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.

Nadia Lumpkin | Painter & Customer Service Agent

I believe that nobody should ever do something that doesn’t bring them joy. I try to pursue joy and happiness every single day, and when thinking of potential career choices, it seemed like a no-brainer to go the artistic route, as I have always had a knack for creativity. The feeling that I get when I finally see my visions come to life in a piece of artwork is unmatched! I love being able to express myself through the work that I do. The most gratifying aspect of my job is seeing people take home my creations and carry a piece of me with them. Read more>>

Darnele Chisholm | Master Barber

Honestly, it was the only option for me. Out of all the jobs that I’ve had, the job of a barber was the only one that was consistent and was the only role that truly made me happy. It took discipline and scarifies for me to find the right school (to get the official licenses needed), but it was 100% worth it in the end! I love what I do, so to me it’s like I get to work in my passion and calming everyday! Read more>>

Sterling Freeman | Author, Illustrator, and Entrepreneur

Ever since a kid, I have always been involved in visual/creative arts and entrepreneurship — partially because I naturally gravitated to both. In the arts, I did theatre, dance, songwriting, poetry, and graphic design. As an entrepreneur, my parents had my brother and I helping run our own vending machines at single digit ages. I started doing custom art for classmates’ binders around 8 years old and after 8th grade I started my own clothing business and then store by 15. Read more>>

Tabreya Register | Food Blogger & Creator

I have always had a passion for the arts. I found that I felt more alive when I was using parts of myself that I often can’t tap into when working in a field that is not creative. I think I really just got tired of going through the motions and feeling stagnant. Everything felt really routine. I wanted a career where I could share passion with other people but also grow; Read more>>

Kelius Shannon | Photographer

I honestly never saw myself pursuing an artistic career when I was young. I was always more into sports, games, and other things like that. As I got a little older I started to search a little for things that actually interested me. Of course I’ve always had a passion for sports, but when my parents bought me my first camera, I fell in love with it. I had other friends that took pictures at the time as well and seeing the things that they were creating sparked the beginning of my love for photography. Read more>>

LaDara McKinnon | Abstract Artist & Art Instructor

I chose to pursue an artistic career because it allowed me to follow my passion, to combat the stigma associated with artists, and to use my education and experience independently. I have been creative for as long as I can remember. When I started college, I was an accounting major and worked in the fast food industry. My partner discovered a doodle I’d drawn and strongly suggested that I take an art class. I had been resistant to following art as my career because of people’s perception of artists as low income earners. Read more>>

Mama Bee | The Mama Bee Experience – Creative Consultant & Artist Development Manager

Mama Bee productions is the ongoing process of my creative experiences. I have been a performing artist my whole life. This company is the natural occurrence of things when you are a creative Goddess. The chance of success is greater when you pursue that which you love and thrive in. My passions turned into a career, my career into a company, my company shall be my legacy, and that legacy into generational wealth. Read more>>

Zaria Hall | Singer-Songwriter/ Keyboardist

I always knew I wanted to have a career in the arts. I fell in love with the arts at a young age. I began taking piano lessons at the age of 4, singing at the age of 9, playing viola at the age of 11, creating visual art pieces at the age of 12, songwriting and composing at the age of 13, and diving headfirst into the world of theatre at the age of 14. Read more>>

LuAnna Gerdemann | Photographer & Videographer

Creativity and the arts have always brought me joy in life. Growing up, I was a band kid and enjoyed the experience of making music and performing. Fast-forward to college, I worked for the student newspaper as a photojournalist, which sparked my interest in pursing a career in photography. I began taking portraits in my free time and fell in love with creating images that capture the human spirit. I think everyone has a unique story and sharing those stories through visual media has become a great passion of mine. Read more>>

Alleah Pretlow | Traveling Photographer

When I was younger I struggled with self expression. I kept most of my emotions bottled up with eventually lead to a break down. Photography is what saved me. I chose to pursue a creative career because it allows me to fully express myself without the need for words. Photography is my most detailed form of self expression. Every image I produce gives me a deep feeling of fulfillment. I’m so grateful that I’m able to wake up everyday and do something that I love so much and is also appreciated by others. Read more>>

Demetri Landell | Actor, Writer and stop motion animator

for years As a child, I was unable to live a normal childhood or build a career for myself due to overcoming health problems and being in the children’s hospital repeatedly. around the same time when i was in high school it became my dream to be a celebrity. i decided to start an acting career as an actor, writer, director & producer to accomplish big things and as a way to create new ways to help empower others who’ve been through a rough road of similar circumstances Read more>>

Lauren Robledo | Social Media Manager & Content Creator

I’ve always been a creative person, ever since birth, turning that creative side of my brain off is especially hard for me. I attended and art magnet elementary school and took graphic design throughout high school. I guess I owe a lot of my creativity to my parents, my dad is a graphic designer and my mom is a seamstress. Read more>>

Lady Scribe | Senior Publicist | Event Planner

Freedom of expression. It’s been a savings grace to be able to do something that I love and have it called work. Read more>>

Diamond Abreu | Filmmaker, Writer, Cinematographer

As a kid, I always escaped to different worlds– whether it was playing with my dolls, watching films with my father, or reading comic books. I was always somewhere else mentally. Creating stories is my superpower, a way for me to warp my reality and at the same time create something in the present moment. Filmmaking is a dreamscape for me to explore, to learn, and to heal while being safe. Read more>>

Angell Troxler | Blogger, Educator, and Photographer

Honestly, creativity has always found a way to me. It wasn’t until I became an educator that I realized that it indeed is one of my gifts. The more I poured into it the more it multiplied. I started a blog ( and doing some local modeling and slowly got bored just taking pretty pictures, but found myself intrigued by the magic behind the lens. During the pandemic I was encouraged by one of my photographer friends to really explore and create…. And that’s how I started my photography business. Read more>>

Rolexxx | Artist

Growing up my pops used to rap and my mom was in the choir. So I use to listen to her sing all the time and I use to sneak and listen to his cassette tapes. Even my older cousins had a lil rap group called the first street gangstas, so I’ve always been around music which made me pursue it Read more>>