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.

Brian Mock | Sculptor

It took years in a conventional and unfulfilling job to ultimately push me to pursue an artistic career. I spent my nights and weekends creating, which never felt like enough time to really hone my skills or satisfy my creative curiosity. But I realized that that excitement for work, that drive, was what I wanted to feel on a daily basis as a professional… I wanted to love what I did for a living. Read more>>

Faith Blackshear | Model & Fashion Blogger

Honestly, working in another field besides the arts never sat well with me. Fashion, social media, and traveling have always been my goals ever since I can remember – I never once imagined myself working at a typical 9-5 job. Even before I wanted to pursue fashion and social media, I wanted to be an architect, which is an art form in a completely different realm from the fashion industry. Now, I use my social media platform to explore the world of fashion and chase opportunities every step of the way! During my younger years, I always knew that I wanted to be apart of the fashion industry in some way, I just didn’t know where I fit in. As I started to get older, in my prepubescent years, I started to get told: “You should be a model!” Read more>>

JAM | Singer-songwriter & Entrepreneur

Everyone has a creative gift in this life. It’s up to us to discover what they are; and tend to them like seeds that will one day grow into a flourishing forest. Whether that’s being an excellent mechanic, painter, poet or baker we all have infinite potential to create. It’s human nature. I was blessed to discover that music was my gift at a young age. Music fills me with purpose and meaning. It takes people out of their mind and into the present moment. All the stresses of your life are forgotten and you are timeless while the music frees your soul. It’s a beautiful thing. Being able to share that with people is why I chose this path. Read more>>

Brian Chartrand | Singer/Songwriter

It was never really a conscious decision to pursue a career in music. It has just always been there. As far back as I can remember, music has always been the main passion. There was something alluring and magical about the sound coming out of the radio. I have been making music since 4th grade when my public school held auditions for the school band. I was immediately drawn to the drums, maybe because my brother played the guitar and I wanted desperately to be in a band with him. In 6th grade, piano lessons started. But it wasn’t until I found my voice and my brothers guitar, that I felt like I found my calling. I played in every band in High School; concert band, marching band, jazz band, and of course my own rock band. Read more>>

Cassandra Weinman | Digital Marketing Manager

I think – like most creatives – my career sort of chose me! Whether it was crafting a story in crayon or redesigning my Barbie clothes, I felt an intrinsic pull toward the arts from a very young age that has fueled a life-long passion to create. I have always loved words, their ability to paint pictures, evoke feelings, make an impression, but it wasn’t until college where I planned to study medicine that I found my true calling as a writer; I think I may actually have the only two parents in the world to encourage a career as a creative over becoming a doctor. I have learned over the years that when it comes to my work, the projects I chose have to appeal to more than just my bank account – they have to ignite my interests and make me dig deeper into my skillset. Read more>>

Oliver Lemke | Musician & Songwriter

I’ve had an urge to make music since I was a little kid. There are some very embarrassing cassette tapes that may still be out there somewhere. I didn’t start properly learning instruments until I was about 10, but at that point there was no going back. I started writing songs with my brother, recording them at home. Our grandparents got us a four-track recorder for Christmas one year. Basically it’s just a compelling craft in every way and I knew I wanted to take it as far as I could. Read more>>

Trevor McGoldrick | Touring Live Music Photographer

Freedom. I wanted to travel, I wanted to see the world, I wanted to feel like I had control over my life. Being tied down in one spot, limited on time off and where I can go/what I can do, it makes me miserable. I pursued working in the touring music industry and specifically live music photography because I wanted the ability to feel like I’m actually doing something with my time here on Earth, seeing the things our planet has to offer, seeing the cities humans have built for ourselves and experiencing the cultures of other cities and countries. Documenting the most interesting parts of what makes us human – Our creativity, our languages, our lifestyles, the things we’ve built and created, etc. Read more>>

Love Lyzardz | Band

Music was something I kind of fell into. My aunt gave me her violin when I was very young. It was a Stradivarius replica. I was drawn to its shape and the full, rich sound it made when she played it. I started taking lessons and later played in my school’s orchestra until I graduated. I was a teenager when I discovered rock n’ roll. I used to jack my parents’ record player when I was in high school and would listen to their records in my room. It was then I fell in love with rock n’ roll. Singing came to me a little later in life. One afternoon, my sister over heard me singing the Star-Spangled Banner in the shower and eventually convinced me to take voice lessons with her teacher. Once I realized I had a talent for singing it kind of became my passion. I started playing music with Johnny about a year after that. Read more>>

Chris Loomis | Photographer

Since I was a child, I have always had an innate desire to create things by hand, capture or create something with pencil/paper and later on toying around with taking pictures on my Dad’s camera. I guess it was always in my DNA…perhaps as it is with most people who choose a creative profession. This of course lead me to go to school for photography then start a career as a full time photographer. What’s interesting is that, even with the pandemic related slowdown in business that most people have been experiencing, myself included…. I am still compelled to proceed with producing creative fashion shoots as well as to continue printing and framing a fine art series that I had shot a few years back. Also, taking some time to travel recently, to explore several states that I have never been to before, has really re-opened my eyes to my initial love for photography. Read more>>

Mark and Kathleen Schaffer | Woodworkers

We’re not so sure we chose an artistic career path so much as it chose us. We’d both always been artistic, but didn’t have a career in the arts in mind as a viable option. Kathleen’s creativity was founded in music and drawing. She’s an accomplished French Horn player and classically trained singer. She also plays piano and guitar which she says she doesn’t play very well. I argue that and get a lot of eye rolls. She started doing pyrography (woodburning with a hot “pen) years ago, just as a hobby. Kathleen has a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and was in practice counseling kids who were vulnerable and typically either wards of the state or in challenging home situations. In 2011, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder; Mastocytosis. Read more>>

NXOEED | Visual Artist

It pursued me. I remember being three years old and knowing I was going to be a working artist, even before understanding what it meant. Throughout every stage of my life, my family, friends and I all seemed to agree that I was a visual artist, and I guess eventually it became true. Read more>>

Joanna Proffitt | Photographer & Artist

MORE… I needed something MORE! I needed more than just a job where I went to earn a paycheck. I needed a creative outlet, something to pour my heart and soul into. Most of the time when I work on my art it doesn’t feel like work at all, that’s the magic of it. There is no place like “the zone”! Most artists would probably say that art chose them and not the other way around. I have always had a strong creative side and before rediscovering photography about 6 years ago, I felt something was missing from my life. Read more>>