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.

Russell Dreyer | Fashion and creative portrait photographer / Visual Artist

I have pursued a creative career because it’s all I’ve ever known.. I started my life out as an artist and the universe willing, I will live out my days being an artist. Fortunately, I was born with a gift of talents that enable me to manifest my visions into a visual representation of the way I see the world. I’m never going to cure cancer, or send a rocket to the moon, but I do add color, imagination, and vibrancy to the world in the only ways I know how. Read more>>

Armanni Noel | Portrait & Family Photographer

I pursued photography because it was a form of expression for me. Photography allowed me to explore my creativity and talents. I went from taking pictures of myself, to nature and anyone I knew. Deep down, I had a feeling that being behind a camera was my calling. Every picture I took had a story to tell, almost as if you were going through a time machine to see the exact moment. I knew that photography was one of my many talents that I couldn’t just let go to waste. Over the years, I can honestly say that being a photographer is one of the best decisions of my life. Read more>>

Karla Wingfield | Makeup Artist & Instructor

I pursued an artistic career path because art has always been my thing since for as long as I can remember. I started out drawing in elementary school and I never stopped. I would draw bubble letters, names, etc. anything that let my creativity flow in art was amazing to me. Read more>>

Rashad B. | Artist, Designer & Entrepreneur

I feel like I’ve always been an artistic person at heart. Whether that’s indulging myself into different genres of music, or studying some of my favorite artists such as Virgil Abloh and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Being an artist means more then life itself. Pursuing a creative career would give me an opportunity to express thoughts and ideas from Mndtricks through many different avenues. Carrying the torch that was left us, while also giving hope to others who will come after us is important due to the fact that art will always change and evolve. Read more>>

Dionna Bright | Professional Portrait Photographer & Self-Portrait Artist

My sister first introduced me to the Arts. We grew up in the deep country and creating was the best way for us to connect; as individuals, as sisters and with the natural world surrounding us. Art, specifically photography, continued to remain present in my life into adulthood and I realized quickly that I loved the way that it allowed me to see, perceive, create, express and connect in beautiful ways. Pursuing an artistic career is both a dedication to the authentic moments that my sis and I shared together and a way for me to share my authenticity with others. Read more>>

Travon Merritt | Visual Artist- Photographer & Videographer

I pursued an artistic/creative career simply because I see it as a way to living a “free life.” It’s a career where any idea I have in my head I can make it into a reality. Anything is possible in a creative career and the only thing that could possibly hold me back from creating what I want is myself. Being in an artistic/creative career is about being in a career of expression. I can express my life experiences and thoughts into a project of mine. Anything I create can go on to last lifetime and as a result because of my artistic/creative career I can go on to live forever through my work. Read more>>

Adele Williamson | Nail Artist

Like many others, I had several jobs in various industries throughout my young adulthood, including an initial career in the corporate world. Especially after starting my post-college chosen field of Public Relations and Marketing, I realized that that was exactly the king of job I didn’t want. I wanted my creative mind to be stimulated regularly and since we spend so much time at our jobs, I wanted to do something creative and that I really enjoy. I also found the idea of working for myself and setting my own hours very appealing, which I felt I could do in the creative career as a nail artist. . Read more>>

Melisa Auguste | Abstract Artist

I pursue an artistic career after working in the medical field over 10 years. I became very overwhelmed not happy and wanted better I wanted To do something I love and admire which was painting. That was my peace. Read more>>

Sandy Beauford Muhammad | Holistic Practitioner (The Spiritual Physician)

My career started as a Court Reporter in Chicago, Illinois. At the time I completed school, there were very few Court Reporters of color in the world. The demand was great and the hours were long. I was in this profession for 29 years. Towards the end of my career, after seeing so many people unfamiliar with the legal system, I realized I wanted to be of a help to my community. Read more>>

Vannessa Davis | Hair Stylist

As a child starting at the age of 10 I would watch my older cousin do hair. It instantly because something that I was interested in learning more of by the time I was 16 I was doing my friends and family hair. It was an easy way to make some extra money. Years later my older cousin who I watch braid hair for years died then it turn from making extra money on the side to my passion. Read more>>

Destiny Smith | Model & Creative

My interest in modeling was derived from a theraputic journey at the start of the pandemic in 2020. Modeling is a freeing experience, it promotes visual and emotional introspection. As a freelance model you have the opportunity to set your own boundaries. You have the freedom to decide how you would like to see yourself and how others get to see you. I have throughly enjoyed getting to know myself and other creatives in the Atlanta area. Read more>>

Charles T. Massey | Actor / Entrepreneur

It is something that I believe chose me! Although I had worked in corporate America for 30 years, as a New Year’ resolution in 2018, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at acting. I had been introduced to the arts and being creative early on as a child. I used to draw things around the house and also tried my hand at portraits. i also attended an art carnival every Saturday in Harlem where we would do arts & crafts, but later on we participated in writing a small script (which we acted out). Read more>>

Zahara Mehta | Professional newborn photographer in Atlanta, GA

I love that this work combines technology and creativity. Technically, the lighting has to be just right to create the perfect balance of shadows and highlights. We have mastered every function of our camera so that shooting in manual becomes a muscle memory, as the settings are constantly changing. Designing a session is the fun part. Incorporating props, fabrics and accessories to customize exactly what the clients request brings out the our creative side. Read more>>

Kydavia Hassell | Cake Artist & Female Entrepreneur

I pursued this career because of the freedom it gave me. Being the mother of 3 girls, I wanted to make sure I was around for all of their important moments in their life. This career has also fed my creativity as well. Being able to express myself through cake and have customers love it has been a great feeling! Read more>>