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

Camilo | Elatheo

Before being a musician I was an accountant. Having graduated from the business school with only 10 USD in my pocket I established an accounting company from scratch. After several years it has become successful. The turnover was growing and new clients were coming regularly. The company is even nowadays one of the most prominent on the market, having a great opinion among the clients and competitors. However, in one moment I realized – is that all? Is that everything I will do in life? Accounting business is not the most emotional thing you can probably imagine… Of course, managing 100+ employees is always a challenge for any businessmen, especially if we consider that I started from nothing. But there was no passion in my life. I felt I want more, I need more and I am capable of doing more. Accounting can be exciting but the process is repeatable – there is not too much space for creativity. And I always felt there is a lot of creative energy in me that I don’t use. Read more>>

Carley Butella | Illustrator & Concept Artist

I decided to pursue a career in art because I honestly could not imagine doing anything else. There were times when I considered other options and I had many backup plans just in case I decided to drop out of art school. However, none of them gave me the kind of drive I wanted in my career. Being an artist carries a great amount of pressure, but it’s very rewarding. You get to create entertainment for other people to enjoy or experience, I see nothing better than that. Read more>>

Richie Schwab | DJ & Producer

After sitting down with Richie Schwab I gained a real insight to his passion for the creative arts. The man has a vibrant personality and a wide variety of impressive talents. Richie was introduced to performing at a very young age. Richie naturally gravitated to entertainment due to his bright intelligence and love for the public. Currently, in addition to performing as a DJ, Richie also performs stand up comedy. Known to many as Akuarium, Richie has built a great reputation for himself as a trendsetter in both the Atlanta and Miami music scene. Read more>>

Indie DiMartino | Multimedia Artist | Film, Visual Design and Music

I’ve kind of always been really into art. it’s one of those things where, even if in the future it wasn’t directly involved with my career, I’d still be making things. It’s not something you can really explain. I just feel like it’s just a big part of who I am. Read more>>

Jennifer Carles | Product Designer

I’ve always love drawing and doing crafts since I was a kid, but never really thought about making a career out of it. Even till this day, I can’t believe that I bring things to life and draw for a living! After I graduated college with a degree in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics, I still had no idea what I wanted to do as a career. It wasn’t until after working in customer service for over a decade, that I decided I wanted to create a business doing something that would allow me to help other businesses with my creativity. Advertising my design business to create marketing material and provide professional photo services for businesses in Miami, I eventually booked an opportunity with a brand in San Diego, California that got me into the product design world. Four years later, I now specialize in sourcing, digital illustrations and creating products and apparel for brands. Read more>>

Santiago Betancur | Master in Fine Arts

Since I was a kid I was always charmed by light and colors.Magic perceptions of all kind of things and  behaviors of light.Then I was fascinated by books but not for  reading , just to appreciate the fantasy of   illustrations.In the meantime I was always drawing hidden during classes and finally realizing that my talens was around arts.It Was not new on my family. My grandfather was a great artist, sculptor, painter and photographer ; the same fields that currently define all my activities.I have it on my blood, on my genetics and especially in my heart.Is the source of all the best that I can give to humanity. Read more>>

Cleanne Viana | Lifestyle/ Fashion Photographer

I started to pursue photography around my junior year of high school. No one saw me as the creative person because I was always involved with sports my whole life. Everyone knew me for being the basketball girl and not the photographer. Photography never even crossed my mind until I took a two week trip to California and fell in love with the art. That trip changed my life and helped me realize that photography was my true passion. I fell in love with traveling and capturing every moment through a lens. It honestly wasn’t until covid hit that I put my work into a business format and actually started to get paid. Read more>>

Kelly Schenk | Singer/Songwriter

I pursued a career in music because I couldn’t see myself being happy doing anything else. That sounds dramatic, but I know many musicians feel the same way. Many of my greatest memories stem from creating and experiencing music. In its purest form, my music is an extension of my best and worst self. The people I play music with are like a family to me and it’s hard to imagine not creating with them. Read more>>

Ruby Chishti | Visual Artist

The loss of my older brother at a young age became a catalyst for my pursuit of art career. His kind disposition and love for nature and most of all his role as a mentor to me while I was in my teens had a profound influence on me. He introduced me to books that opened up my imagination. When he left us he was only 27. This tragedy impacted me so deeply that I was unable to find peace anywhere. It was impossible to come out of this grief, I could only wish for something that might take away my thoughts from this tragedy…. perhaps an intense creative activity. Such a void led me to join an art college to get fully involve in art making and potential healing eventually. Read more>>

Sean De La Nuez | Director

Since I was a young boy I always went out of my way to make home videos or parodies of the movies that were current at the time. When I got to High School I joined TV production and once I knew the ropes, I knew it was something I wanted to pursue. My love for films started because of my father who would take me and my younger brother to the movies every week. He would by the latest movies out on VHS or DVD or Bluray, now streaming, etc, and we would talk about what worked and what didn’t and why. When I started working on Thesis projects in College I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do in life but storytell. Read more>>

Felicia Wright | Branding Strategist

Growing up I always loved being creative. When I was about 10 years old, I remember making my own birthday invitations. Even though I took art classes throughout high school, I wasn’t sure how my artistic side could be translated into a career. After talking to my guidance counselor during my sophomore before transferring to a 4 year university, I expressed to her my interest in going into a creative field. Her response was that there’s no money and I wouldn’t be successful in the art industry and that I should stay with my original major computer informations systems. Following her advice I didn’t change my major, and stuck with the CIS track and ended up failing my first semester. I knew then it was not the best fit for me, so the following year I changed my major to Graphic Design. I still graduated, received my BFA in graphic design and walked across the stage having already secured my first graphic design job at Stein Mart, Inc. Read more>>

Kris Barbara Cumberbatch | Makeup Artist & Beauty Consultant

Straight out of high school, my initial plans were to start college and finish with a career in the medical field. During my academic journey, I embarked on a multitude of difficult circumstances. Ultimately I flunked out of college. The opportunities that would lead me to a successful medical career were no longer due to my lack of concentration and dedication to my studies. I was much more focused on money and looking good while hanging out with my friends. I worked part-time with full-time hours at a discount party store. My job was to help indecisive customers decide on a party theme for themselves or loved ones. One of my favorite parts of the job was that I had the opportunity to be a part of their special day and help with tough decisions. Although my role was small in magnitude, it was grand for the moment those people were in my presence. Read more>>

Christina Prudenti | Artist and Designer @queens88nyc

I chose to do what I do because I wanted to make art for a living. I wanted to figure out a lucrative way to make money from my art so I decided to put my art on t-shirts and other apparel and sell those. Read more>>

Taji Burris | Founder of The Working Title Brand & Media Personality

After dropping out of community college in 2014, I was dealing with depression and not knowing what my next step in life was. Fortunately, I have a big sister who was in the music journalism lane. She already identified with my passion for music since we were raised by a father who couldn’t resist playing his favorite Hip-Hop artists around us even if he tried. She took me under her wing; providing me with ideas on topics to write about, potential artists to interview and things of that nature. After writing for her website along with other outlets for about three years, I grew lazy due to the amount of work that actually goes into typing. As a result, Ev, a close friend of mine, and I started The Working Title Podcast in 2017. The process of actually speaking in depth for about an hour as opposed to taking several hours to draft an article was more enjoyable as well as better way for me to express my personality. Read more>>

Janine Stone | Photographer, Creative Entrepreneur

Embracing my inner artist has always been a struggle. I was born to a creative mother, who wasn’t able to embrace her creativity as a career because it was impressed upon her by her own parents that she needed to pursue something more stable. And while she loved being creative, she imposed that same pressure on me. It took a lot of conviction and years of reprogramming to break through the talk of “find a lucrative career to support your hobby” or “you’ll be a starving artist”. Once I embraced my true self, I recognized that my path was to use my creativity to tell stories of love and life. And that’s basically what I do through my work as a photographer. And recently it has begun to evolve to a project of growth and female empowerment that runs parallel alongside my own journey. Read more>

Manuel Zambrano | Artist

In all honesty, I’m not good at much else! Throughout my youth, everyone wanted me to follow an academic path, but all my plummeting grades had shown otherwise. Nobody really believed I would amount to much after that, and I couldn’t find words that expressed my dissatisfaction with the world. In the end, it was the art that made sense of how I felt. Nowadays, I try to draw things that keep people company, since I actually want to be there for them and not have them go through what I did alone. It’s also just really fun when compared to most other careers and can let me be silly sometimes!. Read more>>

The3rrd | Artist/Songwriter & Producer

I decided to pursue an artistic career due to my love for performing and expression, specifically through music. Life is about performing; I perform a gender expression in my own life, I perform at work and in social groups, but music allows me to perform for myself. My family also has an entertainment production background that influenced my decision to become an artist. Art, especially music, can serve as a universal language due to its transcendental quality. Read more>>

Anh Pham | Creative Director, Photographer, Set Designer, Vintage Stylist

I enjoy using photography as a medium to express my imagination, and initially viewed it more as a hobby than a career. I started with my passion for thrifting and styling vintage look books and photographing the outfits on models. I decided to create larger set designs with my stylings, which eventually became a series more than a look book. After throwing a vintage fashion show and exhibiting my work, people began reaching out over social media to recreate these images and styles in photoshoots, which led me to monetize my art and its colorful aesthetic. From that, I eventually started my own creative photography studio- Anharchy Studios. Read more>>