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.

Royale Lewis | Fashion Model

I pursued an artistic career because with it I am able to truly be myself. I have the ability to create my own path, without having to follow or listen to anyone else’s rules. Unlike many other professions, there is no limit to the amount of art you create. The sky is the limit. Pursuing an artistic career really helped with my confidence and it allows me to show people that, they can be whoever they want in this world if they just push themselves. Read more>>

Carla the Poet | Musical Artist

I chose to pursue an artistic career because it’s all I’ve ever known. Growing up I was a very artistic child with no boundaries & I wanted to fully explore that as an adult. It has also became my main form of expression & release, like therapy. Read more>>

Ingrid Yuzly Mathurin | Visual Artist

Creating has always been a way for me to express myself. Growing up, drawing was my escape from my reality. My childhood wasn’t always the best, but creating was the perfect way for me to destress and meditate. As far as a career, when I was 18, I sold my first couple pieces. I couldn’t believe it, and after having my first art exhibit it gave me the courage that I can actually create something that people want. During those years, selling work allowed me to feed my children. Being a painter is something that I’ve always wanted to do. A couple years back in 2016, I quit my career as a executive makeup artist trainer for a big brand in order to spend more time with my children, it was then that I decided to work at my career of being a full time visual artist. Read more>>

Karen Paul Holmes | Poet & Freelance Writer

Most writers will say they write because they have to. And that’s me. I was lucky enough to incorporate my love of writing into my corporate jobs, including a long stint as VP-Marketing Communications at a global company. So I’ve had partly a business career and partly a creative one. The creative part fueled me. I now work part time as a freelance writer and MarComm consultant, which I enjoy, for the creativity and the money I can put in my pocket. But… My real passion is poetry, and it’s my late-in-life vocation. A poetry career is a different path, definitely, because no one gets rich, and few become famous. It has to be a labor of love. Writing poetry lights me up more than anything (well, except for the man I just married). And sharing poems with others over the last 15 years has opened up a whole new world of emotional connection with people. Read more>>

H3NRY | Music Producer, Mixing Engineer & Studio Operator

Fear of regret. My mom had an art studio in our old house, and there were very few days where I didn’t at least poke my head in to see what she was working on. Each piece was always incredible, holding a unique beauty. She had found something she was truly passionate about and could always turn to for channeling inspiration and happiness. She was never bored. This resonated with me at a young age. When I found music production in my early college years, it was the closest feeling to what my mom had. It wasn’t long before I considered what it would take to make music for a living. There was no doubt in my mind I could finish college, get an entry level job at a big company, make a good living, and spend my days working my way up the corporate food chain. Read more>>

Amber Gizzi | Interior Designer

I think I always knew I would own a company one day, but in college I realized pretty quickly that I had no interest in studying general business. I need a creative outlet and I get so genuinely excited about each new design project and coming up with ideas for them. It can be tough because there’s a lot of emotion involved for both the client and designer, but I think the reward is higher too. Seeing your hard work come together at the end and having a client cry tears of joy when they see their completed home is just an amazing feeling. Read more>>

Yitzhak Yonaton | Your Friendly Neighborhood Cartoonist

How many jobs can you do at a public park, in the sun? Probably like many people, I grew up interpreting my life experience through the lense of imagined characters. If my brother, sister and I were not developing ornate ballads with action figures and dolls, we were constantly employing our imaginative capacities in some other endeavor, mock performances, sports, science experiments, museum trips. Seemed like a fine thing to do at the time, so why not try to do it in adulthood? Practicing the arts is a never-ending journey of exploration, meditation and self-discovery. To be able to apply that pursuit to the enrichment of my community the ultimate win-win. Read more>>

Carrie Dix | Team Spirit Jewelry Maker

I’ve always loved arts and crafts of any kind, learning to sew and embroider at a young age. I started making jewelry when my kids were in youth sports and I wanted a way to wear their team colors, but couldn’t find anything in the stores. Pretty soon the other moms were asking where I got the beaded bracelets I was always wearing, and I started making more to share with them. Many years later, after 30 years in corporate America, I turned being downsized out of a job into a chance to make jewelry full time. Read more>>