Artists and creatives face innumerable challenges given that their career path often doesn’t come with a playbook, a steady paycheck or any form of safety net. It’s definitely not easy and so we asked a few of the artists and creatives we admire to talk to us about why they chose to pursue an artistic or creative career.

DIAGO | Performing Artist, Singer and Songwriter.

From a very young age the world of art caught my attention, I asked my parents to take me to dance and music classes. I have always been attracted to everything creative. When I was 12 I auditioned for a reality show in Mexico City for children who sang. I was selected and from that moment my career began and I decided that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. I have continued to create ever since. For me it is very important to always be surrounded by creativity and express my emotions through it. Singing and creating is like breathing for me. I do it all the time even unconsciously. Read more>>

Leo Gennaro | DJ/Music Producer & Business Owner

I chose to pursue a creative career for a few reasons. The first was when I realized my music classes were the only ones I was doing good in. Making music came natural to me, I have been involved with music in one way or another from a very young age. When I am making or playing music I am my happiest and I continue to pursue my music career to do that for others as well. Read more>>

Anthony & Lily Nguyen | Singer/Songwriters & Band Leaders

We didn’t pursue our music as a career at first, everyone in the band had a different career path. Anthony, our guitarist, was working as a full time engineer. Lily, our vocalist, was finishing up a psychology degree at Tennessee Tech University. Derek, our drummer, was building kayaks. We were performing locally as a cover band maybe once a week. When everyone came together and started playing music more regularly we realized we could make a full career out of it. Read more>>

Marleen De Waele- De Bock | Fine art artist

I always loved to be creative. I started early on as a young girl to drawn and paint. I grew up when kids had no computer or smartphone spending a lot of time on it. Instead, I was often outside and when it was time to come inside I loved to be creative. Mostly with pencils or paint but also with fabrics designing and sewing outfits for my dolls. My artwork was always somewhat better than my peers, it came just very naturally. I had no doubt what to choose to study: It was art school! I attended and graduated from one of the best art institutions in Belgium. Read more>>

Meissa Hampton | Artist, Writer, Performer, Filmmaker

I’m not sure I would have chosen to be an artist if I had a choice. It is a calling. It is the only place I feel at home. It is how I communicate and how I reflect the world that I see as I see it. It is how I give voice to the nuanced stories that are often overlooked. It’s how bring those voices to our attention. It’s how I hope to contribute to a more diverse culture with social justice at its heart. It’s how I contribute to a vision of a more compassionate world. Envisioning the world I’d like to build for our children helps me navigate the world we’ve inherited from our troubled past. I was called. Read more>>

Nila Faith Frederiksen | Tattoo Artist, Painter, & Designer

I pursued an artistic career because it felt like the only option for me. Needing to create has always been a constant in my life, and whenever I worked other jobs I would get home feeling too drained to fully utilize that creative energy. I also really don’t like rigidity of schedule and monotonous repetition. So I began figuring out ways to pivot entirely to art as income–first working in art-centered customer service jobs (like artist assistant and gallery sales rep) while I continued to build my skill set, knowledge of the industry, and connections, until I could essentially just become my own boss. Read more>>

Yuko Kudo | Multi-hyphenated Human & Artist

Being a multi-hyphenated artist and an entrepreneur, “Balance” was something that I questioned a lot. The line between what is work and what is not are so subtle. “unwinding to watch a movie” can turn into film analysis. I often joke that we take our foot off from gas pedal, but we don’t have a break. Being an artist is being present to life. Something that I learned from my recent podcast guest Corrie Legge, is to look for harmony instead of balance. Harmony seems more than binary, colorful, even pause or dissonances are embraced. Harmony also gives me the impression that it’s ever-changing rather than to keep. And I want my life to be more colorful and playful in all aspect. Read more>>

Tamara Coffman | Wedding and Family Photographer

Since I was a little girl, I always liked to spend time with paper and colored pencils. Creativity always felt very natural for me. I am also fairly patient, which I feel is important in a creative process. But for as long as I can remember I always felt drawn to photography, even though I didn’t really know it at the time. Read more>>

Corbin Stacy | Owner/Operator

I absolutely love this question!! I decided to pursue an artistic/creative career because I am performer at heart! From a very young age, I grew up on stage dancing with my family. When I left a fourteen year career in Corporate America within Aviation Management, it was clear to me that I needed to do something to feed my soul, stay healthy and help others. I was already in the Non-Profit arena locally, so I decided to open up my own brick and mortar yoga studio in 2017. We turn four this October!!! Read more>>

Brittni Walker | Freelance Model and Creative Director

Ever since I was young, I was involved in the arts in some way — whether it be dance classes, summer youth theatre, or drawing. Performing was something I loved to do, but realistically it wasn’t a full-time career option for me. My grades were always high and after some personal experiences with neurological disorders, I decided to pursue a degree in molecular biology. I still danced as I had chosen dance as a minor, and this provided a physical outlet for the stress of STEM courses. Read more>>

Bryhana Chrystina | Makeup Artist

For the simple reason of creation. As creators we have this crazy cool superpower to be able to have the smallest of ideas spiral into these beautiful and emotion invoking visions. From which then we can bring them to life and others can enjoy. The entire process is beautiful. From the moment the idea is born, to the time invested in brining the idea to life, to having others appreciate and share your art, to having other creatives want to work with you because they like your work. Read more>>

Eduardo Bono | Creative guy. Storyteller

It comes in the genes. My whole family is creative. Writers, musicians, painters, photographers. You name it. You gotta follow your call. No matter how advanced technology may go, it will never ever be able to mimic the creative nature we all come with. Read more>>

Sara Schesser Bartra | Artist/Scientist or Scientist/Artist

I think the creative spirit has been always inside me, to be a scientist you have to be creative. During the pandemic I reassesed my priorities and decide to make the transition from scientist to artist. I think I have an unique niche coming from a scientific bacground into the arts and I can combine both fields. Read more>>

Ronny Bailey | Key West Folk Artist

As a child I was always drawing and sketching things. My mother was my biggest fan-hanging my art out on the front porch. I was even featured in the newspaper back then. When I was a young man I worked construction, roofing was my first trade taught to me by my father. I learned carpentry skills next. I soon developed a love of old Key West architecture which turned into a passion for the preservation of Key West and historical buildings and places. Read more>>