Deciding to pursue an artistic or creative career path isn’t for the faint of heart. Challenges will abound, but so many of the artists we speak with couldn’t be happier with their choice. So, we asked them about how they made the decision in the first place.

Tori Hauser | Partner

I remember my third-grade teacher, Ms. Setka, asked our class to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up. I drew an artist, painting a painting. When I got older and decided to go to college though, choosing a path in Fine Art to me seemed like an insecure move if I wanted a steady career, so I tried more seemingly stable options. I had friends who went to college in the sciences, and I tried that, but chemistry was not my thing. I tried computer engineering, which made me cry, my brain just does not work like that. So after panicking about what to do next, I sat in my room and cruised the printed catalog of programs the university offered, not feeling a particular interest in any of them. Then I got to the very last page where it said: “Visual Communication” and a light-bulb went off. Read more>>

Benjamin Irons | Sound Therapy, Meditation Instructor, Professional Musician & Artist-Collaborator

Like most Americans, the first examination of a potential career path came about when exploring higher education options. My parents both work in science-based careers. One is a medical doctor, the other a high school chemistry and biology teacher. I have a pension for physics and considered applying to pre-med programs. I also applied to study cryptology at a private military institution. However, the arts won out. I’ve been involved with music since a young age. I began on piano, then switched to drums and percussion. My dad always had music playing around the house: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Spin Doctors, and Rush were in constant rotation. Initially, I went into an Instrumental Performance program because I was awarded a substantial out-of-state scholarship. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I loved music for one simple reason: it was the first thing I found challenging. I loved the idea of pursuing a career with no limit to its mastery. Read more>>

Armondo Williams | Visual Artist

As an artist I do not think you really choose the path of an artist, if anything I wish I can turn around, it is more like you need to create. Read more>>

Rachel Strong | Metalsmith

I have found from a young age that using my creativity daily has helped me to find joy in life and look forward to what lies ahead. I have experimented in several occupations and did not find the same fulfillment that I receive from using my artistic expression as a career. I admit there is an innate stubbornness deep inside myself that has prevented me from pursuing, what many have told me would be, a more realistic or sustainable career. Throughout my life I have fought an internal battle that always brings me back to sticking true to my heart and not giving up on being an artist, while knowingly understanding that the gamble I have chosen may not always show consistent results and that it is the risk I’ve signed up for. Read more>>