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.


While growing up I was often attempting creative projects such as drawing, ceramics and the typical children’s crafts. As I got older the creative interests maintained and when looking at courses of study in college I couldn’t willfully pursue a path besides Fine Art. I completed the Bachelors program with a concentration in drawing and a considerably wider perspective. Knowing full well the difficulties likely ahead for an undergraduate with an Art degree, I saw no alternative. I’ve essentially maintained a freelance status since, undertaking a wide variety of projects over the years and appreciate the impact each on has had on future work. Ultimately I believe the pursuit of a visual art form helped or encouraged the ability to analyze things as they are and not as we think they are. Read more>>

Madeline Hahn | Makeup Artist & Content Creator on YouTube

I’ve always LOVED makeup! Makeup is something I’ve been passionate about since I was first introduced to it. I started creatively doing makeup when I was in the sixth grade, I would draw stitches across my face or mouth in an attempt to be edgy or grunge. I next remember being in middle school and taking ALLLL of my moms eyeshadow trios, then coming out to the living room an hour later feeling very proud and pretty in my rainbow eyeshadow. When I was 16 a friend of mine gifted me a couple of high quality makeup palettes and from then on I was hooked! I started watching more YouTube videos, looking for tips and tricks on Pinterest, following Instagram tutorial accounts, learning as much as I could. Read more>>

Maze Overlay | Hip Hop Artist & Musician

I grew up with my pops who was always playing music. He always had a guitar in his hands. I remember I would be talking to him as he sat there and just played at the same time. It was mainly Classic Rock and Blues. A lot of Eric Clapton, All man Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, and just a ton of classic artists. I was listening to The Doors and Bruce Springsteen when I was like seven years old. Music was always there. I saw my pops play live shows. He brought me on stage at this Irish Pub in Maryland when I was six or seven, and I’ll never forget that moment. I guess to a certain extent I wanted to be like him, this big rock star in my eyes. Although he has never had any major commercial success, he was my first music idol, and he was probably my first real inspiration to even try to write music. Read more>>

Jory Allen | Tattoo Artist

I always saw my grandmother’s paintings growing up, and I knew from a very young age that I wanted to pursue an artistic career. My grandmother still paints till this day and seeing her dedication is so inspiring. Read more>>

Jensen Cook | SFX and Beauty Makeup Artist

I choose to pursue and artistic career because it’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was little. I was always drawing and painting creatures and I always knew I was going to be an artist. Read more>>

Matt Magee | Artist

When I was a boy I was always working with my hands. I could sit quietly making origami or drawing with crayons and in about 1970 when I was nine my mother enrolled me in Saturday morning ceramics classes at the Camden Arts Center in London, where we were living at the time. We moved to Texas in the 1970’s and in highschool I found a safe haven in my art classes and also found approval for what I was making. In college I was going to focus on geology but again found myself in the art department most of the time taking art history and studio art classes. My dorm room was like an underwater seascape and full of objects and sculptures made from spray painted plastic bags hanging from the ceiling. At about 21-22 I realized that what really made me happy was making things. I didn’t decide to become an artist, it was just a natural evolution. Read more>>

Monica Wapaha | Contemporary Indigenous Artist – White Mountain Apache | Tohono O’odham

Art has always been part of my everyday life. My father was a medical lab tech, musician and an illustrator, my mother was a teacher and a master beader, and my grandmother was a traditional Apache artist who made traditional regalia and baskets. I was always surrounded by art. Pursuing it was natural, I worked for various programs that included working with the youth, adults, and even opening a café and gallery. Working in these programs and hosting my own art shows, art competitions, and art workshops I realized that the community loved these events. On the reservation there aren’t a lot of places for artists to develop creatively and that is something that I’ve been very interested in; creating art programs and events for my community. Read more>>

Ize | Artist

I wanted to take a career path that would always push me to grow and challenge myself. Its’s also the one career where I knew I could enjoy my failures in a positive way while gaining knowledge from them. Growing old and regretting not taking a leap of something I love doing was just not an option. Read more>>

Lauren Raine | Artist

I don’t think I had any real choice in the question of why I became an artist. Ever since I was a child I just made art, and I saw no reason to give it up when I became (in theory) an adult. A reporter asked Picasso, at 90, what he considered his greatest work. His response? “The next one!” Being an artist was my “real job”, and I supported it in whatever ways I could. I could say quite a few things about what I think creativity is, but ultimately I suggest that some people have an innate passion for self-expression in the arts, and will never really find fulfillment unless they follow that path. Which often, but not always, means making sacrifices of time or income, as well as having to look “outside the social/cultural box” to find creative integrity. It’s nice if one is fortunate enough to make money along the way, but that cannot be the definition of success. Read more>>

Jan Griggs | Artist

Art has always been what I could do best. I took every art class I possibly could and followed the only path I knew. Read more>>