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.

Ashleigh Carpenter | The Rebel Photographer | Live Music Photographer

I’ve honestly always been interested in so many creative things from a very young age. However, music has always been at the very core of it all. I adventured in different dancing classes, took piano, and attempted to teach myself guitar. Also, when I was about the age of 10 my Poppop (grandpa) gave me my first film camera. Cameras were a frequent thing in our family. My mom, grandma, Poppop, always snapping photos of the family during get-togethers. Needless to say, I was no stranger to photos. Read more>>

Tannia Cortez | Mixed media Artist

I persue an Artistic career for Passion, Since I was in kindergarden I found a different way to express myself and It was trough Art /drawing. I really started to create paintings when I was in high school I found myself happy for doing drawing and painting and I followed my heart to do what I really like to do. I moved to California in 2013 to achieve a bachelors degree at the Academy of Art University , I knew that it was not easy but I really wanted to take a risk. Even though I have not accomplish all my goals , I am keep creating new art pieces because its a way to express myself. Read more>>

Niria Egurrola | Chef/cake decorator & Art instructor

I pursued a career in things that I am passionate in doing on a daily basis which lead me to culinary arts. After quarantine however, I became intolerant to restaurant culture and left due to my mental health. That lead me to more painting and teaching elementary drawing. Today I’m combining my creative passions into one business, Tasteful Harmony: custome cakes, baked good, original art/prints & greeting cards. This allows me to work from home and take care of myself. Read more>>

AJ Dwayne | Creative Artist

As a kid I was always listening to hip-hop and watching movies. I thought I was going to be a basketball player. I had family telling me since I was born that I would play in the NBA. Don’t get me wrong, I watch so much basketball today, it might convince you that was true (btw lets go Aces! 2022 WNBA Champs!). But I wanted to find myself, so I took it upon myself, in 9th Grade, at Triton Regional High School in New Jersey, to take a theater class. Read more>>