We asked some of the city’s leading artists and creatives to tell us about how they decided to pursue an artistic or creative career. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Alistar | Rapper & Singer/Songwriter

I was gifted with a family, that has unique creative talents that prepared me for my journey as an up and coming hip-hop singer/rapper. My mom, an advanced level dancer able to take on many styles anywhere from Rajasthani folk dance to hip-hop, gifted me with the ability to dance and have an ear for rhythm. She has even put on shows and created her own record label. On the other side, my dad is an advanced writer and spoken word poet, which genetically is where I’ve received my literacy for writing the lyrics for my music. Read more>>

NIA | Songwriter/Artist/Musician

I pursued an artistic/creative career because initially it felt natural. I say initially because, now it’s turned into a whole other bigger meaning. But, initially words would start to come to my head easier, plus playing around with my flow and rhyming style. I just loved doing it, figured I was pretty decent, people were starting to tell me how great I was once I finally built the courage to release and I really love writing, so I figured why not be a songwriter. Read more>>

Morgan E. Lawrence | Designer and Motion Graphics Artist

In short, cause I like it. I feel the most in alignment when I’m coming up with concepts, visual problem solving, or physically creating art. I work even when I don’t feel like it, but I go easier on myself those days. It also came naturally to me. I feel like a kid indulging in the visual, and tactile, experiences of life. While getting serious when it comes to the execution or ideation of a design. Read more>>

Zamiyah Jackson | Photographer

Photography was always one of those skills that people pay attention to detail to especially after editing. I would see photographers on Instagram showcasing all their artistic themed photographs and I felt captivated and wanted to learn more about this art. My mom bought me my first ever camera in 2018 and gifted it to me on Christmas day, and since then I would take it almost everywhere with me. Read more>>

Betty Green aka PhettieG | Actor, Broadcaster, DJ, Dancer, & Health Coach

I was an entertainer before I even knew it since a little girl. I loved to dance and I loved to sing. I would act out scenes and lip sync music videos. I always knew my passion was within the media arts field. It was something that I enjoyed and that didn’t feel like work which is why I pursued my careers in acting, broadcasting, disc jockey, and dancing. Read more>>

Chania Price | Model, Dancer and Content Creator

I have always had a love for art and being creative. It comes naturally to me, and it allows me to express myself and not feel like I’m boxed in. I am a passionate person and it shows in my content. Read more>>

Kimberly Blake | Actress , Director , Writer

Art has always spoken to me in ways that nothing else can. When I’m feeling sad, I listen to music or re-binge my favorite series, when I’m feeling inspired I may go see a local musical or play, When I feel isolated I write and explore that feeling, and so on and so forth. Art has a healing element engraved in its DNA, almost as if it was created to be the key to everyone’s inner battles. Creativity is a force so powerful that it can pull people out of depression, inspire people to create new tomorrows, and even cure broken hearts. Read more>>

John Jahni” Moore | Creative spirit manifest in the flesh/artist/writer”

It was in me to do, to go against the odds. Not in the sense of base defiance but a knowing of who I am and what I am to bring to this planet. Anything else would be a denial of my purpose and anything that does not fulfill or operate on purpose is somewhat expendable. In fact it’s a liability in that if it does not serve the intended purpose, it slows down or halts progress. So as an artist, a creative, I have to be aware of the necessity of what I do and the role it is to perform in this space we called life. Read more>>

Erica (Kika) Charleston (Heart) | Actress && Owner of Legendary

I choose an artistic or creative career because, I could never go one day without being creative. I would have dreams of performing on stages, and crowds cheering as a little girl. I began singing at the age of six in church. I started rapping by age twelve. In elementary school my music teacher notice, I had a passion for music. My teacher would always tell me to never smoke or I would lose my voice. I never did smoke, I already knew what I wanted at a very early age && I definitely knew I would need my voice. Read more>>

Keyshia Gee | Cosmetologist & Wig Designer

I would say it chose me! I always thought that, my career would be something I had to go out and learn & hone in on, as a new skill. However, hair & makeup was very second nature for me, So it took me a little while to figure out that the skill was always there & choosing a career in the beauty field was the only thing that made sense to me. Read more>>

Tahiera Brown | Darkness To Light Films, CEO

As a child I always admired creative people. I always found myself in the presence of performers or I was asked to participate in events that kept me connected. A creative career actually chose me. A casting agent literally took me under her wings and taught me from the ground up. The struggle was as real as it gets, as she did not show me any favors. I love to write and I love watching creative people bring stories to life. It doesn’t matter to me of it’s a play, a musical or a film. Bring a creative individual meeting others like me was my driving force. Read more>>

LaNisha Candice | Movement Artist & Content Creator

Why did I choose an artistic/creative career? Well that’s simple, God created us to be creative. We all know he made us in his image but what most people do NOT put together is that God is the CREATOR, he is the most CREATIVE and since we are made in his image we too are meant to express that very thing through the creativity he blessed us with! Read more>>

Timm Knight | Filmmaker/Author/Recording Artist

To be honest the creative arts choose me. And I’m glad it happened that way as opposed to me chasing after something that seemed cool to do because others are doing it. This created a relentless desire to get all of the ideas from music, books, and films out of my head and into the proper format to reach the people it’s supposed to reach. Considering art is rather subjective if I didn’t love to express myself I would have given up a long time ago. Most often, it’s very little return on investment but I hold onto the thought that I only have to win one time. Read more>>

Hannah Defler | Actress

I believe this allows me to live through more of a creative mind space and being able to do a career that I enjoy and love is important to me. Read more>>

Tadric Jermaine | Musician, Producer, & Engineer

I started my musical brand to share my talents with the world, teach others how to play/create music, and work with those who need lessons, musical support, and collaboration. Read more>>

Michael Rogan | Filmmaker

I think deep down I always knew I wanted to work in the film industry and live a creative life. However, I was too hesitant to start early. Where I grew up, I didn’t have a reference or a person I could reach out to and say “Hey, you made it doing this, and I want to do what you’re doing, so how can I get there?” Inevitably, it led me to adjacent paths. Think marketing, advertising, social media management, etc. There’s nothing to look down on for those careers, but there was a voice in my head that wouldn’t go away. Read more>>

Monti The Artist | Artist, Songwriter, Producer, Human Rights Advocate

I don’t remember every really “choosing” my artistic career. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been creative and artistic. Starting at the early age of 4 years old as a professional entertainer growing up dancing, singing, acting, and modeling I had already started a career without knowing I had started a career. I’ve never really been someone who didn’t know what I was going to do when I grew up and with my life. Read more>>

Jarrod Barnes | Costume Designer

I believe the arts are the foundation of civilization. Without them, ideas lay stagnant and dreams are suppressed. Being an artist, I am burdened to release the thoughts and images in my mind and manifest them into tangible work that provokes thought, joy, and truth. Read more>>