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.

Corey Diamond | Stunt Performer & Martial Arts Instructor

I can always think back to being a kid and remember how enthralled I was with Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, Pro Wrestling, action movies, etc. If I wasn’t in the house watching any of those shows, I was outside in the yard pretending to be one of my favorite characters. Eventually, my mom would enroll me into martial arts and my life would revolve around training, performing, and teaching. Read more>>

Adrian Jennings | Artist & Live Painter

My name is Adrian Jennings and I am a self taught artist from Stone Mountain, Ga. I currently live in Huntsville, AL. In 2018, I was dealing with postpartum depression. I used meditation, yoga, and sketching in my sketchbook as a creative outlet. I had so many sketches that one night I told my husband that I was wondering if I could paint one of the images. But of course, I talked myself out of it in the same breath. The next day, he took me to the craft store. Read more>>

Alyssa Owens | Artist

So after several years working in a corporate environment, I realized that I spent a lot of my time regretting not using my time for my creative endeavors. It always seemed like I didn’t have enough time for the things that mattered to me. After the birth of my daughter, I took the opportunity to re-invest my energy into my creative career. Read more>>

Kimani McCullough | Creative Content Producer

I didn’t choose being a creative, it chose me. I already had been doing photography and video productions since my early years of college, it was something I loved to do more than Read more>>

Marshe Watkins | Serial Entrepreneur/Instructor/Business Coach

One of the most important reasons I chose to pursue an artistic or creative career is I honestly feel my most free and whole when I’m being creative. I know that we all have it in us in some field or another, and getting as close to your creative self is imperative when we consider what our purpose is. Read more>>

Thee DL Marshall | Stand-up Comedian & Radio Personality &Entertainer

I’ve always felt like I had more to say than what I was allowed to say in school, I’ve never felt like I could be the greatest impact on my community and the world in regular jobs. Since entertainment has always been my desire that came easy to me, so once the opportunity came I jumped into it. Read more>>

Charles W. Harris III | Actor

So thing is i didnt pursue acting, it kinda found me. I discovered my passion for acting while in college. I began my journey to success by showcasing my abilities by doing stage plays and background work for local productions. Ironically a friend of mine, from one of my acting classes approached me asking if I wanted to be apart of his movie as a security background and at the time that was my field of work, so I said YES! However when on set, the lead actor never showed up so I was asked to learn his lines real quick, needless to say i became the lead and when the film premiered I received alot of positive feedback about my talent and also got offered many roles from various film makers locally and my love for acting grew even stronger and I started taking things a little more seriously. Read more>>

Dreeck Breon | Creative Director, MUA, Stylist, Photographer

I chose an artistic and creative career because I have always been great at those two things from an early age. If I could see it in my head I could do it. It came natural to me. I learned later it was a gift, so what better way to use and make a living from that. Read more>>

Jacob Lynn | Actor

I always had an interest in acting and film, but being an athlete growing up, it wasn’t really something I had time to do. I played baseball in college, and as a pitcher, I had to be very creative to be successful. When I finished playing baseball, going into acting was a logical choice for me. Read more>>

Maria Lima | Paper design

Since I was little I always liked crafts, at school, I always excelled in art classes and I took this passion to my life! Papers are my great passion, I am delighted with how a piece of paper can turn into such beautiful things! Read more>>

Ivette Epps | Erotic Poet & Content Creator

I’ve always been artistic since a young age. As a quiet girl who always was too timid to speak her mind, being creative with words and design was my outlet. I’ve always struggled with social anxiety and my public speaking skills, leading me to pursue my dream goal of becoming an author and content creator. It allows me to expand my skills without having to feel out of place. Every time I would take an opportunity that did not align with what I love to do, I ended up hating the job, and it took me a while to stand my ground, trying to accommodate everyone’s expectations of me. Read more>>

Renee Tse | Baker & Cake Decorator

I love what I do because cakes bring happiness to people especially when the cake was specially decorated for someone. When baking I’m not behind a computer screen all day, I’ll be either on my feet or at my table making fondant decorations — keeping my mind active at all times! It’s an amazing feeling to create something from scratch. Read more>>

Mattie Jordan | Graphic Designer and Content Creator

I have always been a creative at heart since a young age. I was kind of lost when I first began college on what I wanted to do. After getting into content creation and building a following on social media, it reassured that I definitely wanted to go a more creative route. I eventually discovered graphic design and immediately knew it was perfect for me. I’m passionate about creating visual experiences that tell a story and inspire others. Read more>>

Brooke Shivers | Makeup Artist

Looking back, it should have been an easy decision. But I was always afraid of being an artist. I found so much joy in creating images and manipulating color but never imagined I could build a life from it. The world tells us that artists starve–they sacrifice so much and gain so little in return. I know now that this narrative was the root of my fear. Read more>>

Kay Kaution | Producer, Engineer

The main reason I make music is to illustrate my mood, thoughts, and outlook on life at the moment. The feeling a particular instrumental can give you is like reading one page of a diary. It’s important to find your method to express yourself. Without that release, you’re just stuck with a bag of problems and no way to empty the contents. Real world obstacles will always be there, and we can feel alone in those struggles. Read more>>

William Gary | Creative producer and videographer

I decided to pursue a creative career because I did not fit into the corporate structure. I’m an outside of the box thinker and have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. The ability to work in an artistic environment has afforded me the opportunity to think for myself and create freely. Read more>>

Mayarich | Singer, Songwriter, Vocal Producer & Audio Engineer

Music has always been a huge part of my life and when I began singing at such a young age, It became clear that this was my thing. My gift, my one big blessing that I was utterly and diligently passionate about, was singing. I’ve always said I’m 50% dreamer and 50% realist, and my journey thus far has truly really reflected that. When I moved to New York at 18 for college that was the genesis of there only being a ‘plan A’. Investing in myself and pursuing a career in music has always felt like the only option that makes sense for me and what makes me happy. Read more>>

Kelsie Kalma | Photographer

I have always loved drawing, singing, dancing and taking photos. Anything that allowed me to express myself in a creative and artsy way I did it. When I was introduced to photography I took my camera with me everywhere and haven’t put it down since. Pursuing this career was a no brainer for me, I knew it was something that I could wake up everyday doing and not get tired of it. Read more>>