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.

Nagea Kirkley | Howard University Student & Junior Project Manager

What I do is create unique projects that help people in need. What I do is called project management. I decided to pursue a creative career because I didn’t want to be constrained by the traditional jobs with offices, suits, and time stamps. The thought of that was always really restrictive, monotonous, and scary. On this path, I can travel and talk to people from different backgrounds, create new events and seminars that help those in need, and have memories that say I have explored this world and made a positive impact. Read more>>

Milos Collins | Recording Artist & Producer

I started making my own music back in high school. At the time I was moving around a lot and was always the new kid, so adjusting was hard for me. Through these tough times I discovered my love for making music and the peace it brought me. Ever since then making music has been a therapeutic way to express myself and deal with my issues in life. Read more>>

Nathalya Damota | Owner & Artist

I have always been a very creative person. During my sophomore year of high school I took an art class and I realized that I was good at illustrating. I never thought of pursuing it as a job, but in 2020 during quarantine God placed in my heart a desire to design faith based journals and sell them. Later on my sister introduced graphic design to me after taking a class in high school and that’s when everything changed. After creating my first designs I feel in love with graphic designing. My parents and my sister gave my an iPad for my birthday and it was a game changer for Three Eleven. I never imaged that I could work with art, but I’m so grateful I get to do this. Designing is such a peaceful place to me where I can worship God through everything I create. Read more>>

Nia Davis | Makeup Artist & Entrepreneur

Growing up I was a classically trained dancer in various styles of dance. I have always had a creative spirit within me and enjoyed doing other things like singing, sewing, and cheer team. One of the things that I really wanted to do was be a dancer for the Disney World Corporation and dance at Magic Kingdom. Over the years as a dancer, I would prepare for my shows by applying stage makeup for myself and for some of the other dancers and that’s when I became interested in focusing on trying to being better at appyling makeup. I even started doing stage makeup for events like local fashion shows, other dancers and friends. Once I saw that doing makeup was something that I liked to do more than dancing, I started looking into it as a career. Read more>>

King Prophet | Hip Hop Music Artist & Songwriter

I chose to pursue an artistic/creative career because this was my way of expressing my thoughts and freedom of speech. Also while expressing my feelings and showcasing my talents and creations it gave me a sense of peace. Transitioning from high school to working class America a lot of people lose sight of who they are and what they truly want for themselves. Sometimes we get caught up in working dead end 9-5 jobs, student loan debt, relationship/family issues, poverty stricken environments, childhood/teenage traumas that turned into mental health issues etc. However despite our daily hectic schedules we barely take time out for ourselves. Read more>>

Cari Favole | Voice Over Artist & Content Creator

I have always had a passion for the arts and entertaining others. My journey consisted of trying a lot of “normal day jobs” – from a used car dealership to a software development company – but no matter how much of myself I gave to those careers, I felt empty inside; like a puzzle piece was missing. It was a visceral feeling of a fire burning me from the inside, a desperate need to release it. That pushed me for something different, something more. As a voice over artist and now content creator, I can freely use my passion and give my all towards something that is meaningful to me and hopefully others as well. Read more>>

Tamura Billups | Entrepreneur/Record (Music) Executive

Hello I choose an artistic or creative career How shall I begin LOL, I’ve been in the music industry for many years now. My journey began when I joined the choir in junior high school. From there I began joining the choir every year in high school as an elective. After many years of being a part of some kind or type of choir or two, I decided to venture out in another part of the music scene. This happened when I decided to go on to college. When I was accepted at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, of course we had to select our major, take general education courses, and select some electives . Read more>>

Trev Marxx | Songwriter & Music Artist

I chose a creative career because I believe it is the career path that defines the person I am. I am an individual who comprehends and interacts with life artistically, spiritually, creatively, and critically. My desire to freely discover and express myself and what life means to me is what drives my creative interest. Art is a form of expression in which I am free to realize concepts from my own perspective and share them with the world. It is a space where people are allowed to openly express how they feel no matter the depth or subjectivity. Read more>>

Author Kandie Marie | Author, poet, and ceo of the KSLLC

As being a author, erotic poet and event planner my mind is always running. And for as long as I could remember it was a natural gift. I loved how words could turn into something special. Rather if it was a book, a poem it was like giving birth in art form. Even down to events it’s hard planning and trying to get everything and everyone on one accord, but then as it comes together you see the energy that fell into place it’s all worth it. Read more>>

Bryan Caruso | Musician, Audio Engineer, Music Producer

Music has been a part of my life since I was 5 years old. Im 41 now. I started playing violin, then piano and moved on to guitar, bass and drums. I’m now recording, producing, mixing and mastering music for a living as well as playing guitar in my band Vicki’s Dream. Playing music is the only thing I ever really enjoyed that didn’t feel like a school assignment, work or a chore. It’s how I connect with myself and my inner emotions. I always dreamed about being famous, or at least a well-respected musician even though idea seemed far-fetched to accomplish. Read more>>

Berry Pendleton | Father, Artist,Model & Entrepreneur

The reason I chose an artistic and or creative career , is because Music was a major Part of my life growing up , My Mother would listen to people like “Whitney Houston, Patti Labell, Gladys Knight, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross etc. i would mimic the songs , I started singing in the choir when I was 8 years . I knew then I had a gift , I started writing music soon after. I feel honestly that music was imbedded in me it’s in my DNA… Read more>>

Janay Brown | CEO + Owner of GROWF

I have always been creative and artistic in the way I express myself. Whether this is through my art, my words, my food, or my crazy innovative ideas at random moments. Being able to show who I am through the things I love really gives me a rush and allows free range for self-exploration and discovery. Honestly, this career path came naturally – before high school actaully. Read more>>

Oseremi “O” Egure | Pro Makeup Artist

Creativity has always been apart of my nature as a kid. I was either making tiny houses out of popsicle sticks, drawing Sailor moon paper dolls or even painting plants. Either way I’ve always ended up finding something creative to do with my hands. Makeup artistry was a career path that I knew I could truly express myself as well as making others feel good. Read more>>