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.

Cami Griffin | Event Producer + Designer

Since I was a little girl, I always always creative and crafty. I would always wanted to be in charge of making “pretty” for family dinner or creating some type of visual for guests. My mind has a way to imagine something and actually bring it to life. Read more>>

Tamara Rafkin | Artist * Photographer * Ceramicist

My life has centered around creativity in one form or another since childhood. My father was a musician and teacher; while I was young he started teaching me music and instilled in me a love of performances of all kinds. When I was a teenager I was involved in theater as well as visual art but visual art became my main focus as I had more and training. Being on a creative path for my career (life) was always what seemed right for me, I haven’t always been sure of what form that would take, but never questioned that I would be doing work connected to my artistic vision. Read more>>

Nuvvo Diosa | Brand/Talent Mgmt | Film Distributor| Songwriter

My creative brain has always been in the forefront since a kid. I was always very imaginative, lost In my own world, a big dreamer is what they called me. My initial dream was to be an actress, and I ended up transitioning my dream into music. I started out writing poetry and then songs, and eventually ended up rapping for 10 years. Those experiences transformed my understanding of the true possibilities so I knew whatever I really chose to do, I had to be a business creative, I had to be able to balance my creative brain with my business acumen, the business acumen took awhile for me to fully develop because I really do just love creating… but I knew if I balanced and combined the two I would be able to live the lifestyle I have always seen for myself. So here I am doing just that, from songwriting for major artists, to brand & talent management, to creative director/producer to music & film distribution. Read more>>

Stacey Combs | Illustrator + Artist / Stace of Spades

Creating artwork makes me feel important. Valid. Useful. Talentful. Like I can be heard. Like I can help (both myself and others). It’s something that I have to do. It makes me a better person, and makes me want to be a better person. I give my career everything, but it’s worth it to be able to do what I love… on my own terms. Read more>>

Larissa Monique Hauck | Visual Artist

Art and creative expression is something that has always been in my life. My grandmother was a painter and as a young child I spent a lot of my time drawing, painting, and colouring with her. We used to go for walks in the forest and she would teach me the names of flowers and plants, which still inspire me to this day. My parents were always very supportive of me creating as well. Funny enough, I didn’t really think of it as being a full time career growing up. It wasn’t until after High school and I was able to attend the Alberta College of Art and Design (Now the Alberta University of the Arts) that I started to really invest myself and think of really pursuing a creative career. I find that nothing compares to selling an artwork that you have created. Art is sharing some of the most intimate parts of yourself and yet connecting personally to someone you have never met. It is not an easy path, but learning to deal with rejection is important in life and a creative path will certainly teach you about that! For me, I have always needed to create. Read more>>

Janae Marie | Author & Business Owner

I found pursuing a writing career to be extremely rewarding. I love to create characters and fictitious worlds. It allows me to escape reality for a bit. I love being able to express myself creatively. I am better with the written words than expressing myself through direct conversation. Read more>>

Lauren Collopy | Story Artist and Character Animator

When I was a kid I was shy and didn’t talk much, but art became my voice. When I watched Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame for the first time I knew I wanted to pursue something in animation. I have always enjoyed making up stories and drawing out the characters. In my undergrad I studied comics. It wasn’t until my graduate career in animation that I decided kids shows was my passion. Of course I would love to work in film as well, but I have a fondness for shows. Shows can tell great stories and create lovable characters for families and kids alike and have the ability to last for multiple seasons. It’s interesting when I think about it because I didn’t have TV as a kid, I only had DVDs available. The reason I pursue animation and storyboarding as an artistic career within the film and TV industry is because I’m passionate about telling stories. Stories bring us together, inspire, and touch others. It is a medium that can shares cultures and folklore as well as new adventures people haven’t seen yet. Read more>>

Julia McCartney | Photographer

I chose to pursue a career in photography because I knew that if I didn’t pursue what I love to do I would be miserable. It is hard to bet on yourself, and through this journey I have learned how to block out self-doubt and do what I truly want. For me, taking pictures began as my escape from my tumultuous home life. I would take my camera and walk around the woods for hours and take pictures of what I saw so my brain could be filled with calming images and drown out the negativity I was aiming to get away from. Even now, creating is still an escape from the stress of the world and it is such a therapeutic experience. I always thought that if this could be a real career it is the only thing I want to do. Read more>>

Keniece | Creative Director & Brand Manager

I pursued a creative career because I refused to take what was given to me. Everyone around me (all the adults) had 9-5’s, mediocre houses, and incomes and pretty much hated their lives and ended up taking it out on their children subtly. I refused for that to be me. I refused for someone to tell me when to work, how much I should make, and how exactly to do it. We spend 40+ hours a week working for someone else’s company who literally doesn’t care about me, my life or my community for what? When I can spend those same 40+ hours on myself and build something that will benefit not only me but everyone around me. We have so much power within us, so many empires, to just give it away. I figured betting on myself was better than betting on the system. And I haven’t looked back ever since. When you are unhappy with the reality you see there is no better career than a creative one. Being able to have a vision or an idea in my head and then see it come to life in front of my eyes is honestly no better feeling. I am a creative because I want a hand in creating and curating the world around me versus being a mere bystander. Read more>>

Tetaisha Hunter | Artist, Painter & Creator

I precisely remember when I fell in love with art. I was in the second grade and would always look forward to art classes. I was simply intrigued with creating art, particularly drawing because of the fact I could transform my imagination not only into reality but also into tangible creations. I always aimed to create realistic drawings instead of stick figures or made sure I colored inside the lines, adding more details to my work; I wanted to tell a story and even began making illustrated story books for fun, This fueled an excitement and fulfillment within me which birthed a new sense of courage, knowledge, power, strength and determination, however I wouldn’t realize the power of my qualities until years later. Between fourth and sixth grade, my family moved around a lot and I attended a new school every year which was difficult because I always felt out of place and my usually out-going, chill personality become shy and quiet. My most difficult time came when I entered sixth grade because I began getting bullied. Read more>>

Laura Cash | Motion Media Designer

The decision to pursue an artistic career was both challenging and simple for me. Growing up I had a natural talent and affinity towards arts. I remember my grandpa teaching me to draw palm trees, making arts and craft at home. I was constantly sketching, and I took art classes in school. Growing up, I was good at most things, but art was the one area in which I truly excelled in. In this way, it made my decision to pursue art a lot easier. I couldn’t see myself being happy in a career that wasn’t creative in some way. The challenging part of this decision mostly had to deal with outsider’s perspectives. Members of my family were very dismissive of art, and didn’t think I could make a career for myself by doing what I loved. I had to do a lot of convincing to change their minds, but in the end I am working towards my goals, and eventually will be able to prove it to them. Read more>>

Linda Medd | Visual Artist

I get so much joy and satisfaction from creating something from start to finish. This could be anything from a painting or even a new way of doing things. A favorite quote from Robert Breeson sums up what has driven me to pursue a creative career. “Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen”. I love what I do now because it is hands on and gives me the freedom to express myself in a more personal way, Read more>>

Celeste Rodriguez | Artist

I have always communicated better through art. It gives me a way to express my truth and make an impression on the audience with my messages. It is also my secret little world, in where I can add symbols or secret messages just for me in my pieces. Creating also gives me such a great sense of accomplishment. Art is pretty magical when you think about it. Artist create forms, images, and ideas from thin air and gives it existence in the world. I know that I will never be able to stray from creating for long, so I am making it into a career so it can fulfill all aspects in my life. Read more>>

FREiBERD | Singer/Songwriter & LGBTQ+ Activist

If you look around you’ll notice that art is all around us, it moves us it provokes thought and action within us. I chose a career in the arts because it’s a direct way to promote change. It is the one area in life where I can express myself freely and push past boundaries, fear, or concepts that make me feel less free. Creating is also an act of service, as I grow and heal so does my art and my message. I can then help others experience growth and healing just by expressing my thoughts and experiences creatively. Let’s not forget it’s incredibly fun. Read more>>

Torrey Hair | Inspiring Model & Fashion illustration

It helps me to be more define in who I am. No restrictions, no barriers, none of that! I get to create with no validation or acceptance from anyone critiquing my work in a critical way. It also helps me to get to know myself more and to challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone and take a risk on something that I would never find myself doing. Read more>>

Keris Love | Artivist & Songwriter

For me art is the perfect platform to discuss all issues, especially issues that are difficult or make us feel uncomfortable. I noticed I’m most happy when I am being creative and it’s important we love what we do. Read more>>

Weku Did That | Creative Director/ Music Producer/ Cinematographer

I feel like the only way to truly be happy in life is to do what your personal energy compels you to do. This is what led me to pursue a career as a Cinematographer and a Music Producer. Because these are the things that truly make me happy. Read more>>

Ash Graves | Singer/Songwriter

I think I knew from a pretty young age that I wanted to be a musician. I didn’t have much growing up but I remember when I was 8 years old my nana got me one of those little toy guitars that make different sounds when you press one of the buttons on the fretboard. I would play it for hours like it was a real guitar and as I got older I just became more and more drawn to music. I always knew that no matter what I was going through I would always have music to rely on. It got me through some of the worst times in my life and I think just always having that around no matter what happened really pushed me to want to express myself and to hopefully give that same feeling to people that listen to the music that I make. Read more>>

Douglas Stewart | Professional Artist

Pursuing a life of Art and creativity was not a deliberate choice, so much as a path that itself drew me in to. I’ve been an Artist and inventor all my life and never been interested in other pursuits. There is power in Art. There is freedom in Art. Being an Artist has the ability to set you free to follow your dreams literally. Art is addicting and intoxicating. An Artist creates, always, whether there is an audience or not. This here is a very important part of success in Art. Always create new work. Always move forward following the path and evolution that your work, vision and dreams take you. I, for one, would not dream that I could continue At a very young age I found that Art provided a way to communicate and express visually, feelings that might have been. Read more>>