Deciding to pursue an artistic or creative career path isn’t for the faint of heart. Challenges will abound, but so many of the artists we speak with couldn’t be happier with their choice. So, we asked them about how they made the decision in the first place.

Daniel Goldberg | Electric Soul Artist, Citizen Gold

I never feel more alive; more like myself, or more able to communicate.Then when I make music. There’s this beautiful energy that gets generated by music, and it connects us all in this way, that is just magical. And to be able to create that energy, and share it with others. Is absolutely the greatest gift of all. Read more>>

Brandon Jordan | Audio Engineer, Producer

I’ve always had a passion for music. I would have to give the credit to my parents getting me to where I’m at now. My pops especially, he introduced me to audio engineering, he helped me enroll into classes and I never looked back. Read more>>

Kiana Gibson | Profesional Drummer & Drum Insructor

My story starts back in Miami. Ever since I can remember I have always been fascinated by the drums. In Elementary school, I would ask the teacher if I could play the drums but in return I received a blank confused stare as if I wasn’t aware of what I was asking. It wasn’t until my Freshman year of high-school, where I signed up for Woodshop and Robotics; the school counselor called me to his office to let me know the robotics class which I registered for was full, which is why I was placed me in Music class (Steel Pan 1) as a substitute for my elective credit. Little did I know that one decision to stay in music class changed my entire life course. I was 15 years old when I started playing drums. I started to grow in popularity around my school and my community for my drumming. Read more>>

Greg Crimmins | Artist

Choosing a creative career was a natural path for me.  I realized early on that the joy I felt while being creative was personally fulfilling. It’s also a goal of mine to lead a life that adds to our planet in a positive way. While the world around us is constantly changing, and my longing to find a way to insert myself positively has adapted as well, my outlet has not changed. Art gives me a voice that can speak for me for many years after, when I’m unable to. My admiration for acclaimed masters, and their impact on society is a driving force behind my desire to create as well. Ultimately, I want to add beauty into our world the best way I know how. Read more>>

Darryl Smith Jr. | Comic Artist & Illustrator

Being an artist, I think this is one of the most common questions we get from people during the first meeting. That and the infamous “Do you do tattoos?” question. For me, drawing was the ultimate escape for me since child hood. Being able to create a world where there was no limitations always kept me busy for hours. But also it seemed to be the only thing that I felt confident in. All of my friends since childhood always had dreams of being in fields that were a bit more conventional. Medicine, Teaching, Business, Technology, etc. But I never yearned to be in those fields since I felt it lacked creativity and individuality. Or at least the creativity and individuality that I grew accustomed to from art. Read more>>

Corey Swaney | Photographer

I’ve always been fascinated in the human connection and story telling of people. This path allows photographers to inspire and empower their own visionary of self exposure. Therefore, passion for photography grows deeply. Giving the ability to connect on an emotional level. Pursuing this creative career as a photographer is a delight choice. I wanted to work for myself; in addition, to where I could exercise my artistic abilities creatively. Read more>>

Lauren Jordan | Pop Rock Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist

For me, everyday is a daydream…Every sunrise brings the chance to create a glittering new reality born out of fantasy while every sunset allows us to close chapters, leading us to a sparkling night of wondrous darkness. To be Human is to be creative, and I chose music because it soothes my soul and allows me to soothe others’ as well…I also have a flair for the dramatic. So there’s THAT! Choosing art as a career, whether it be that of a painter, filmmaker, photographer, or singer/songwriter as I have chosen, requires passion, bravery, a sense of adventure, and a yearning to inspire others. Read more>>

Erica Angeline | Creative Director & Fashion Designer

I was born a creative. I can remember as a child entertaining my parents by putting on plays and singing with my dolls. That evolved into making costumes for my mother’s doll collection and emersing myself into beauty, fashion and design as a teen. An artistic career was something I always knew would happen. Once I made fashion my main focus I had more opportunities come my way. Designing clothing allows me to tell the clients visual story, showing their individual personality. Being a creative shapes the way you view the world, your thought process and how you chose to live. I can’t imagine life any other way. Read more>>

Stephanie Ford | Hair Stylist

Honestly for me it wasn’t much of a choice. I really couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I am a high energy, tactile learner who excels in a social setting. Being in a creative field there is a special kind of energy in the work place, one of my favorite things about what I do. It’s a team environment so you all feed off each other. You are constantly inspiring each other to try new techniques and refine your skills. Being around other creative people you can’t help but have it rub off on you. Read more>>

Rey Paezc| Illustrator

All my life I’ve had a love for illustration. From cartoons to comic books. It’s always been a big love of mine. There was a time I tried to pursue a career in print technology and graphic designs but I just didn’t have the interest in it. During my time in school I met some friends that were making a living as full time artists and I thought to myself now that’s what I’d love to do. Once I gave it a shot I knew it was the career path for me. I think it’s important to have a passion and love for what you do. Read more>>

Jared “Jay-R3D” Haynes | Entertainer (Rapper, Actor, Media Personality, and DJ)

I am a Hip Hop Recording Artist, Actor, Media Personality, and DJ. Everything started with me pursuing acting on stage plays in MADDRAMA Performance Troupe at Jackson State University. Once I joined that organization I met two friends who made hip hop music. I decided to form a rap group with them called “Authentic”. A few years later after graduating college I moved to Atlanta to pursue acting and music. I then decided to make a YouTube show called “R3D’s View”. Eventually the show was picked up to be in a podcast network in addition to being on YouTube. And just recently i became an official DJ. Read more>>