Artistic and creative careers are among the most rewarding, but they also come with unique challenges. We asked some of the city’s best creatives to tell us why they choose to pursue a creative career.

Rebecca Gao | Makeup Artist

Being a makeup artist is a great way to express yourself, to learn, as well as to communicate and connect with others. Makeup is very personal. It allows us to relate with each other on a totally different level.  How we wear makeup says something about us, about who we are, about how we feel. It is direct yet subtle. When people look at my work, they can easily sense a certain range for my style directly from my portfolio of work on Instagram. If they like my style and would like to work with me, whether clients or other artists, they will reach out to me. Likewise, if an artist’s style speaks to me, I do the same. Read more>>

B. Trenton | Singer & Songwriter

Not to sound “deep” but honestly, it seems like one of those things that was destined. It’s like I can’t see beyond the fact I love creating music but something bigger than me wants me to make music. The adage “If you love something, let it go. If it returns, it’s yours” definitely applies. I let the music go multiple times but it always came back to me. I can’t escape it and I finally realized that I don’t want to. Read more>>

Dino Jones | Self Published Author

I decided to pursue a career as a writer because I wanted to create stories that move people. Whether that be through laughter or through tears I’ve wanted to create characters and stories that people can connect with. I wanted to get into writing stories since I was a child. Back then I had a desire to create my own animated series. These days I created my own universe that’s far from what I wanted as a kid. I’m currently writing my second novel and it deals with a lot of mature themes that I’ve felt a great desire to delve into these past few years. Read more>>

Bone Zone | Band

Zack: I think the main reason I decided to pursue a creative career with music was because it allows me to be myself and escape from reality for a little, while at the same time use real topics or issues in my life to drive my creative writing and help myself escape. Playing music also allows me to explore new genres and different ways of playing, which helps me to relate to everyone no matter what music background they have. Also having a creative career in music has allowed me to explore new places and meet some amazing people who I’ve been able to build some life long relationships with. Read more>>

Jachaia Jenkins | Licensed Esthetician & Makeup Artist

I’ve always had a love for art and doing anything that puts me in a creative space. I find it so fulfilling to be able to create things with no bounds. I started diving into makeup as more of a hobby. It quickly became my place of escape. My passion quickly grew and I just knew there’s nothing I love more than makeup artistry. Read more>>

Nano Le Face | Artist

I think i was really just made for making art. Read more>>

Blair Hall | Actor & Photographer

The reason I choose to the creative career is because I wanted to wake up and do something I am passionate about. When I am on sets, no matter if I am acting or moving a key light I feel like I’m in my purpose. There is no better feeling than to make something and to feel proud of what you accomplished. Being able to take characters off of a page and make them feel human is a great joy. Read more>>

UnoTheOutCast | Photographer

When I was in college I was studying to be an accountant. During my sophomore year I was in accounting 2 and had a test I was going to study for. When I opened my notes I realized that there was only drawings of clothes. It was at that moment I decided to become a fashion designer and photographer. I always had a passions for those two careers but I was hesitant to jump into a creative field. This was due to the uncertainty of the field, knowing I would have to prove myself in those respected industries. Having the creative freedom and getting to change the industries through my visions is the reason I wanted to pursue photography. Read more>>

Kenya Stemmons | Author and Salon Owner

I have always been a creative person. I love having a unique perspective on life and outwardly demonstrating it through my outter appearance. I love expressing myself through my clothes, particularly my hair! I love bright colors and short haircuts. I have a 9 to 5 career that is very structured and technical, so that leaves me craving for me to explore my creativity. So, I started a career in cosmetology and created my own home-based salon. I’m now pivoting my career once more and embracing my creativity by publishing my first fiction novel. Read more>>

Asia Monay | Painter

I pursued a creative career because art was the thing that saved my life. Growing up, I had little to no positive coping mechanisms. I suffered deeply with mental illness which caused me to be institutionalized for a large part of my childhood. Trauma from those experiences drove me to alcoholism and drug abuse. When I could not find my way out of the darkness I began to paint. The release and pure joy I experienced from creating was unlike anything I have ever felt. Over time, my therapeutic hobby became a full on career. Read more>>

Darelle Doleman LE | Jewelry Maker & Esthetician

I always told myself, since I was little that I would be an artist. Ive always loved working with my hands. I would take little pieces of old jewelry, or watches that I found, disassemble them and try to put them back together. I also used to make clothes for my dolls as well. Ive always been a very creative person and I thoroughly enjoy the satisfaction it brings me when others love my creations. Read more>>

Deja (SupaGifted) Lee | Natural Hair Stylist & Artist

I pursued an artistic/creative career because I wanted to enjoy my journey by doing things that I loved to get me where I’m going. My career is also a form of freedom for me. Read more>>

Wardell Richardson | Actor/ Producer/ Director/CEO of Raine Dance Films

I pursued a creative career because I constantly dream and have visions of different characters and storylines. I love making dreams a reality. The best place to do that is in film and tv. You can be whomever you want become whatever you want. Read more>>

JB SamSon | Music Artist, Producer & Clothing Designer

I chose to pursue a creative/artistic career because i honestly can’t see myself doing anything else. For as long as i can remember, I’ve always had a natural inclination towards creativity and performance. I’ve always loved music and had an appreciation for the arts. I played sports growing up like most kids. I played basketball, baseball and soccer in elementary school. But by middle school i was kind of over it and i realized how much i wanted to be involved in more creative and musical spaces. Read more>>

Darasimi Bankole | Student Podcaster

I pursued the podcast actually because of my dad. I have wanted to be a journalist since I was three years old, so my dad encouraged me to start a YouTube channel so that I could practice that. However, I did not want to start a YouTube channel, so I suggested a podcast. And the rest is history! Read more>>

Heather Davis | Polymer clay Artist

I’ve always been drawn to making things. My mother taught me to sew when I was still a toddler, but ironically, sewing is my least favorite skill. I’ve played around with different mediums, but sculpting has become a passion. Even as a child, I sold things that I made. So combining my love for sculpting and my desire to own a small business was a very natural progression. Read more>>

Ngo Bolingo | Fashion Brand

I pursue an art career because I am art, I live in art, and discovering new things about myself and the world daily is what motivates me. Read more>>

Ebony Lockwood | Singer Who Songwrites

Like most people, I had a dream. My dad always told me that I could do anything I put my mind to and I wanted that thing to be music. Since a very young age, I’ve always been involved in the musical arts. I joined the choir in elementary school and far exceeded the expectations with that, participating in All-State Chorus, All-District Chorus, Literary Meet, ensembles, solo performances, private lessons, a cappella groups, and more. I always found myself wanting to be surrounded by music because it soothed my soul. Read more>>

Christina Leon | Drag Queen & Show Director of The Tribe

For most of my life I’ve been a performer. From singing in the choir to musical theater, my range was endless. Living in middle Georgia there are so many talented individuals, so I knew I had to do something to stand out. Being a creative was always something that came naturally but took time for me to learn it was something that I could do as a job, Thats how I found drag. The art of female illusion was something I had never explored but the challenge was something I was willing to take. With my best friend/drag sisters support I started that journey, and it has taken me to new heights. Read more>>

NovaKane | Artist, writer, and instrumentalist

To be completely honest, I didn’t really choose an artist career, it chose me. Since infantry, I was influenced and around music constantly. With my mom being an underground hip hop artist and my grandmother an evangelist, I often found myself in the studio or in the pews closest to the instruments. Read more>>

Michael Carter | Filmmaker, actor, singer, business owner and entrepreneur

I have pursued this career because every since I was young, my mother always kept me singing in choirs and stage plays. She encouraged me to be the best me and through this she honed my creativity. As I’ve gotten older and have exposed myself to creating a tole for me in this world of creativity. So every since I have been retired my creativity has evolved because I am able to be free with my mind and create. Read more>>

Zaneishia Lynch | Massage Therapist + Creative Designer

Great question. I honestly did not choose the artistic/creative path….it chose me. I played in the shadows most of my life trying to hide from the world., but every time I hid life called me out. I would dance in the corner and get pulled into the crowd somehow. I’ve always wanted to be in the limelight secretly hehe so I finally just had the courage to go for it. Sometimes you have to create your own stage. Read more>>

Miss Moore | Entertainment Publicist, Manager, Event Planner

I pursued an artistic or creative career because I received inspiration from my peers from Savannah State University and Kennesaw State University. I knew I was not going to be satisfied with the average career. I took many internships from Ask April Love, Rare Sound Studio, and 106Live Radio. They all gave me hands-on experience and instantly I knew what I wanted to do. Read more>>

Asia Mack | Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle Content Creator & CEO of All Dolled Up Cosmetics & Accessories

I pursued an artistic/or creative career because creativity has always shined through me since I was born. I have always loved singing, dancing, drawing, and just finding ways to express creatively. So when it came to choosing a career path, following the dreams I always imagined would come true was the only way to go. Read more>>

Cory R | Singer/Songwriter & Artist

To spread my message around the world. I wanted to be able to have something that people could relate to. Read more>>

Keidra Quillin | International performing artist, singer & songwriter

It was very important for me to to pursue an artistic and creative career because I realized it was inside of me way long before I could ever decide I wanted to pursue it. At this point it comes naturally. I understand that I did not choose to be this artistic being, it chose me. I thank God everyday for the will power to get up everyday knowing why I’m here on earth.. Read more>>

Haviah Mighty | Musician

It felt natural to always engage in the arts throughout my life and this love of mine, this hobby… organically turned into a career. Read more>>

Alanna LeBlanc | Comedy Writer & Assistant Editor

Creating is just the language I’ve always known. Whether I’m taking photos, writing a script, or recording music. Creating is the only way I know how to process through the big feelings, small feelings, and all the feelings in between. So in short, I see no other way for me than to be in a career like this. Read more>>

Josh Rhett Noble | Actor

DEFINITELY for the MONEY! (…obvious sarcasm lol.) Someone once said if you wake up and all you can think about is being a performer…then you should be a performer. I’m pretty sure I was an entertainer the second I arrived. Once I figured out I could aid in other people escaping their everyday struggles, I. WAS. HOOKED. I truly had no inhibitions as a child, always eager to tell a joke, sing or even dance on the table of my late parent’s local restaurant. Read more>>

Kopper Williams | Master Cosmetologist/Hair Color Specialist

I’m not sure that I pursued it more like it found me. I’ve always worked in corporate America and had to wear the blue pant suit or the dress clothes every day. I wasn’t allowed to have crazy colored hair and really expressed myself. After having my son ,it was such a hard balance going back to work being a new young mom and not having the leverage that I needed to really bond with him as an infant I had to send him to day care immediately at four months because I was still a working mom. Kim totes. Read more>>

DeShaun Walker | Contemporary Artist

I’ve always had love for creating things from my imagination and being able to see the things I would think of be brought to life. It feels as though it is my purpose to create art, there is nothing that I feel more passionate about. I could not see myself doing anything other than creating things in an artistic atmosphere, I really feel like this is just something I am destined to do with my life. Read more>>

Christina Hogg | ICU Nurse & Model

I have always been an artist in many aspects. As a kid, I loved writing, painting, crafting, singing, dancing, and playing the piano. As I got older, I fell in love with the idea of creating art with my body. I do this in a lot of ways, from makeup to the way I dress to styling and coloring my hair. I never really considered modeling until recently, when I saw an advertisement for a talent scouting agency on Instagram. I filled out the application on a whim and was very surprised when I not only got a call back, but actually really enjoyed creating a new form of art through the photos. Read more>>

JOSE CARLOS VELAYARSE | Painter, musician

Since I was a child I always drew and I liked art in all its expressions, music, theater, dance. But it was when I finished school that I decided to study art at the University without knowing what I was getting into, I believe that all human beings have the ability to communicate feelings, in my academic training I began to develop certain expressive communication skills through the compositions in a painting. And it is at that moment when I was aware that I had not made a mistake, art has known how to welcome me and has served me as a great impulse to continue living and understand what great motivations surround us on this planet. Even up to now I do not stop learning and keep exploring in my personal work. Read more>>

Andre Buchanan | Documentary Photographer

Art has always been the only thing I was interested in as a child. Growing up, in school, we were told that you couldn’t really make much of career as an artist. The school system really pushed every other subject as more of a career path but I honestly just did not care about them. Creativity brings me joy and I always thought, that if I can have a creative career instead of a regular 9-5, then I can have the perfect life for myself. Read more>>

Jessica Kirkwood | Model

Well it’s a little interesting to say the least. Ever since I was young and can remember I wanted to model. Unfortunately I suffered from ugly duckling syndrome really bad growing up and I also have a physical disability (Cerebral Palsy) and I’m a full time wheelchair user and didn’t think I could ever really do it. I would always look through magazines like Vogue and such and be like “I want to do this and be beautiful and sexy just like these women.” Read more>>

Tia K. | Filmmaker, Director, & Writer

The signs have always been there, and now looking back I wish I would have noticed sooner but I was completely oblivious. In 2021, I realized I had been searching for a purpose that was just waiting for me to claim it. Realizing that I was everything I ran away from, to be more “practical” and “realistic”, I started to actually see myself for me and not from the pictures others painted for me. Read more>>