We asked some of the most creative folks we know to open up to us about why they chose a creative career path. Check out their responses below.

Mercedes Cherelle | Master Cosmetologist

I am a product of a teenage mother who didn’t understand how to raise a child because she was still a child. So when it came to educating me it wasn’t done properly. As a child I remember her allowing me to express my creative side and gave me the tools that I needed to run with it. So with that being said I chose a creative career because it’s my passion. Read more>>

Tiffany C. Brown | Graphic Designer for Film & Television

I knew early on that I wanted to pursue an artistic career since I was in the fourth grade. Back then it was a cartoonist. Me and a close friend created our own comic strip and would add to it every day. We thought it was the coolest thing to do! As I got older, I nurtured my talent. I taught myself calligraphy and with the help of my mother and grandmother (both were educators in the local school system), became sought after by teachers and educators at the end of every school year to write names on certificates for their students. As much as I thought about and even started my college career at Clark Atlanta University, studying something else that was non-creative, everything I did came back around to something creative. If that wasn’t a clear sign, I don’t know what is; I decided to pursue a career in the creative field. Read more>>

Yolanda Woods | Beauty Expert & Consultant for Professional Women

As a Junior in high school I worked in my cousins salon as what we use to call a Shampoo Girl. Later named Shampoo Assistant. I had plans to attend a four year college but that changed. I fell in love with being in the salon. I loved meeting and talking to different types of women and hearing their stories. I was often amazed at the various hair and makeup transformations that I saw on a daily basis. I fell in love with beauty! All things beauty. Hair, makeup and fashion. I quickly realized my natural ability to style hair. I thought to myself, I can make my own schedule and make as much money as I wanted. Sign me up! I decided to attend Cosmetology school after I graduated and went back to that salon where I worked for 20 years. Read more>>

Thomas Panetta | Writer & podcaster

I always been creative and artistic. For me the creative part is the drive that keep me motivate. My mindset is to be the most creative possible. I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. A big city with different culture, arts… no doubt it’s must had a big influence in my childhood. Throught the years, i learn music , start writing.. Therefore, one day i just realize that i had a artistic soul. When i first started been a writer, most of the people told me , i was a dreamer. Yes i am, but im proud to believe in me and try everything to succeed. Read more>>

Yelemnah Tessema | Illustrator, Graphic Designer, and Creator

It’s a gift that not only I can help others and their endeavors, but I can prove to others that my craft is impactful, relatable, humorous, and vibrant. Read more>>

Lakai Jackson | Consulting & Multimedia Specialist

Being engulfed in the music scene at a young age, I’m like the secret weapon no one expects. I have many artictic talents that I’ve used to cope with life but never really expressed. Art is a birth right and major staple to my viability, it made me feel when I had nothing to give me emotion. Regardless of what I’ve decided to pursue I always end up back at square one; etching my architectural dreams, writing a poem or short story, making cds, or attempting to rap. Nothing was more soothing as a child than knowing the hottest drop being released so I can be the first to say I heard or saw it. Read more>>

Ana Williamson | Photographer

Believe it or not, I was never encouraged to pursue a career in art. Coming from a developing country – Brazil, the plans for the future always took a more safe/secure way. By that, I mean that we were always expected to either be a lawyer or a medical doctor and went for the lawyer since reading has always been a big hobby. Even though that was the expectation, I grew in an artistic family. My first memory is my mom painting and my dad playing the piano or taking pictures (that’s where everything started). As a kid, I had all opportunities to express myself in all ways and I choose to draw and take photographs, something that my father initiated my sister and I on. Read more>>

Destinee Rouse | Social Media Marketer & Musician

It’s funny, I always tell the same story of how I got here. I remember it was senior year of high school, from lil ol Columbus, Georgia, and I was applying to colleges. I had always been in creative spaces; I was in orchestra, I sang, I was in theatre, and I drew for fun. But when it came to what I wanted to do for my career & the rest of my life, I drew a blank. I was sitting on my mama’s living room floor, crying cause my older siblings were so much better off — the dramatics lol! Read more>>

Nuke Wolf | Music Producer & DJ

As a kid, music had always been around me. I loved all types of music and I even wanted to learn piano but back then I didn’t have the money for piano lessons. Soon enough, I got into the DJ business, & music became my passion. After that, I decided I wanted to make my own beats & stuff really just took off from there. I started producing in the Winter Break of 2019 & I haven’t stopped since then. I believe that every word & every note in a song tells a story, and I want to show mine to the world. Read more>>

Brooke Hoffman | Creator

Genetically, I got a dose of artistic abilities from both my mom and dad. And since I was young, I’ve been making art in some form or another. The reason I pursued a creative career, though, is that I honestly can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I can’t help but create. I often tell people that I had to start an art business, because I didn’t have the space or the money to keep creating as only a hobby! I love digging into and pursuing this passion more and more, and I firmly believe that creating is what I was created to do. Read more>>

Crystal Ochemba-Powell | Licensed Esthetician, Acne & Hyperpigmentation Specialist

I actually started my Esthetics and Beauty career as a brow and makeup artist. I had always struggled with both Teen and Adult acne. I went to school for my Esthetics license not knowing that I would be changing lives. As I learned more about the skin and how to treat acne, I was hooked! When I cleared my own acne and acne scarring, I knew that it was meant for me to help others. Read more>>

Adam Hagy | Sports Photographer

Originally I wanted to be an architect and design buildings or structures, growing up I would make blueprints for fun. However that dream was short lived when I discovered my aptitude for precise math did not measure up to what it takes to become an engineer. I knew I wanted to do something different, but among all the various paths I took nothing set my passions ablaze more so then photography. After my first taste of it I couldn’t get enough and there was no looking back. I had found my passion and I would spend the better part of a decade grinding it out, making many sacrifices to make this a sustainable career. Read more>>

Carsen Ramsey | Hairstylist

I always knew I had more to bring to the table than just your usual 9-5 job. My brain is constantly on the move and thinking of creative ways to express myself. I had the pleasure of being able to see my mom as a hairstylist growing up and I was able to see what exactly I could fulfill if I followed in her footsteps. I immediately knew from a young age that I* wanted to follow in those footsteps. I love being able to come to work everyday knowing that I could be changing a persons day for the better. Its never the same thing everyday and the way i”m able to express my creativity and also make the clients wants come true has always brought joy to me. Read more>>

Kanti Kasa | Singer/Rapper, DeeJay, Radio Hostess, Model, Actress

I’ve always been a creative, it almost feels like destiny you know? I was very introverted when I was younger but always found it easy to express myself through piano, poetry, and singing. Even my indigenous name is a meaning of art, Kanti Kasa meaning one who sings and dances in furs. People around the world can sometimes be so violent, and while my mother got me into different Martial Arts schools for discipline and defense, Sun Tzu and my sensei’s have taught me that expression is the most important thing, and extremely healthy for your body as a whole, in which I do all the time through my music. Read more>>

Zariah Willis | Music Artist and Influencer

As a young artist I found my niche. One day me and my family was playing around free styling and my mom and dad saw that I really was talented and knew how to rhyme really good. I have really good memory which help me remember my rhymes and freestyle. Everyday I am still working hard on creating my own style and creation. I really feel like this is my calling Read more>>

Tron Sagas | Musician

Peace of mind and clarity is what I aspire for throughout my life. Being a creative allows me to connect with different walks of life and learn from unique perspectives. Of course, in anything you are just starting will run the risk of not making a true profit. Fortunately for me I aspire for more of a humanitarian effort than anything. Pursing a career as a creative has aligned my ideals and given me the opportunity to complete life goals, create ideals and opportunities on my own terms. Read more>>

Stephanie Ayala | Fitness and Wellness Expert | Fashion Stylist | Songwriter | Social Media Manager

I feel like pursuing a creative career allowed me to be myself and work without hating my job. I have never worked your typical 9-5 job since my father never wanted me to work, he wanted me to go to school with no worries however I also wanted my OWN spending money that I worked hard to get, so I took action and since then I’ve only been hired remotely or as a freelancer. I was tired of this cycle, and decided to pursue a more artistic career in my preferred niche. I started off in a retail clothing store, which I actually liked because I was around clothes all the time! Once I had earned enough money, I bought myself a car and enlisted in a fashion course to advance my career further. I never once cared about the salary of a job, in fact, I’ve always payed more attention to the job description and whether or not I’ll actually love it. Read more>>

Angela Mathis | Art Model

I didn’t set out with the intention of pursuing a career as an art model, it was something that evolved from what I thought would be a one time thing. I have always loved photography, specifically landscape photography, and decided to learn how to use a digital camera that I had purchased years before. After I joined regional photography groups, I saw that many members needed people to practice with to learn their skills. I offered up my time to pose as a way to learn from the other side of the camera. Four years later, I am still learning from the other side of the camera by working with some of the most talented artists and photographers in the Southeast and around the world. Read more>>

Lauren Howard | Non-Profit Development Director & Professional Cosplayer!

I love it! I’ve always been participating in the arts! I was always in art or drama in school, all the while trying my hand at artistic side jobs/businesses. Being creative is my outlet, and I feel it enables me to be my best self. Read more>>

Darren + Trinity Cumberbatch | Branding Experts + Philanthropists

Well we really didn’t choose an artistic or creative career per-se. GOD did. He gave us the talent of being creative in all aspects of our lives. And what we mean by that is, not only do we create branding & graphic designs for our clients, but we also record music, paint, gourmet cook etc. So in every aspect of our lives our brains are always working to see how we can create. While most people are fans of other peoples work, we concentrate on how to get those products and ideas to those fans. So in a sense we never get a chance to enjoy the moment because we are on to the next awesome idea. Bummer. Just kidding. We love having a career and the opportunity to bring a clients’ vision to life. The joy on their face is the greatest thank you. Sometimes more than getting paid. Just kidding again. Read more>>

Shanae Thomas | Cosplayer, Podcast Host, Content Creator & Comedian

I decided to pursue and cultivate my cosplay career because back I’ve been around some form of art my entire life. Yes, in school we all have to take art class right? But in the fourth grade my art teacher decided to put me in Gifted and Talented art class. I honestly had no idea why but she saw something in me that needed to be let out. For the rest of my years of school up until I graduated highschool I was in some art class be it Photoshop and digital imagery, photography, shop class, and more. Read more>>

Ianakas | Illustrator

To be honest it felt like I was destined to pursue it. I’d been drawing for 20+ years and I always felt the most stimulating when I was creating, but I was too afraid to take that leap. That changed in 2020 when I was laid off due to COVID and I decided to give it an honest effort, and here we are. Read more>>

Afro Rican, Colli Park, 18th Soundproof Hunger Room | Podcasters/Interviewers

The idea of creating a podcast came about on a trip to South Africa. We’re a part of a large travel group that usually takes one big trip a year and that particular year we ended up in Johannesburg and Cape Town. While on the trip we would be off to the side having deep conversations about all aspects of life and before you know it, the entire group would find us and want to join in on our chats. From that point on we figured we could do something with that type of energy so we decided to form Soundproof Hunger Room podcast, We’ve been going at it for 2 yrs now and still enjoying it. Read more>>

Jazmine Nikao | Storyteller & Counselor

Ironically, I did not choose an artistic career, it sort of knocked on my door and I answered. I say this because I did not know I had artistic or creative ability until midway through graduate school. Since the age of eight through college I was an athlete. I still am to some degree, I’m just not as active; however my goals aligned with being an athlete. I did not even look in the direction of creativity growing up. I thought my father and my younger brother had the creative talent, not me. Read more>>

Bossi Demands | An Afro Latino artist, born and raised in Harlem, NY. Rapper, dancer, and a proud member of the LGBTQ Community!

Growing up, I was always into the arts. I was on the cheerleading team in school, I joined several dance groups throughout my teenage years, as well as stepping teams. Being that I’m a gay male, I was bullied a lot growing up. The frustrations of being bullied and not having a voice to stand up for myself when I was younger made me start writing my thoughts and feelings down. With doing that I found myself starting to turn those thoughts and feelings into music. Now that I’m so in love with writing, I feel as though my potential for reaching a successful music career, is limitless. I’ve become so infatuated with my music and newly found confidence. Read more>>

Kelsey Crawford | Dancer, Photographer and Model

I honestly never had any other desires in life. I was always pulled towards visual and performing arts. Even as a child, my mom told me so many stories about me singing, dancing, and writing stories. Read more>>

Khrystal Womack | Creative Enthusiast & Business Owner

I wanted to do something different. I have a degree in Criminal Justice. I’ve worked with in the Juvenile Justice and Foster Care system and I have an extensive amount of experience in the mental health field. I did that for the first half of my life. I call this half “the back nine.” This is where I decided that it was time to do what was best for me. One of my good friends says, “Don’t be afraid to suck at something new.” Read more>>

Summer Raaine Fox | Filmmaker, Choreographer, & Entrepreneur

I’ve had big dreams ever since I was a kid! Now I know that it was God who put those dreams on my heart back then. Later, I started to think my dreams were too big but God brought me right back around to the same dreams I’ve had since I was a kid. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a singer & performer so I can be in music videos with Missy Elliot and Ciara. Now I use that same passion to become a professional dancer/ choreographer and creative director. I used to want to be in Tyler Perry plays and movies, but now I know to use that passion to pursue a film career in acting, directing and producing! All in all, God already knew what He wanted me to do and what He put in my heart, so now I am following His plan and I love it! Read more>>