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.

Jaslyn Tate | Tattoo Artist

I’ve been an artist all my life. Since elementary I have been in Talented Art. Throughout grade school, I entered many art competitions and have been awarded many opportunities through doing so. At some point I thought I wanted to pursue Nursing but that thought didn’t last long. Taking a medical terminology course was the deciding factor. I designed flyers, club T-shirts, and even hand painted run-through signs for the football team. Once I graduated from high school, I decided to pursue a career in Graphic Design. Eventually I earned an apprenticeship and finally decided to try my hand at tattooing. Read more>>

Sariah Luna | Professional Photographer specializing in Maternity and Family photography

Taking photographs started at a young age. I always had a disposable camera with me when I went to camp or other trips and took pictures constantly to capture the memories. When I was 16 I went outside and happened to see this special cloud formation rainbow and was able to snap a picture of it with just my disposable 35 mm camera. It started my passion for photography. As a junior in high school I took a photography class with an old fashioned 35 mm film camera when i got to develop the film right there in class. It was sooooo much fun. Read more>>

Kirsten Nsirim | Full Stack Creative & Entrepreneur

It is important during this period in history to document our hearts through our passions. I have always been a creative person and participated in dancing, cooking, painting, poetry, and acting. I also know as a Black woman, it is important to set a spiritually grounded foundation for himself and the family I plan to build. I want my children to see that their Mother was not afraid to be herself and pursue her passions. I want them to know that you can build the world you want to live in, and it starts inside. Being honest about yourself, what you enjoy, what you won’t tolerate. Using what drives you to express yourself through your chosen mediums. Read more>>

Kahlil Cade | Video Director & Editor

I was always into the arts. From elementary school to college, I had an interest in drawing. In between drawing, I liked to act, beatbox, dance, and rap. I used to watch music videos all day in middle and high school, but I never thought that I would be making them one day. I always thought that I would always stay in front of the camera. Read more>>

Maria Williams | Artist & Model

I completely stop being creativity when I went to college; I didn’t draw or paint. Summer of 2017 I had My son and I had some downfalls happen during the same joyous time. Looking at him I decided I would chose to be positive or the negative in my life. I began to reinvent myself and found my love for art again. The rest is history. Read more>>

Dawn Bennett | Architect

I’m not sure I if I chose a creative career or if it chose me. With a father that was an engineer and a mother that is one of the most creatively talented people I’ve ever met, I guess you could say I had all the right DNA to become an architect. My favorite subjects in school were always math and art; so in a very naive way, I thought architecture might be a good “mix” of two of my strengths and loves. Honestly, it really isn’t; but it got me started thinking about the field. At an early age, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be a hair dresser or an engineer. While these two fields may seem worlds apart, when you learn a little more about me, you might find that this apparent dichotomy is characteristic and that by choosing architecture, I might just have found the perfect “happy medium” between the two. Read more>>

Tami Blackshear | Dessert Stylist

I am a lover of non-traditional and pursing an artistic and creative career was a no brainier for me. I noticed early on in life that my way of thinking, decision making, my fashion and my choice of hobbies were all in an non traditional but yet creative area. I knew for a fact that my creativity was a sense of drive for me when I repeatedly wore black and white stripped leggings like beetle juice in high school on a regular basis. Read more>>

Brooke Mason | R&B Singer/Songwriter

I am pursuing a creative career because I want to be authentic when it comes to my work. I want to have fun and enjoy my life while doing the things I love every day. I think everyone deserves that. The arts make me happy, music has helped me become the woman I am today and I am forever grateful to have found my purpose through art. Read more>>

Caroline Nix | Gallerist

The most reinvent is the life balance. Less mediocre, more risk can produce greater highs in life . I believe those highs equate to a happy work ethic and being a better business person. Solving problems in new ways, mapping out a thousand different routes to one destination. You are challenging yourself every day, searching for inspiration in the most mundane places. and breaking the routine of a normal career. I wanted a different path. Read more>>

DJ Weaver | Portrait Photographer

This is a question til this day I often ask myself and each time I come to the same conclusion. The short answer is that being able to create simply makes me happy. I’ve been blessed enough to have a creative mind so I would be negligent if I did not share that with the world. Ultimately what I love about this path is that each time I create I get to share something the world has never seen that is experienced differently by each individual. Now due to technology my work can be seen as my own digital footprint for years to come. Read more>>

Tirzah White | Educator & Small Business Owner

I think I would be a miserable person if I didn’t give myself the time and space to be creative. 2 goats + 2 acres is a one woman led show, so I’m responsible for creating the product recipes, deciding on the shape of each container and how I present the brand in the packaging. I find a lot of joy in creating a story with my company. As a generally quiet person, it allows me to create my ideas into a tangible object. Read more>>

Justin Jones | Licensed Cosmetologist & Artist

As a child I was always attracted to art. I began drawing at around the age of five. That quickly developed into sketching and painting. Then I fell in love with hair and the artistry of hairstyling. Throughout middle and high school I continued taking art courses as well as styling hair for family & friends. My mom always told me “no matter what is going on, somebody is gonna want their hair done!” Even during this pandemic, I am still getting request for hair styling. Read more>>

Ashley Means | Makeup Artist/Mentor

I chose an artistic career because being able to be creative and use my hands is truly home for me. I love the way it makes me feel, how it takes my mind off things and how in tuned I am with my art and creativity. It is pure joy, my peace, my place of solace, ultimately my everything. How I feel about my work has to be shared with others. I just only hope to bring that exact same joy to my clients. Read more>>

Diane Joseph | Dance Instructor

Being able to create; whether it is art, dance, fashion, is a beautiful thing. The process of releasing what your body is producing on the inside is powerful. I thoroughly enjoy being able to put my feelings, thoughts, or mood into dance. It is a healing process for me. When I see others dance, and it’s my choreography, it touches my soul! I see their interpretation of the moves, their creative side. I am so fulfilled when I create. Read more>>

Thomas Numprasong | Private Chef & Chocolatier

I pursued an artistic career because It’s pretty much the only thing I know how to do. I also hate money and never want to have a lot of it so this career path has worked out great so far. Yes that was a joke. On a serious note, the idea of sitting behind a desk all day or having to wear a suit to go to work has never lined up with my character. My parents owned a restaurant when I was growing up so I got started very early in the food industry. From there I worked in various restaurants all throughout high school. By the time I finished school I was well aware that cooking for a living was an option. Read more>>

Lakethia Jones | Licensed Medical Nail Technician

As a child, I’ve always loved art. I always loved to draw on notebook paper that was suppose to be for school. I would hand in my work and around the holes would be flowers. I drew pictures on the desk and took any opportunity to draw bubble letters if the teacher needed a volunteer to write something on the white board. Doing nails allows me to express my creative side with the art of relaxation, painting the toenail with precision and giving clients confidence to wear their feet in sandals that were embarrassed before. Read more>>

Maggie Yuen | Artist

I chose to pursue an artistic career because it was what I enjoyed most growing up. Anything creative from drawing, crafting, and even cooking was more enjoyable to me than math and science. No offense to the mathematicians and scientists out there of course! I think I just enjoyed using my hands to make something pretty or cute to look at as a kid and showing my parents my proud creations. I still do of course and my mom is always super proud of my work. So when it was time for me to choose a career path in high school, I didn’t hesitate to just go become a full time artist and make a living making things. It was honestly the best decision I have ever made. Read more>>

Umunique Nikki Williams | Stylist & Creative Director

I pursued a creative career because I realized early on that I have multiple talents, as well as multiple things that I do well; and I wanted to capitalize on ALL those things. The overall goal is to create an empire big enough to create generation wealth for my future children and grand-children. I’ve never been a fan being put in a box or labeled and I’ve always been a very expressive and creative person, so it kind of came naturally in a sense. Read more>>

Kimmie Strickland | Cake Artist & Owner of Kimmiees Cake Kreations

I would say that I didn’t really choose an artistic or creative career but it chose me. Even though being creative was like a second nature to me I never really thought to pursue it. I was definitely on the road to becoming a Pediatric nurse, I simply loved children and healthcare and still do to this day. I can remember every time there was something creative that we had to do at the hospital I was always right there to get the job done. Not to mention every time our department celebrated a birthday i looked forward to baking something really amazing for the staff. I can remember having a conversation with a former co-worker who asked me a simple yet mind boggling question, she asked “why are you here?”. Read more>>

Malia Sioux | Tattooer

I was raised by my father who was a strong artist and musician. It never occurred to me to pursue anything but art. Read more>>