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.

Rayeanna Motley | Filmmaker & Content Creator

Throughout the search of finding my passion, I’ve learnt the value of storytelling, the root of evocation, and connection through moving and still imagery. Everyone has their own unique background, and I enjoy cultivating our similarities and differences to highlight universal truths and aspirations. Every story carries different components that can be corresponded to real, unreal, and surreal events. These events evoke emotions that we all can relate to. Film allows me to be creative and free, and it helps me to stay connected with the story. It is a field that has many different layers from pre to post production making it very interactive. I love this career because it keeps me stimulated and it is ever evolving. Read more>>

Tahirah Naeemah | Mast Cosmetologist

I’ve always chosen Cosmetology. My mother taught me how to braid at an early age. My curiosity peaked when she bought me a mannequin during my elementary years. After a short stint in basketball I decided I’d like to be behind the scenes and pursue Athletic Training in college. Once in college I quickly realized that wasn’t the route I’d be taking though it was something that I put a lot of energy into. After graduating college with a degree in Recreational Therapy minoring in Health Education & Promotion I moved to a new city and applications began to fly all around me. While waiting for responses I decided to rent a chair at a near by salon and needless to say I’m grateful for every experience that led me up to that moment. Read more>>

Edwin Williams | Musician, Founder of Jazz Matters Inc.

I didn’t necessarily pursue an artistic career, it seems to have chosen me. I played baseball as a young child and thought that’s what I’d be doing as an adult. I loved sports. However, my Dad had other plans for me. Read more>>

Von Harris | Life Guide & soon to be Massage Therapist & Creator

I choose to pursue a creative career because I don’t want to be boxed in. I enjoy feeling free and genuinely unique were right and wrong do not exist. It’s all about how my clients and I feel. True service. Read more>>

Karen Marie Jenkins | Personal Brand Photographer & Visual Storyteller

Why I chose artistic and creative, career, and business choices is not a simple answer or story, but one, I believe is rooted in transformative life experiences that had a major impact on my childhood in the late 1960s. From ages 5 to 10, I lived in an inner-city neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio called Evanston during the cultural and historical period of “Say it loud, I’m black and proud song and later mantra along with Motown sounds, national rioting and protests. This neighborhood gave me real-time experiences with black cultural arts and black pride and affirmation of my black skin. It also fueled in me the confidence of black girl magic decades before it was a thing. Read more>>

Barbara Rego | Multimedia Artist

I chose to pursue a creative career because creating has been a huge passion of mine since I was a freshman in high school. I first fell in love with video production in high school. I ended up studying film in college and later worked for a few different production agencies. The more and more experience I had made me realize that this is something I want to do so I continued to work on getting more hands-on experience, networking, and perfecting my craft. I eventually found a love for design after graduating college. Social media at this point was a big deal and I found a way to get to experiment with digital content and mixed media to create and tell stories for people and brands. I’m very grateful to get to do this and I’m excited to see what else I can come up with. Read more>>

Lauren White | Online Boutique Qwner & Influencer

As far back as I can remember, I have always had a love for all things art related with an emphasis on fashion. I started sketching at an early age, and soon after, I designed my first clothing line at the age of 12. The women in my family were also a big influence. Each of the matriarchs in my family possessed a unique style which has definitely influenced mine. I love being a creative. I enjoy the whole process. For me, there is nothing more fulfilling than taking an idea, cultivating it, and making it into something so beautiful that others love it too. It feels amazing to see someone inspired by your work, or confident wearing your piece. Overall, I decided to choose a creative path because sharing my style with others makes me happy. Read more>>

Ke Moore | Creative Director | Filmmaker

Creative work is my life-work. This is who I am, and I know no other way to be. I am a creative. I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about it. I give my life to my work, and I’ll continue to create to my last day in this world. That is what I was put here to do. Read more>>

Vanessa Fortenberry | Inspirational Author & Speaker

Actually, I don’t believe I pursued an artistic/creative career. I’m quite sure it pursued me! When I was a young child, there were two major passions that fascinated me; singing and writing. At the age of six or seven, I remember my family had moved to another neighborhood across town in Atlanta. I would often talk on the phone with my childhood friend whom I missed. But, before we ended our call, she would always ask me to sing. I would break out in a verse of “Jesus Loves Me this I Know.” In addition to singing, I loved writing as a child. I’m sure I wasn’t familiar with the term, genre. But, I wrote poetry, plays, and short stories. To this day, I have a notebook binder of all of my childhood writing projects. When I entered college, I struggled in making a decision regarding my major. Read more>>

Bee Sims | Fashion Stylist

I’ve always loved the fashion industry. When I was younger I loved watching Top Model and would practice in the mirror. When I first started buying my own clothing my confidence was boosted and I felt more comfortable in my skin. I started to express myself and get to know my own personality. A pivotal moment was the day I saw a Gucci advertisement on the back of a Vogue magazine. It was like a scene from a movie. I fell in love with the artistry of how everything was put together. That’s when I decided I would go into fashion doing set design and wardrobe. I feel fashion has many ways of inspiring, entertaining, and making people feel good. I want passion to be a part of my work, that way, people can feel it. Read more>>

Monique Gee | Creative Entrepreneur

Honestly I started my business I got tired of purchasing products that dried my skin out and the other products were not all natural! Read more>>

Kendra Samuel | Entrepreneur

Being able to express, and showcase my abilities are the main reasons that drive my creative pursuit. I just have this mindset to create, because of that I’m consistently starting new projects. Sharpening my sewing skills with new ideas has helped me break outside of my comfort zone. By doing so I am able to bring so many of my visions to life. Read more>>