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.

Tammy Varela | Cake and Sugar Artist

Art has always been my passion ever since I was a little kid. I’ve always been excited to learn and develop my skills in drawing, painting, and sculpting. So much so that I received a BA in Fine Art from GCSU in 2001 minoring in drawing/painting. After graduating I went to work for The Home Depot working my way up the ladder to eventually become a manager. This was such an amazing a rewarding experience but I knew something was missing …… pursuing my creativity. After a lot of soul searching I decided to switch careers and become a visual merchandiser for Pike Nursery. This has allowed me to express my creativity at work and have time to learn a new hobby which turned out to be cake art. After taking a Wilton class and practicing what I learn on Pinterest and U-tube I started selling my cakes to family/friends which evolved rather quickly to a thriving business. The past 6 years have been such an amazing experience and I look forward to see what the future holds. Read more>>

Robert Jeffrey II | Freelance Writer & Comic Book Creator

I love to write. Being able to create new worlds through the written word has always been fun for me. Read more>>

Kiara Rolle | Photographer

Honestly, I wouldn’t even say that I chose to pursue it, but I was more so called to it. In every stage of my life, I was always drawn to doing something creative. When I was younger, my cousins and I were very heavily set on music so we’d rap, sing, and record home music videos. My auntie even made our clothes for us and recorded all our shenanigans. We’d really put on a show and you couldn’t tell us nothing!!! I guess you could say that was my start to being drawn to creative things, and definitely a start to me being drawn to a camera. In middle school, I somehow got into writing books. I was really out here writing books in middle school! I started this when I was about 12 years old and I don’t really know how and or why I just decided to pick up a pencil and write/ go on my computer and type my little heart away, but I did and I would just let my imagination run free. Read more>>

Meray Kaur | Beauty and Special FX Makeup Artist & Esthetic’s Educator

I think pursuing any type of UN-conventional career or job is a scary thing. When I think to myself about why I do what I do it simply comes down to education and teaching. I enjoy teaching people how to feel beautiful and become a more enhanced version of themselves. With my day job its all the same as well. I teach everything from makeup, skincare,fragrance and application technique. The beauty/cosmetic industry is an Billion dollar industry. Working for a high end luxury retailer sets a very elevated expectation that I myself hold my own brand to as well. When I was graduating out of high school I knew my dream was to become an entrepreneur. I had no idea I would find myself immersed into the beauty and Special FX realm. Being a self taught artist, has many pros like ever evolving and bettering myself, My clients work with me because they get the utmost attention, education and help from me. Read more>>

Derricko Swink | CEO & Creative Director

I pursued a creative career because I’ve always been the type of person to express myself out loud. As a self-proclaimed ambivert, I enjoy all the things that give me peace and harmony but also love having the freedom to be as creative as I want to be without fear. To be honest, it’s almost as if creativity found me and pushed me to become who I am today. One of my greatest accomplishments has been developing our marketing and brand design powerhouse known as The Swink Agency. Read more>>

Krista Long | Certified Event Planner & Certified Event Designer

Most people are motivated by money, status, power, and worldly non-sense. I am motivated by what actually makes me happy. Expressing myself in any artistic form makes me feel amazing. I am an artist, My first love is music. At one time in my life it was my only love. It was the only thing that actually made sense to me. I still have music in my composition notebooks from when I was 12 years old. My event planning foundation actually stemmed from my creative arts foundation, I enjoy recreating a space and making a client’s vision come to life. If you think about it, a creative career path is the single most unstructured way to work without feeling like you are working. My love of music, poetry and spoken word was all channeled into a career form that I could enjoy and create in the process. Though I was raised traditionally, I am very outside of the box when it comes to my lifestyle. Each day has to be different from the day prior for me or I get bored easily. Read more>>

Bethanie Wilborn | Owner

I have always been a creative. I honestly believe that if you do something you’re passionate about it won’t feel like work. That thought process is why I decided to pursue a creative career in Metaphysics and Spirituality. Read more>>

Terence Rushin | Photographer & Content Creator

As a child I never landed on one particular thing that I wanted to be when I grew up. When asked my answers changed each time; from inventor to business owner to even the first black president at one point. I got good grades in school and by the time I made it to high school thought that I would end up doing something technical like an engineer or architect. Although my hypothetical future always changed one thing remained constant from the early days as a child to today in my career. I always had a fascination for cameras, whether it be photo or video. I always wanted to have one in my hand. From being enticed by my parent’s taking home videos and photos of my sister and me while we played or attended birthday parties…to getting my first “camera” the Nintendo Gameboy Camera and designating myself as the family historian. Read more>>

Liventune | Multidisciplinary Artist

Being an artist is who I am naturally. To deny myself of true authenticity would be a disservice. I chose to simply be happy. Read more>>

Skylar Resna Jackson | Scholar Artist

I had to ask myself, “What can I see myself doing for the rest of my life? What am I passionate about?” The only thing that was clear was my love for theatre and storytelling. It’s not only my heart but where my passion is. I was always told that your gifts will make room for you. My gift is theatre and storytelling. So far in my life, those gifts have provided me with opportunities I never thought possible and I’m blessed. Read more>>