Artistic and creative careers are among the most rewarding, but they also come with unique challenges. We asked some of the city’s best creatives to tell us why they choose to pursue a creative career.

Rebecca Cullen | Musician, writer & editor for the music blog StereoStickman.com

I think it was a combination of elements – beginning with encouragement from my family, to always do what I wanted to with my life, and later seeing so many others around me working in roles that they hated. The adults of my ‘real world’ always seemed to have jobs they dreaded returning to on a Monday – jobs that left them uninspired, pessimistic, and trapped in this mindset of believing that only the elite have the time and freedom to simply enjoy the world. Read more>>

Kara White | Ballerina & The Money Friend

Someone once asked me “If money were never an object, what would you do with your life?” My thoughts immediately went to visions of calm water, sitting on a beach, travel, taking pictures and making memories. I wanted the exact opposite of a tiny work cubicle or even a beautiful office with four lovely walls. My creative mind demanded a bigger version of me – so the literal pursuit of happiness had to happen. Once I began to understand that a creative path would lead to any life I desired, it only made more sense. Dreams do become reality. Words have power, and creation leads to manifestation. I credit this to my exposure to dance so early in life. Every major part of my work ethic, determination, and drive was built at a ballet barre. Read more>>

Newt Grover | Owner and Artist at Newt Glass

I wanted as much freedom to do my own thing as much as possible and I wanted to make a living for myself. The ability to mold what I am doing to do what I wanted. I started with Jewelry and that taught me how to become an excellent technician and work with my hands. That got me into custom jewelry which was amazing because it was much more challenging and taught me to use all the skills I had learned. It also allowed me to create my own art and that gave me a sense of freedom. I also got into art because it was challenging I am not having a good time unless I am being challenged. I now do glass art full-time since that is my true passion. Glass art really spoke to me because it made me feel for free and creative more than any other art. Glass blowing gave me so much to learn and an endless palate for my art. My dream is to make cool stuff and glass blowing allows me to make cool and creative stuff every day. Read more>>

Brittanie Billberry | Cosmetologist & Independent contractor

Hair is a craft I’ve always gravitated towards. From a child playing with dolls to having something to do as I hung with friends in high school. It’s a soothing feeling for my hands to be in hair. There’s so much math and chemistry that goes into cosmetology and there’s always something being recycled and new to learn. Read more>>

Shane Rabant | Lost Coast Longboarding & The Lost Longboarder

I have been an artist my entire life, being an artist is not a choice but rather an understanding of an internal ambition to create. I have an energy that feels scattered until it is controlled by creating visual artwork. Through out my student career as well as my professional career (before I started my own business) this desire to create was looked at as a problem or distraction from “real” work by my teachers and bosses. It was a challenge for me to put my creativity on the back burner in order to do what others wanted me to, and to succeed in a “real” 9-5 job. Read more>>