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.

Nevaeh McGuire | Author, Poet, and Artist

I am pursuing a creative career because creativity is a gift that makes the world brighter. From tv shows to video games to music, it’s the ability to create that allows uniqueness to shine in an otherwise dull world. I don’t know what I’d do without music to listen to every day or what kids would do without cartoons to keep themselves entertained. I see these blessings and want to give back and add to the light with my own stories and worlds I’ve created. Read more>>

Tamara Tisdale | Life Coach & Entrepreneur

Identifying boundaries, knowing how or when to set them. Masking daily struggles with confidence all while battling generational traumas that were deeply suppressed. The lack of unconditional love to self and not truly understanding how to adequately give others the love they truly needed. Constantly faced with the frequent frustrations of the push-pull in relation, situation and friendships kept me bound, which lead to countless years of me trying to escape the negative, unhealthy and toxic views brought on by self and others. Read more>>

James Johnson | 3D Rigging artist

I grew up in South Africa nearby Plettenburg bay in the Western Cape, I was always fascinated by animals from the elephants at the Knysna Elephant Park to the baboons that raided farmers crops. I found nature to be incredibly engaging in my younger years. At first I wanted to work with animals as a zookeeper or become a zoologist because I wanted to help the animals we share this planet with. Read more>>

Robert Gilmore | Dance Instructor & Choreographer

When I was a kid, my grandmother took me to see Alvin Ailey’s dancers at the Detroit Opera House. I was so amazed by the way they moved so effortlessly, and their passion was just incredibly apparent in their performance. It was such a refreshing feeling, and in that moment, I knew for a fact that I wanted to be a dancer and I was going to make that happen no matter what. Read more>>

Laila Treadwell | Photographer

My name is Laila i own a photography company called Twixx productions. I pursued this career because it became an outlet for my mental health as a adolescent. I was bullied , abused and tormented by peers and people around me and i needed an outlet to set me free. In high school i fell in love with video production and photography. It was a way for me to express how i felt n to let go. The toughest times became my most beautiful photography. Read more>>

Mercedes Oliver | Graphic Designer & Photographer

This question is so important to me because creativity has been such a big part of my life. I come from a family of creative people, my mom is an interior designer, my brother went to school for graphic design, my little sister is pursuing photography, my dad is an entrepreneur that can draw, and then there’s me the photographer, graphic designer, and sometimes videographer when those skills are called upon. Read more>>

Tamara Morgan | Actress, Activist, Author, CEO, Executive Producer & Podcast Host

It’s always been in my blood to create. Along with being a CEO, I’m an actress. Surrounded by creative people all the time so there was so much room for inspiration in my life. My whole family has done nothing but CREATE & it naturally came to me. When I had the idea to start my own non-profit business, I immediately thought of women. Then I dug deeper into a bigger problem, which is homelessness. Homeless women who have absolutely nothing, let alone feminine products to cater to their needs & as we know it, Women4Change came to be. Read more>>

Meadow Maraj | Singer/Musician & Hair Stylist

I discovered my purpose at a very young age. My purpose is leave leave what or whoever I come in contact with better or happier than when I first encountered it. As a singer/musician I share a piece of myself with audiences and aim to leave them feeling happier, refreshed, and cleansed. As a hairstylist, I aim to help my clients have a healthier, more beautiful head of hair than they started with. Once I knew my purpose it was easy to choose my career paths. Read more>>

Ahmad Martin | Photographer

I definitely decided to pursue this career because I wasn’t looking to just work another 9-5 minimum wage job. I worked my first and only job at 21 and after I got fired I swore to never do that again. I was a still a photographer at the time but working 40 hour weeks killed my creative side. I felt like I wasn’t really living my life and was doomed to be working for the rest of my life. I always loved being creative so when they fired me I knew it was a sign that I need to be doing something else. Read more>>

Jajuan Hill | I am a 3x self published author, screenwriter and motivational speaker.

It hasn’t been something that I intentionally pursued through my journey. I played sports for about 15 years of my life, and that was my primary outlet of expressing how I felt inside, both good and bad. Once that ended, I needed a new creative outlet. So, I began simply writing poems, then I had a friend suggest that I write a book and I just tried it. Not because I had big dreams of being an author, but simply because I wanted to create space for new ideas since sports was gone. I didn’t actually commit to being a creative until I experienced the joy of another person appreciating my work. Read more>>

Salomé Robert-Murphy | Actress

I was raised totally immersed in the arts. My grandparents are actors and my parents are music and film fanatics. Performing was always a hobby of mine and as I grew older I realised it was the only thing I could see myself doing as a career. I think artists are innately so connected to their emotions and have so much to say and share with the world, and this is definitely true for me. My career really allows me to express and stay true to myself and I’m so grateful that I am able to do what I love. Read more>>

Olivia-Sade Gonzalez | Multi-Talented Creative

Being creative is something that’s always been apart of who I am. From years of dancing, enrolling in every art and fashion class my high school offered to now creative directing (@creather.online on Instagram) and pursuing my own brand (@oliviasade.co on Instagram), it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. There’s magic behind bringing something that you’ve wrote down, planned and invested in to life for others to see and enjoy. Read more>>

SpiderTiff | Twitch Streamer & Content Creator

Since I’ve been a kid, I’ve always been pursuing dreams that were kind of outside the “norms” of society. With that, I’ve managed to find every way to break outside the mold that was set for me. I kind of felt myself deviating away from a normal life more and more recently and then one day I found Twitch. Streaming on Twitch kind of brought everything together for me, and I found a place I could call home. It’s a place where I can be my nerdy, outgoing, loud self and enjoy that with the community we’ve created through playing Video Games. Read more>>