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.

Dom Moio | Drummer, Teacher

When I started to play drums it was just for fun. I saw a group on TV, The Young Rascals and said , I want to play music like that. So I started learning the songs by ear and just copying what the drummer played . Soon after that I auditioned for a band and got the gig because I had learned those songs. I then started playing six nights a week in the summers and then back to school in the fall and the drums went in the closet. After a couple of summers and getting more interested in the drums and seeing that I had to figure something out for after high school I started taking lessons in Maine where I grew up. Read more>>

CJ Jacobson | Singer/Songwriter

I started a band because I wanted an outlet for my creativity. I used to just write songs and record them at home on my laptop but eventually I wanted to start playing shows! Things grew slowly but surely and in this past year we were awarded the album of the year by the Phoenix New Times as well as “best unsigned band in AZ” by alternative press.com. Read more>>

Sally Ann Jimenez | Artist, Henna Artist, Poet, Creator

Art has always played a huge role in my life as a healing and processing method for me and my mental/emotional well being. There is nothing I love to do more than create. For years I worked for other local businesses building their brand and often becoming unsatisfied with the amount of time I didn’t have to make art and working for others always felt like I was selling myself short. I have allot of determination to grow but I wasn’t able to work on my own artistic growth while working for other people. I found myself surrounded by other artists making a living doing art and It inspired me to face the fear and go full time and start up my art business. Bottom line is life is too short to not do what you love, even if it takes allot of work, in the end it is worth it. Read more>>

Mary Wilhelm | Professional Painter and Artist

Honestly, I fell into this career path more than anything. Sometimes I feel like I should have had some divine calling to be a painter, a cloud-parting-voice-of-God-hearing moment, but it was really something that just sorta happened. It wasn’t even my first “dream job”! When I was six or seven, those were to be either a taxi cab driver, or paleontologist (probably because I like talking to people… and dinosaurs are cool)! Drawing, and painting were something that I had always done intuitively, but I didn’t necessarily approach it as a viable career option till I was in undergraduate. Read more>>

Paige Pflueger | Artist

I am passionate about art. Art can show humanity at its best and its worst. Art gives me the space to express the deep belonging and connection I want to feel in this world. It fulfills me in a way I don’t think any other career could. I’ve tried to entertain the idea of different paths or more ‘practical’ jobs, but it always comes back to creating art. Pursuing an artistic career doesn’t come without its challenges though, I’ve had to come to an understanding that not everyone is going to like my work and that’s okay. As long as I know my truth and it brings some people joy —it’s worth it. Read more>>

Craig Randich | Artist/Art Director

It’s always been a part of my life. To the point where people have told me that it’s all I talk about – like it’s a bad thing. After high school I attended ECC (Elgin Community College in Illinois) where I received my associates degree in Political Science. During that time I took every art class available (welding, drawing, painting, jewelry, glass casting, glass blowing, ceramics, foundry, to name a few). I decided I needed to transfer to a 4-year college. So I attended ASU, in 2003, to pursue my love of architecture. The architecture building was next to the Art Department, I noticed that I’d be looking out the window down at the sculpture kids working and wondering what they were up to down there. Read more>>

David Morgan | Artist & Muralist

Like many artist’s out there I feel like the creative path chose me. Anyone can make art and express themselves in a creative way at any age but I was lucky to be born into a creative family. I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember and have found it to be a very fulfilling way to spend my time. I’ve worked many different kinds of jobs; I’ve worked in factories, hotels, stores and banks but every job was just a job. I didn’t get any real fulfillment out of working at those places; I just went so I could make money to the pay bills. Having said that more power to everybody out there that works jobs like that and enjoy it. Read more>>

Megan Johnson | Painter & Art Educator

I don’t know if I consider pursuing the arts a choice, but more so a need. I grew up loving art, taking all the classes I could, deciding to major in art Ed., switching to architecture, and back to art. It was during that time I decided I was all in, and needed to see where my art would take me. I have now graduated with my MFA in drawing and painting as of spring 2020, while this path has never been a clear one I feel confident in the fact it what I needed to do, and I cannot imagine my life without creating. Read more>>

Dallas Rogers | Portrait and Event Photographer

Photography chose me. Cheesy, I know. During a time in my life where I felt lost, photography rescued me. It was my senior year in high school, simultaneously the most stressful and exciting year of my life, and I had to make a choice. I can hear my college advisor’s gentle voice: “So, what’s your major?” I could feel my chest tightening as I hesitantly responded: “Journalism and Mass Communications.” “Ah, so exciting,” she cheerfully reassured, “You’ll love it. Let’s get you set up for a tour.” The entire tour was agonizing, realizing I picked a terrifying path. Let me preface by saying I hate public speaking. Read more>>