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.

Olivia May | Director of Profectus Dance and Dance Instructor at Compass Dance Academy

As a kid, I knew that one day I wanted to be a dance teacher and a director of a professional company. I couldn’t tell you how I was going to make it happen, I just knew that one day it would happen. Having a career in the dance field was never not an option for me. I dabbled in “backup jobs” in college like, chemistry and psychology but nothing seemed to hold my attention long enough to pursue like dance did. Dance just felt like a no brainer, and the idea of doing anything else just made me feel incomplete. Read more>>

Steve Korn | Photographer

I feel in many ways that an artistic/creative career chose me. I’ve recently been diagnosed with ADHD, something I long suspected, and upon reflection have come to realize that I am very fortunate to do what I do. ADHD can be a super power for creativity, always seeing things in different ways, problem solving and an innate sense of curiosity about everything. I don’t think I would have done well in a conventional career, sitting behind a desk all day. Additionally, as is typical with ADHD, there is a need for almost constant stimulation; a desire to try things differently, experiment etc. Hyper-focus is another plus of the condition, the ability to really deep dive into something and see its creative potential. Read more>>

Jordan Danielle Harris | Singer-Songwriter

I chose to pursue a career as an artist because I wish to inspire and uplift others around me. I want to help and empower people to find their voice. I do this through my music and through my lyrics. Having an artistic outlet has really helped me over the years to find myself and share my story. Along my journey through the music industry, I’ve learned that I really want to make a change in the entertainment business and create a more inclusive environment for women and people who feel ‘different’ or outcasted by society. Read more>>

Maurisha Emme Jay” Jordan | Baker

I honestly didn’t choose it. It chose me. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true for me. After a series of unfortunate events, something I did purely for the love became my sole source of income. I feel like the luckiest person in the world when I get to be a part of some of the biggest moments in people’s lives. No matter how much time a project may take I never grow tired. The only other time in my life that I’ve lost sleep and been happy to do so was when my children were babies. I guess in some ways when you truly love something, nothing else matters. Read more>>

Katara Banks | Fashion Designer & Actress

Since a young age I’ve been in the arts rather it be singing, acting or dancing. It’s just always been something I’ve been drawn too. I personally think it also has something to do with where i grew up (Lima Ohio) not many people have heard of this place because it’s extremely small with little to no opportunities available. So when my family moved it gave me the opportunity to blossom. truly believe working with the arts is what my calling is. Read more>>

Lance Ingram | Podcaster

When I was in college I had a poetry professor who would tell the most fascinating stories. Every day I looked forward to his class in hopes that he would share another one of his stories with us. The entire class would sit on the edge of their seats as he revisited tales of his life. It wasn’t long after he’d finished a story that I realized he was telling us some of the most mundane stories. One story involved him misunderstanding a security guard which led him to an existential crisis. Another story was about how he wanted to be a mediocre professional baseball player as a child and that not all dreams have to be dramatic. Read more>>

Quintin Outlaw | Photographer & Graphic Designer

As a child, I was artistically inclined. My aunt could draw very well and took the time to teach me techniques. Eventually, my mother was able to afford a personal home computer allowing me to play on it by utilizing apps like Microsoft Paint. Unconsciously, I was teaching myself how to be a graphic artist and always had an entrepreneurial spirit. After my father gave me an old digital camera, I started my business as a photographer and graphic designer. Read more>>

Donna McCullough | Artist/Sculptor

I was blessed to have come from a very creative family so it was second nature to become an artist. My great grandmother, grandmother and mother did various artistic pursuits from needlework, china painting, and painting. My dad was a carpenter. My sister is a painter and taught at the University level. I grew up around art in the home and visiting art museums. I was constantly sketching in my notebooks at school. Read more>>

Sheryl Knight | Owner of Starrskye Art Studios

All my life I have had a passion for art. I come from a family of musicians, crafters and artists. My father fostered and early love and appreciation for art in me as far back as I can remember. My dad is an amazing self-taught fine artist and musician who always made sure we had paper in the house, music to listen to and ideas to share. Read more>>

Guapo Brown | Artist / Recording Artist

I felt as if it was God’s gift, why not use it? Not using gifts is Rude haha I’ve always been artistic. Pursuing an artistic career that comes naturally is the smartest decision to make. Read more>>

Elijah Johnson | Graphic Designer & Networking

I always had the love for creating and painting since I was a kid. Growing up you always here that becoming an artist wouldn’t pay the bills. I graduated from college with an marketing degree. It was all good until the pandemic struck and I had no choice but to fall back on what I love to do the most and thats design. From their the rest is history and I couldn’t be more proud of myself for what I have accomplished in such a short time and to only know that more is to come as I continue to grow my business successfully. Read more>>

Yana Renea | Singer, Songwriter, Performer

I chose to pursue an artistic career because when I attempted to choose the traditional route, the feeling that I was ignoring a true calling/purpose always hit me. There is a freedom that I feel when singing, and performing. A freedom that I’ve never felt when working for someone else. That is a feeling that keeps me alive and will allow me to push until I reach my artistic/entrepreneur goals. Read more>>

Kaison Jacobs | Kashmere Santana

I pursued an artistic and creative career because from the age of 3, I was in the choir at my church all the way to the age of 11. In between the time I was in the choir, I developed a skill of making beats with music production with pencils and beating on walls, tables and it gained me a lot of popularity at my school and with others. Around the age of 6 is when I starting writing music and me and my cousin and brother would start rapping and I would be the one who made the beats and that’s when I knew I had a love for music and wanted to pursue an artistic and a creative career. Read more>>

Nicole DeHoff | Maternity & Newborn Photographer

It’s something I’ve enjoyed doing all my life. I love to be unique and do things in my own artistic way. Standing out is much more fun in life. Read more>>

Angel Fabián Rivera | Actor / Model

Since I was a kid, there was always something about the movies that brought me to life. That feeling I felt from an actor or a perform, it would always be transmitted to me. Growing up my parents would always be singing and playing the guitar and doing theatre, that I always told myself that I wanted to do it someday, but I was afraid of going for it. Now, these days, being an actor gives me so much life, I feel so lucky to be that in-between and show a portion of reality to the spectator, to let them know that they’re not alone. Read more>>

Jose Lopez | Makeup Artist & Drag Performer

I’ve always loved art from a very young age, all forms to be completely honest. It started with drawing, eventually moved into performing in theater and later in high school I found my love for writing, painting, photography, and digital art. Towards the end of high school I found makeup to be unlike any other art form I had ever experienced, it was so much more for me than any other kind of art form I had ever practiced previously. Read more>>

Destiny Jamison | Chef & Gourmet Botanical Infuser

At A Very Young Age I Simply Loved All Manners Of Cooking . My Grandma On My Mother’s Side Discovered My Talent From Simply Being In The Kitchen With Her . While My Grandpa On My Dad’s Side Was A Chef & Owned His Restaurant . That’s Where My Dream Started…Then Years Later I Attended Culinary School . And About 2 Or 3 Years Ago I Finally Made The Name Of The Business “ Lucky Phoque “ Official In The State Of Tx . I Got My Ein & We’ve Building Our Brand Ever Since . Read more>>

Kyana Frierson | Interior Design

Since a little girl I always had that creative, artistic, eye. I was a dancer since the age of 4 and always preferred my art classes over the other subjects, and loved experimenting with fashion. Through my college career I really had to hone in on my future, ask myself what path did I want to take in the creative industry and that led to me to Interior Design. Art and design is truly a passion of mine, I couldn’t see myself pursuing anything else! Read more>>

Youngsta Savage | Musician

First, arts is what i like for real. It’s my talent, to do different artistic works mostly music and a little bit photographing is what i really love Read more>>

Justin Wiesinger | Songwriter, Author, Filmmaker, Investor

Art and creativity have always been a huge part of me. I had a rough home life growing up with my parents being constantly at each other in verbal shouting matches and unrest in the home. I deal with a lot of trauma from my childhood to self medicate by creating meaningful art to share with others. I decided to pursue an artistic career to help inspire others to do the same. I had this thought that one of my videos, short films, or songs could stir up energetic courage into someone else and help them take the next steps to express themselves in a healthy way too. Read more>>

Shambo Medina | Painter, Sculptor, Musician

I chose a career as an artist because art is a form of therapy for me as well as a pathway to meeting and bonding with kindred spirits. Read more>>

Cara Pressley | Creative/ Digital Business Innovator

I worked for the federal government for 20 years. During that time I learned who I could be professionally, while I was evolving personally. Everyone has an impact point, it’s that thing that stops you on the inside while window shopping to say “hey we need this in our lives”! As an analyst & public affairs specialist by trade, I understood exactly what others needed to learn, and what engagement / communication strategies mattered the most, so individuals could exceed expectations. Read more>>

Alicia Williams | Food Artist

As a child colors and blends have always been my go-to for comfort when I became older experiencing new and exciting flavors as they blend, and the smells, and the presentation started to bring out even more excitement. Started working and a juice bar and became more knowledgeable about different fruit and vegetable blends was just a euphoric sensation. People wanted more, wanted different and something more colorful and cheerful to sip on. With this, I had to deliver. I experiment and educate myself on perfect blends and colors. Read more>>

DNK | Artist

Since a young age I’ve always had a deep connection with music. As I got older however the music I began to hear mainstream on a daily basis changed I’m ways that I didn’t necessarily like. So I decided to make music for myself. Read more>>

Eric Kane | Singer Songwriter

Music and or any creative outlet has been in our family for generations. I always had the desire, the vision to write, inspire and perform but through my twenties I just didn’t have the confidence or courage to chase those dreams. Until January 2015 when my older brother passed away to some tragic events. This propelled me to start writing and within 1 month I had wrote him a tribute song and shared it on Facebook. At this time I had never shared me singing for anyone let alone on the internet. Read more>>

LaRita South | Retired Military & Creative

I pursued a Creative Career because creativity is the very essence of who I am. Ever since I was a little girl, making things, building things, poetry, drawing or pretty much any thing that involved me using my mind and my hands, I did it. Read more>>

Chinemerem Omeh | Artist/Painter

Art is the only thing I’ve known and am good at. I’d say it’s a calling. It sounds like a cliche but it’s a passion. I love doing it. Read more>>

Terrell Lopez | Photographer

I pursed a career in photography to express my creative outlook. I always enjoyed taking pictures and capturing memories, but wasn’t till 5 years ago I decided to take a leap in learning the art of photography. During this process I have been able to develop my style, become more open, carefree and creative to how I approach my craft. The best thing about photography or any creative outlet is that your art is subjective, meaning people are either going to love it or hate it. Read more>>

Amy Stennett | Creative Artist

I pursued this career do to the fact that in highschool I was an artist by hand. I would create oil painting and do self portrait d oft Read more>>

Erica Patterson | Skin Care & Artistic Creative

I have always been a Creative, ALWAYS. My father is an artist, and I have always followed in that path. With painting, drawing, fashion, etc. And I still enjoy all of those. I decided to pursue this type of career because that has always been within me. Though I do have a 9-5 job, being artistic and creative has always been a passion. Read more>>

Kash Kredit | Hip-Hop artist, AudioEngineer, Songwriter, Producer, Beatmaker, Lyricist

I pursue an artistic or creative career due to my passion for music. Read more>>

Janae Marie | Published Author & Boutique Shop Owner

I have always wanted to be a creative person! I loved reading books and writing poetry as a child. Being creative has helped me write and publish 5books and more! I love being able to use my brain to create characters and scenarios. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I enjoy crafting stories that people can relate to. I have always wanted to do this since I was a child. I am living my dream. Read more>>

Amir “Sofia Moussier” Butler | Model/Coach, Fashion Designer, Creative

My creative career began when I was only 18 years old and I wanted to jumpstart my independence. I was a freshman in college attending Michigan State University, and I had all of this freedom that I decided to create a brand solely off the message of being carefree. That brand, Soreem, was the domino effect that led me to creating STAD RUNWAY, an entertainment fashion show group that combines the two worlds of dance and modeling. Not only did we prepare for shows, but I also intensely trained models for preparation local gigs. Read more>>