take the risk. Do it. If it is in your heart, then it is already yours to manifest. Even if you “fail”, you will be stronger, wiser, and more aligned with your true purpose. Read more>>

Kenneth O’Brien-LLontop | Director, Exe Producer & Visual Artist

It is all about it. If there is no risk, it is probably not worth it. Of course, with the years, you learn how to take calculated ones. To be an artist/filmmaker, you have to carry the risk-taker code engraved on your DNA. Every decision involves its own risks, some greater than others. Facing them is the only way to overcome them. Read more>>

Annick Duviviet | Artist

As an artist, risk taking is part of your DNA. When you are given the inspiration to create an artwork you have to be available and welcome vulnerability into the process. As you are showcasing your artwork you have to be open to the audience’s interpretation and feedback. And sometimes the simple act of creating is risk-taking as you are experimenting with a different medium or touchy subject. It is important to research and above all, believe in yourself. As a creative, I had to embrace risk-taking, as it is part of the profession, especially when applying to art calls, juried art shows, residencies, and grants… This is how I obtained most of my exhibition prizes and awards. You cannot be scared and live in the “what if’s.” What if it’s not good enough, what if it doesn’t fit in the show, Is the quality there? Does it fit with the theme and parameters of the show? Apply! You never know! I applied for an open call for MIA Galleries in September 2020 and my painting “Outside Influences” was selected out of 253 submitted artworks. My painting is now part of their permanent collection and will be exhibited at Miami International Airport. Read more>>

Elizabeth Charnay | Entrepreneur & Published Model

Risk taking plays an extremely critical role within my own personal and business life and the decisions I make. In order to be successful in life, you must take risks. Living in uncertainty may feel uneasy but the price you pay in the long term pays for a a lifetime of pure happiness and ultimate success. In order to achieve your dreams you must understand breaking from your comfort zone and jumping into such uncertain territory is apart of the evolvement process and thats something I’ll forever be involved with. Read more>>

Shawn Kolodny | Artist

The only way you can get ahead in life, and achieve outsized results is by taking risk. Whether starting a business, asking that pretty girl out on a date, trading the markets, or deciding to be an artist. All come with risk, and the opportunity for great reward. Risk shaped my life. Never one for normal jobs, I became an entrepreneur early in life. Attracted to the emotional rollercoaster of starting a business. All the glory and failure, “freedom” and heartbreak, ups and downs, trial and error, and lots of failure. Like many things in life, the more risk you experience, the more you are willing to take on. The butterflies subside faster, you pick yourself up off the ground faster, and grow stronger Ironically being an artist is more than painting pictures. It is basically being an entrepreneur. You have a product, your art. Which you have to produce, market and sell. You need to worry about PR, inventory management, social media, gallery representation, collector management, etc etc. As your career as an artist matures, you try bigger pieces, different mediums, larger canvases, maybe sculptures, installations; bigger risks. Read more>>

Robin Morris | Artist

Every decision we make, has a “risk factor”. But when it comes to deciding to be a professional artist, your “risk factor” is huge. I was studying Psychology at Syracuse University in the early 70’s. I was determined to be a Criminal Psychologist. But, I was spending all of my time drawing! I decided to transfer into the art school and see if I had the skills to make it professionally. Was that a huge Risk? Absolutely! I didn’t think through the scenario that my creativity would have to support me for the rest of my life..and the implications of that. I only wanted to create! That Risk proved to be a worthy decision, because I did have some early success with my art. But the small risks of creative decisions never well as the business decisions in a rapidly changing environment. As an artist, Risk can become your best friend. It is your refusal to live the norms. Ultimately, that is what your audience wants. A trip into the unknown..guided by your mind and your mind, alone. Read more>>