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.

Haley Hasen | Sexologiest, Pleasure and Trauma informed Individual and Artist Pronouns: Haley, Haley’s

School was very difficult for me and I found myself very drawn to creating art, photography specifically. I have learning disabilities and I found it difficult to express what I was thinking and feeling through language. I have healed my trauma through my artwork, and now I am in a Master’s Program at GWU for Art Therapy to empower and affirm individuals and their identities through the healing power of art. Read more>>

Danny Berger | Digital Content Producer For SteelSeries & Content Creator

I pursued this career for a number of different reasons. Ultimately, I chose it because it’s an emerging industry where someone as young as myself can make a name in the space and have an impact on how content is created and distributed. In all of the other industries I was interested in (primarily entertainment) you had to be a middle aged person with 20+ years experience with a master’s degree in some are that doesn’t pertain whatsoever to the job you would want to apply to. In gaming, the most important thing is being qualified for the job. Because I put in years of practice editing, working for different organizations, and learning as much as I possibly could in my freetime, I was rewarded with a job that I not only love, but am respected in, regardless of my age. Read more>>

Mekahla Billings | KaychanelCompany CEO

All my life I kenned I wanted to work for myself. I didn’t precisely know what it was that I wanted to do but I was confident that I would do whatever it takes to be my own ascendant figure. I worked illimitably to decipher what it took to run a business. It took me like 3 months of brainstorming before I verbally expressed “ok Mekahla let’s do this!” I took that leap of faith & kaychanel is one of the best things that’s transpired to me thus far!. Read more>>

Luvher (lov-er) | Singer and Songwriter

I chose to pursue a creative career because I love music, and I have a true passion for songwriting and performing. It takes a lot of sacrifice and consistency to become relevant in this career. I intend to build my musical catalog, work with more creatives, and hopefully make some people clap their hands in the process. Read more>>

KingDarius TheGreat | Music Artist & Song Writer

I chose a career in the performing arts (music) because it was a way for me to vividly express myself on topics ranging from everyday life experiences, to social and political topics. Growing up, I had what most would consider to be an introverted personality, but I always had a strong opinion on things, and music acted as a gateway for me to open up and speak freely through my lyricism. Read more>>

Dante Chak | Travel Photographer and Adventure Filmmaker

I was fresh out of the United States Marine Corps, and I had absolutely no idea what was next. I knew I wasn’t gonna put my time, effort, and attention school. And slaving myself away at a boring 9-5 felt worse than going through the “suck” in the Marine Corps. I began getting into film and TV as a stuntman in a few TV shows and indie films, putting to use a lot of my martial arts and tumbling background— eventually getting into extreme sports such as skydiving. I soon realized that I loved working behind the camera as well as being in front of it. Learning through various mentors I would learn to create my own content utilizing the talents and capabilities I’d already had. Read more>>

Aria Cauthen | Artist, Creative and Entrepreneur

I was destined to be an artist and creative. It just flows and aligns perfectly through me. The arts make up my entire existence whether it is making a product, networking with an individual, interviewing someone or just kicking it at the park with some oil pastels a canvas and some paint supplies. Without arts and creativity I would not be as successful as I am today. Read more>>

Indigo Phoenix | Artist

I’ve always followed my spiritual purpose and for as long as I can remember music and performing has been apart of that. Read more>>

Ryann Ussery | Photographer

Since I was a kid, I remember art being a constant in my life, whether I was taking pictures on my parent’s phone or drawing in the church program. I always knew I would be a creative but I never knew exactly what that meant. Although I am a photographer, I do like and enjoy all forms of art whether it’s paintings, music or fashion. I guess you can say I choose a creative career because it’s always felt right. Art is freedom. Art is fun. It’s no rules to it and that’s what has made me stick with it for all these years. I don’t feel like I have to work so hard to get somewhere when it comes to my career as a creative. My job is fun because it involves me being lead creative and moving to my own beat. My relationship with art is very natural. As I grow so does my art. Growing up, I had no idea that art could really be a career but I can say choosing my art and a career in art despite all the bumps in the road will forever be one of the best decisions I ever made. Read more>>

Kia Rap Princess | Artist /Owner of YBNRML Clothing/ Entrepreneur

I love the idea of creating my own world. I feel its important to allow children, people in general to express themselves creatively. I feel things like music , fashion and art helped me love who I am as an individual. Respecting how different we are but changing the world around us by our creations. When I’m creative I’m most free. Free of time , free from worry, free from stress and I feel most rewarded when my creativity makes room for me. Whether that’s people at my shows, people buying my clothing brand , or engaging with new supporters online through a print magazine. I’m grateful to be able to create in a way where the world opens up to me because of it. Read more>>

Jennifer Jess | Singer, Songwriter & Recording Artist

I believe that a career should be spent doing something you are passionate about. So I decided I wanted to be a professional singer at a very young age. Inspired by my mother, (a fellow singer) who played a role in showing me how to appreciate music and different artists, I started to find the music that spoke to me. I found music that made me dance, music that lifted me up and music that had an addictive tune I couldn’t get enough of. My intention has always stayed the same. I want to be able to give people the same kind of wonderful experiences my favorite musicians gave me. Read more>>

Larry Robinson | Founder and CEO of KUDZUKIAN, a Creative Content Company

I believe being a creative/creator entrepreneur is in my DNA…Great-Grandfather (entrepreneur, architecture/housing), Grandfather (entrepreneur, architecture/housing), Dad (entrepreneur, muralist, fine artist), Mom (artist /pottery) and uncles (carpenters, real estate developer). All of them have embarked on entrepreneurial endeavors and It became apparent to me that I was an entrepreneur when I was working in Corporate America and I was not able to make the decision necessary to improve business and revenue. The creative part’s genesis was being an “only child” and due to spending so much time alone, I developed an extremely vivid imagination. I had a completely different life between my ears! Having a creative career allows me to bring to life many of the thoughts, visions, and dreams that lived only in my mind. Read more>>

Dionte Hall | Lyrical artist aka Taye The Truth

I didn’t talk much as a kid; I never felt like I was never really free to express myself, and I would basically keep everything bottled up. Music was always my escape, I could always find a song that perfectly described exactly how I was feeling at the time. I think when I was 18 or 19 it clicked that I could use hip hop as a vehicle to express myself as well. I would write these rhymes and nobody would hear them but my close friends and some family. It wasn’t until much later and after a whole bunch of reassurance that I decided that I would release some music and see what happened. I’ve received so much positive feedback regarding my music since I’ve started and it’s really encouraged me to embrace being a rapper. If I can encourage one person that feels bottled up to express themselves or even just be an artist that they can relate to, then I’ll feel like I’ve achieved my dreams. Read more>>

Shelsey Reed | Educator and Business Owner

Since high school, I have always been passionate about art. I remember receiving several different pathways as add-ons to my diploma. I participated in marching band (color guard) and did four years of both graphic arts and marketing. I was able to let my creative juices flow. My ultimate dream was to work in fashion/fashion marketing but I took off on a different journey. Later in life is when I found myself back, back where I know I needed to be. For me, creativity is how I release and relax. My mind is always wondering so art keeps me attentive and focused. Read more>>

Gabrielle Morse | Photographer & Film Maker

I decided to pursue an artistic career because honestly there was nothing else I wanted to do. I feel very passionately about photography and film, and I decided that in order to be happiest with my life, art was going to have to be at the center of it in some way shape, or form. I am still in the early stages of my career, but the experiences I have garnered so far continue to prove that I made the right choice for myself. I have discovered that there are both pros and cons to this career choice. Commodifying a passion can sometimes diminish the joy that you gain from your work. However, such instances can also make personal and professional milestones with art even more rewarding. Read more>>

Chris Anderson | Quietkid | Graphic Designer

I pursued an artistic career because of the love that I have for art. Art is everywhere, so to me I saw that as endless opportunities to be able to create and work with a few companies that I love. I never get tired of creating and because of that I knew that I had to keep doing what I love. Read more>>

ChriStyle | Writer & Producer

Throughout life our experiences initiate our expressions , being artistic is definitely the main way I express myself . The ability to be witty and rhythmic ha always been amusing to me. Read more>>

Adisa Kareem Phillip | Layout Designer/+Background Painter

My reason for pursuing the artistic career was purely out of passion. I’ve loved creative outlets for as long as I can remember, and as I grew up I would go on to learn more about illustration and animation. When I was 13 I decided that If I was going to have to work a career then I’d do what I have to in order to make sure that it involved the one activity I’ve always had a passion for; illustration. Even now I can confidently say that I enjoy what I do. I’ve worked into an amazing opportunity to work with Nickelodeon Animation and it feels like just the beginning. As I to work within the animation industry I find myself wanting more out of this career, and will continue to have fun pursuing it. Read more>>

Chante’ Williams | Content creator | Lifestyle Blogger

My personality is very airy, I’m very curious by nature I’m very in tune with visuals and how things look! It’s just who I am! So I always when I touch something or even when I speak it has a creative touch to it. I wouldn’t feel whole if I wasn’t able to create something. It’s part of my purpose. Read more>>