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.

Ashley Rose Nicholas | Model, Actress, and Role Model

When I decided to pursue a career in the arts it felt like following this feeling of just knowing. Storytelling has always been second nature to me so I honestly couldn’t imagine myself pursuing anything else. My family was always supportive of my dreams and instilled a never ending hunger to go for what I want so when I dove head first into my creative endeavors making it a career wasn’t an option… it was my end all be all. The arts is a magnificent space that has the power to change people in multiple regards. It gave me the freedom to explore different perspectives I may not necessarily have thought of or even experienced in life yet. Art has the power to make empathy contagious. That is all I’ve ever wanted to use my gifts for. If I can make Atleast one person feel less alone and understood then I’ve fulfilled my calling. Read more>>

Meca Sica | Natural Hair Braider

I perused a creative career because art is who I am. I grew up in a Haitian family where music, parties, cooking, and language plays a huge factor in my culture. Being around so much vibrant things is what made me get into doing hair. I always loved how art and creativity made me feel and how it brings unity. It’s in my blood, so I don’t really think I perused my career path it chose me. As a young girl, I’d watch my aunts take time to do each other’s hair on Saturday’s. They’d have their personal roller set boxes with shampoos, conditioners, and portable dryer. Read more>>

Liz T. Howard | Small Business and Lifestyle Photographer & Videographer

When I started doing freelance photography, I was focused on the thought of being a full time artist. I graduated from The University of North Carolina with an arts degree, and i also went to a performing arts high school in DeKalb. it’s just something that I feel very passionate about. Originally, I focused on videography work alone, but now I’ve incorporated photography to sort of expand my horizons and I fell in love. Read more>>

Lorenza Mitchell | Master Barber

I chose an artistic or creative career because I’ve always been outspoken and very creative. Also a fast learner. I started cutting my own hair when I was 11 years old and it carried on into my personal and social life. I decided to make a career of it and go to school in 2006-2007 and got licensed in the state of Georgia in 2008. I’ve been through my ups and I’ve had my downs but to this day I still do what I love and have a strong passion to be a better me than I was the day before every day. Read more>>

Vis Uno Maddness | Master of Microphones

In life, I believe that each and every person has been appointed a special skill level that enhances the individuality that we possess. We all have talents and abilities, that only God has provided, that should be displayed to positively impact the energy of the world. Since a youth, I’ve always been obsessed with microphones. Humbly, I’ve been blessed with an incredible voice which I consider to be one of my powers. When I talk, ears listen. My voice added to a microphone produces magic. When we don’t even try to use the gifts God gives us, it is a slap in the face to the Almighty! I had to just try and it worked. We are all art!! Art is Freedom!! Read more>>

Jenny Bunny Davis | Tattoo artist, Business Owner

I come from a traditional Asian family, where the vocational expectations were very rigid. Both my parents were scientists, I am very logical and science minded, and I could have easily gone into the field of science or medicine. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. Literally. I could not continue living with myself, wondering, “What if I pursued my dream of becoming a tattoo artist?” Tattooing was something I had dreamed about since I was a child. It was perfect for the kind of lifestyle I wanted to have as an adult – making my own schedule, being my own boss (after many years of paying my dues and building a clientele), no dress code, I can travel with my work, etc. Read more>>

Diamond Williams | Treat Maker and Baker

I pursued a creative career because I like to come up with ideas and create. I have always been creative way before I had my daughter. I love to decorate… especially party decor. I have always made favors and flavor boxes for my family members parties ever since I could remember. Once I decided to move to a new city and take on a job that paid less money, I knew I needed to find an extra income. I was asked if I knew how to make candied apples by an employer and I took off from there. After that first order, I knew I was going to be a treat maker. Read more>>

Crystal Castleberry | Jewelry Creator – Owner of Ode To Belle

I’ve always loved being creative, whether it is writing, styling, or drawing. But I fell into creating jewelry because it brings so much peace into my life. I created my first piece after trying to purchase a necklace from another creator. I did not have a good experience, so I decided to try to make one myself. Making that first necklace felt so natural to me, like a natural talent I didn’t know I had. This inspired me to progress and improve my jewelry making skills, and that’s when I knew it would be a great career for me. Read more>>

Tamika Shaunta’e Howard | Author/Entrepreneur

Creativeness has always been a part of who I am. From the age of 2 my mom can tell the story of me seeing a Charmin commercial and reenacting it out. It costs her a whole bag of toilet tissue but she could only laugh. I believe God blessed me with a beautiful imagination from birth and it just began to manifest within me the older I got. I started off writing music, poetry, and even started to explore cooking in my pre-teens to finally finding my real passion in writing books. Creating things and coming up with new ideas is just something I’m natural at. I consider myself to have a very unique mind and nobody else possesses it. There are no limits for me. My mind is always cooking up something new and special to present. Read more>>

madam cj | Singer/Songwriter, Womb Wellness Dance Instructor, Author and CEO of Hattie Evelyn’s Movement Apothecary and Divine Clementine Bath and Body

I pursued an artistic career because I needed the freedom to be myself at all times. Read more>>

Jasmine Glenn | CEO of Cool Drool LLC

I’ve always been a dog person! I loveeeee dogs! I have my own and I love him dearly! The idea came from having to leave my pup Diego, at home alone. I always hated that feeling and when it came time to say goodbye I could always see how sad he was. I then started thinking of ways that I could work and make income but didn’t require me to leave my dog home alone. I also started thinking “what if there was another dog friendly place and what would it be?” My pup LOVES his snacks, he has his own snack cabinet. I would make him his own treats and then I started thinking. Ice cream is a simple luxury most of us enjoy, why not let our loyal furry friends enjoy it as well? My end goal is to have my own dog ice cream park, where puprents can bring their fur babies. However, for now I think my main problem has been solved haha. Read more>>

Tela Harmond | Hair Stylist

I’ve always danced to the beat of my own drum! I’ve always loved being in control and held solely accountable for my own work! I wouldn’t have lasted 10 minutes in a traditional work setting being and artist is a way of life!! Read more>>

Kendra Dandy | Artist/Illustrator

It just seemed like a natural thing to do as a lifelong creative person who has always enjoyed art. The tough part was figuring out how to make it into a viable career since it is notoriously difficult to thrive in this area. After many years of hard work and persistence, it paid off and I couldn’t be happier about it. Read more>>