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.

Destiny Turner | Artist and Entertainer

I pursued an artistic career because I feel the safest, and yet, the most daring on stage. The stage is my home. It’s where I’m the most comfortable. I’m more confident talking to thousands on a stage than talking to a stranger in the grocery store. I feel that healing and freedom are present when I’m on stage. I get to help people through whatever they’re going through. And it comes naturally. It’s a gift from God, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I continue to do it because I live for seeing smiling faces and people dancing and enjoying themselves after a long day’s work. I do it because it is simply who I am. Read more>>

Michael Reese | Artist and Educator

I’ve always loved the artistic pursuit but earlier in my career I didn’t see it as a viable way to support myself. I failed at other attempts and career choices that in the end left me feeling empty and unfulfilled. It was only then that I faced myself and asked the question “what truly makes me happy?” The answer was and is now the artistic pursuit, the creative career. I feel one with myself and an absence of conflict as it relates to my career trajectory. Read more>>

Jaren Stephens | Visual Intellect | Creator

Photography kind of fell into my lap during my freshman year of college, I had always been around a camera growing up but I didn’t think much of it. My father always made sure a camera was in my hand even when I didn’t want to, but I thought it was  typical of him and he was just trying to make memories together. He was giving me all the tips and life came full circle in 2015 when I started doing a few shoots for friends & the tips began to pay off. The journey has definitely been led by the most high, God honestly started this business for me in times of need & I kept running with it with a drive to produce quality content. However, on the journey it has done nothing but allow me create a platform where I can be myself & display how versatile a being can be despite geography. Read more>>

Maya Thomas | Artist ( Painter/Photographer/ Digital Art)

I had to take a chance on myself, for the longest I did not believe I could do it and that affected my life tremendously. Working job to job and desk to desk I found myself not being able to express myself any more. I have been doing art for my entire life and I have always connected to it but never pursued it as a career, until I decided to take a risk a BIG risk and nothing makes me happier than being able to spread the love and knowledge I have through my art. I am very expressive and I already had an outlet that not only makes me feel connected but connects me to the world ALL of the WORLD , the good, bad, and ugly. I want to continue to speak for those who can not find the words and especially those who don’t feel like I have the voice, even though it is a roller coaster I wouldn’t change this ride for another. Read more>>

Vernika Rowe | Professional Dancer & Actress

I began performing as a young teen in pageants, baton twirling, dance, theatre, and talent competitions which all allowed me to express myself creatively in various ways. Yes, I’m an actress, but honestly, I began training as a dancer. I attended a performing arts high school in Atlanta’s metro area where I fell in love with dance, with intensive dance training in Ballet & Modern dance, Funk and contemporary movement. I spent most hours in the theatre and dance studio at school…my favorite subjects. In college I initially studied sports medicine as a major, sports med was my back-up plan, and I added Theatre & Dance to be a double major. Time management became so hectic, so I went with my passion and decided to drop the back-up plan…Ha! I guess most peeps who know me would say that I’m in the right field, I’m very expressive, and I’m always highly energetic and can talk for days; so I love to dive into some deep amazing conversation! With that said, during my spare time I’ve began writing a few screenplays, so maybe, I guess I’ve always been a storyteller! Just like in dance, you can express all emotion through the body in any genre; Fear, happiness, sinister with movement. Read more>>

Darnell Johnson | Illustrator & Story Artist

I believe that I was given a gift to make art. To visually communicate stories to inspire and encourage people. I was aware that my passion for art would require a lot of my time. It was in high school I discovered ways to actually make a living creating art. I also wanted to pursue a career that I enjoyed getting up every morning to do while serving others. Read more>>

AngelTheStar | Singer, Songwriter, Advocate For Anti-Bullying

People ask me this question all the time. I believe music chose me! Since I was a little girl, I was always singing and dancing. I was always in plays, school chorus, and I loved it, so there was never a shock to me or my family when I chose this path as profession. Read more>>

AGAL Hiba | French Fashion Designer Founder of KARA VERANO Brand

” Art is like a mirror where man knows and recognizes something of himself”. Art has always inhabited my soul, I feel it in every part of me, and if I had to see the world from a certain perspective, it will be that of an artist, everything becomes more beautiful. I pursued studies in biology, that was really interesting, so I worked in laboratories, over time, I felt like a wild flower in a vase and then Art reminded me of him as the land is to the earth. then i start my FASHION DESIGNER study, and that’s where my fairy tale begin. today I do not feel my activity as work, because I blossom in my passion for fashion but especially my creative universe. this is what I would advise everyone, succeed in finding their balance and flourishing and not enduring their daily life but rather to savor it like a delicious French pastry, by doing what they really like. Read more>>

Dajana Carter | Business Owner, Recording Artist & Vocal Producer,

The best way to answer that questions is, I flowed into a predestined path. Coming from two gifted parents put me in a position to accept a calling that was written on the inside of me. Basically, I made that choice to continue in the exploration of myself. Because at the end of the day that is what life is about for me. Living artistically through my experiences, and expressing my creativity in each individual outcome. Read more>>

Kerri Parker | Good energy & Good Vibes

I love everything creative. I got to a point in my life where I couldn’t blame anyone for me not pursuing my dreams. Who was going to stop me? Weirdos.n.Unicorns was created because I was tired of seeing everyone look the same. The concept of Weirdos.n.Unicorns is just shirts. I’m not going to put your outfit together for you. Create your own look. Rock your favorite hat and sneakers or blazer and heels. However you want it to look. Weirdos.n.Unicorns is all about authenticity and self love. Most people consider being weird a bad thing, but weird is simply the difference from what a person perceives to be normal and acceptable. Weird is good and creates diversity amongst any group. Who wants to be just like everybody else? You come as you are. I’m going to love you regardless. Read more>>

Breanna Hyacinthe | Makeup Artist & Hairstylist

Growing up as a little girl I never liked getting my hair done, but I was always told “beauty is pain.” I remember sitting in my aunt shop watching her and the other stylist do hair, thinking to myself this is what I want to do. Being a cosmetologist is something I’ve had a passion for since I was a kid. As I got older I found an interest in makeup, which is something that allows me to apply my creativity skills while also enjoying what I love to do best. I remember the first time I dabbled in makeup at the age of 15. I was home alone and decided to fill in my brows with my mother’s eye pencil, of course I had no clue what I was doing. My brows were way too dark and I had on the brightest pink lipstick (Yes! I was going through my lipstick phase) but at the moment I realized how happy and intrigued I was. By the age of 16 I started taking makeup more seriously, especially since all the girls at my school would have their makeup beat to the gods! and then there was me, the girl who thought she was killing the game but had the slightest clue. Read more>>

SHMU’AL YAHU | Graphic Designer

I pursued an Artistic career because of the gifts that YAHUAH gave to me. He gave me an eye and a vision to take an idea that a person has and to bring that idea to life. To make make is visual, so that the whole could see it. Read more>>