Artists and creatives face innumerable challenges given that their career path often doesn’t come with a playbook, a steady paycheck or any form of safety net. It’s definitely not easy and so we asked a few of the artists and creatives we admire to talk to us about why they chose to pursue an artistic or creative career.

Cory Smith | Digital Media Strategist & Content Creator

A creative career kind of found me. This wasn’t something that was a dream of mine, in fact, I didn’t even know it was something that people really did early on. I was volunteering in ministry years ago and we needed some flyers but no one could do it, so I kind of learned. I was horrible at it hahaha, but I did it. Then we needed videos, and so on. As I grew, my passion and talent grew, and then I knew I wanted to use what I’d learned to help others win. Read more>>

Nitia Johnson | Motivational Speaker/Boutique Owner

Being creative is one of my strongest characteristics and to be able to showcase that in my brand excites me very much. I chose a creative career because through art you can explain so much in detail and at the same time keep it simple. For me, being able to express myself in a manner where I can project positivity and change the auras around me is a good deed. For example, being able to create a video or course in order to teach healing, accountability, love, awareness and having the necessities to create content to grab others attention is what Peach Aura hopes to achieve. Read more>>

Brenda Vanessa López | Photographer & Artist

I chose an artistic career because I knew it would provide the utmost freedom for me. Freedom to create, express, learn, grow, and expand. Freedom to be human and not only accept but celebrate my mistakes through Art. Read more>>

Tia Taylor | Dessert Specialist

I enjoy the freedom creativity brings, going to Johnson and Wales for baking and pastry narrowed that energy down to things I could create that inspired others and brought them joy and euphoria. You just don’t get to provoke nostalgia and excitement like this in any career. The pride that comes with creating something new or modifying something old keeps me motivated and fulfilled. Read more>>

Tracy Bain | Cookie Cutter Designer & Creator

I have always had a love for art. I can remember in the 2nd grade making a Christmas wreath from a wire clothes hanger, sparkly tissue paper and feeling like I have found my place. Throughout school my favorite class would always be Art. I loved that there was not a right or wrong, There were just mediums; paper, paintbrushes, paint, clay. Making something different than everybody else was ok. And I found that I was good at creating things. Drawing, painting, molding, Just making something beautiful. Read more>>

Angela Medlin | Owner of Angela Medlin Photography LLC

One of my first memories was drawing with crayons, exploring watercolors, and sculpting with playdough. The raw creative freedom art gave me always made me happy, so it only made sense to find a career in a creative field in some form or another. Art has a way of breaking barriers, it evokes emotions, it tells a story. It doesn’t matter if we speak different languages or have polar opposite lifestyles, a work of art can create a sense of unity between strangers. That’s the power of art. Read more>>

Sha Bowers | Professional Makeup Artist

I’ve always had a passion for being a creator. I decided to pursue an artistic career because it allowed me to express myself, my culture and it allowed me to take hands on tasks with just my imagination. Art is not only a gift it’s a passion. Having a creative mind will allow you to become more diverse and open to try many things! The moment I knew I had a passion for beauty and cosmetics I knew it was because it allowed me to be me in every form. Read more>>

Riki Prosper | Designer

Ever since I was a kid I’ve always had a affinity for art. Both of my parents were always super supporting and are huge inspirations for me. My mom has always been into photography and later in life photoshop. I remember her cutting and pasting my friends and my head on batman and friends bodies for a birthday party invitation. Also having a great art teacher in Elementary school was a huge help, major shouts to Mrs. Turner. Other than my brief dream of being a pizza tosser at Mellow mushroom as a kid, I’ve always wanted to make art for a career. From a skateboard deck designer to album cover art directors, I’ve wanted to make it all. Read more>>

Rodney Pointer | Caz The Creator & Photographer

Honestly it came to me naturally. I am known as Caz, the photographer but I am so much more. I am a model, a creative director , a stylist/designer which made me pursue my creative career. I attend the art institute of Atlanta where I study media arts & animation which lead me into my creative outlet. While being there I begin to tap into modeling & styling heavily which opened other doors and avenues. I was able to take animation and fashion harmoniously merging them together sketching clothing design and artsy concepts. I was able to bring my vision to for wishing modeling for the brand cease and desist while also styling for bagaeast around the same time. I continued my grind getting booked for a major styling gig right here in my home town which lead me to getting behind the camera. Now here I am , a full time photographer, being a Studio manager at studio21 atl. Read more>>

Rob RITE | Artist/writer/music engineer

I always felt like I was an “outside of the box” thinker. And contrary to me hating school, I always loved English class and writing. I always wrote poems growing and up, and I always loved to dance and think of different ways to do things. At that point I knew i wanted to do something to expand my creativity and challenge my mind. Read more>>

Ori Gal | Photographer

I chose to be a photographer because photography is a way for me to share the way I see the world with other people. Years of constantly looking for light and compositions have trained my eye to see the world through a unique perspective, and through my camera, I’m able to show people how beautiful the world can be, even in her most mundane places. Also, other photographers’ photos (especially landscapes) have inspired my sense of wanderlust and have helped me get through dark times in my life because I can say to myself, “One day I’ll be there. I will get through this and I will be there.” If even one person looks at one of my photos and gets that sense of hope that can pull them through a difficult time, I will have reached my goal. Read more>>

Reagan Mclean | Artist

I pursued an artistic creative career because art has always been my passion. I express my emotions through creating so others that can feel what I feel and know that they are not alone in whatever they are going through. Growing up I’ve always loved music and music loved me. Read more>>

Naydu | Afrobeat artist

Very simply, if you care about something really bad, so much that it keeps you up at night, then you ought to be doing such thing whatever it is – this is my frame of mind and why I am pursuing my passion in recording and putting my music out to the world. Read more>>

Ashley Mozingo | Creative Conceptualist & Motivational Speaker

I’ve never considered myself a business woman or creative until I was paid for someone wanting to have a conversation with me. My mind is a vast place of numerous ideas. I feel like many businesses birth from something we want to see in the world. I consider myself an artist of many things, but my business is myself. I feel for many entrepreneurs, we are the business. Our businesses were birth because we wanted to see ourselves in the world and help those who have similar stories to us. Read more>>

Kiosh Monroe | Superstar Host, Comedian, & Artist

The artistic/creative career actually chose me but I later fell in love with idea of knowing that I could actually make all of my dreams my reality. Read more>>

Daulton Reed | Drummer, Violent Rays

Being able to perform on stage provides an opportunity to be “in the moment” and allows everyone present to be equal and have something to relate to. It’s a moment in time in which problems, worries, stresses are not in the forefront. Expressing ourselves artistically not only allows us to be ourselves, judgement free, but also provides a voice to the voiceless. Ultimately, we want to inspire others to be themselves, unapologetically. Read more>>

Wormdiet | VFX artist

Creativity has always been a part of me, I can’t control my creativity. I’m always creative and I’m always thanking of new things I can create, that’s why I love video editing I can let all my ideas and creative thoughts flow into a video in so many different ways. I also love the community there are so many amazing and inspirational people you can meet in the creative field! I love everyone I’ve met so far and continue to meet! So I guess I didn’t really pursue this career it’s just who I am. Read more>>

Ruben “Baby Horchata” Ramirez | Actor, Comedian, Director, Writer, Co-Owner of Starpower Film Company, Producer, Public Speaker

Mental health. I saw how entertainment can literally make someone’s day and make people happy. I knew if I entered the entertainment world I could help people at a larger scale. I noticed I had the ability to make people laugh and when I spoke people would listen. Becoming a comedian came shortly after I began acting and the love for both grew as time went. I just want to create escapes for people. I want to make people smile. I want to make people FEEL! Read more>>

Marcus Miller | Graphic Designer/ Photographer

I didn’t take to sports growing up and didn’t show interest in most subjects in school; art was the field of study that I naturally gravitated in. After spending an early part of my life in The Bronx, NY, I was introduced to many art forms. The city itself was a covered canvas that visually enticed me. Graffiti-covered buildings, billboards, and the occasional train car were the forms of art I would see daily. Read more>>

Micah Lim | Hip-Hop Artist and Producer

For me, it was all about having an outlet to spread a message and a story. As a son of two Korean immigrants, living in Metro Atlanta as a Korean-American has given me many unique experiences. Despite not even having a driver’s license yet, my childhood growing up as one of, if not the only Korean at school, shaped the person I am. The ignorance of other classmates – whether they judged me for the size of my eyes, or what was on my plate – left a lasting impression from the start, and I even started to reject my Korean side. But as time went on, I began to realize the importance of my differences; they were what made me who I am, and I knew I needed to start taking pride in that. Read more>>

Ashle Colston | Executive Creative Director & Birmingham Realtor

Well the simple answer is: I love art. Whether it is drawing, painting or letting my creative juices flow digitally, art holds a special place in my heart. I stumbled across my profession in a high school course called “Intro to Advertising”. That course really gave me an insight on how to be a “Profitable Artist”. As I went on to pursue a degree in Creative Advertising at the University of Alabama, I quickly learned about the extreme lack of diversity in the Advertising industry. Not only was their a lack of black people but there was a lack of black women. I truly believe this one statistic is what pushes me everyday. Read more>>

Tara P LeGall | Painter, Illustrator & Designer

I pursued a creative career because I had to. It really is just in me to constantly create and use my artistic skills. Since before I can remember I’ve been drawing and taking photos and making crafts. I don’t ever remember a time where I wasn’t using my creativity in some way. And the moments where I life hits me and things get rough, doing something creative is what helps me get through it. Starting a painting or sketching a new design helps me find peace. All in all I honestly feel like the creative path chose me. Read more>>

Michie Marshall | Creator and Designer of Tutus N U

Actually, the artistic creative career kind of pursued me. I have a degree in business Management, and was working as the Office Manager of this company making good money. I had just purchased a house and then all of a sudden, the company decided to move to Tampa, FL and since I just purchased a house, I couldn’t move so I was out of a job. I had to do something quick. Read more>>