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.

Tyler Tang | Videographer & Photographer

Part of my pursuit came out of pure curiosity. I always had an interest in creativity, mostly through music and entertaining people with stories, and with a little push from my dad by showing me some basic camera skills and providing video editing software, I found a way to marry the two hobbies into a career. In a way, I felt filmmaking and photographies were great ways to blend tech with storytelling. Read more>>

Brooke Hitchcock | Fashion Illustrator

I pursued an artistic career because creating was something that always came naturally to me, and as I got older I saw it as a personal strength and something that was unique to me, so I couldn’t imagine following another path. I’m fortunate to have a family that always supported my creative talent too. From the time I showed interest in it, my mom and I would spend hours drawing with a large sketchpad on our kitchen floor; and throughout my childhood my parents paid for art classes outside of school at a local art studio. Ultimately, I just loved having the ability to visualize and create beautiful things. My mom is pretty creative too, she often created floral arrangements to decorate our home with among other diy projects, and on top of that, other family members set creative examples that all fed my belief that it was possible to pursue my passions. Read more>>

Emily Michel | Writer

When the stories I made up in my head wouldn’t let me sleep until I wrote them down, I figured I might as well have a go at this writing thing. It started as a way to keep my brain occupied while my husband was deployed and my kids were in school. I ended up working through my complex feelings on sending my spouse off to war, being a part-time single parent, and living far from family and friends who could help. After my husband retired from active duty five years ago, I finally had the capacity, in time and mental energy, to complete a novel. Then I did it two more times, and now I can’t seem to stop. Read more>>

K.J. Dillard | Skateboarder, Model & Actor

I pursued an artistic or creative career because it’s me. I dropped out of college during the first semester of my freshman year because I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there. I would sit in class everyday daydreaming of moving out of the midwest to pursue careers skateboarding, modeling and acting. I eventually stopped going to school, created short/long term goals to achieve, and started working multiple jobs to support my dreams. Read more>>