Taking Risk is essential, but how much, when and why? Taking risks effectively is as much of an art as it is a science and we’ve asked some of the brightest folks in the community to tell us about how they think about risk taking.

Jaslyn Ravenscraft | Lifestyle Blogger & Content Creator

I think living outside of your comfort zone and taking risks is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Anytime I have taken a chance with something, it has turned into the biggest blessing or lesson. Taking risks keeps life exciting and fulfilling. Go do that thing you’re scared of! Read more>>

Pavel Sokov | Portrait Painter and Fine Artist

Maximum risk-taking is likely the primary factor that differentiates me from other artists. I always go all in. This has resulted in an expedited track to success. I traded a decade of slow peaceful progress in favor of highly stressful but large strides forward. What does that mean practically? Think of it this way. Imagine where you want to be in 10 years. What kind of skills will you have? What kind of projects will you take on? What kind of clients will you work with? What kind of awards will you win? Well instead of waiting 10 years to be that person, become that person TODAY. Start with your next painting. Yes, this means taking on projects that are extremely challenging before you know that you can even accomplish them. It means quickly painting at a skill level above your experience level and immediately taking on pricing of artists who were doing this for decades even though you have not. Read more>>

Jessica Korff | Luxury Portrait Photographer

This question feels a little scary in and of itself! There was a time where I perceived nearly everything as a dangerous risk to be avoided. Thanks to an abusive childhood and later on a verbally and emotionally abusive marriage, I learned to avoid anything that even remotely looked like risk. Because danger lived there. The fear of the outcome surrounding risk kept me self sabotaging for many years in my business. What if I failed? What if everyone saw I failed? What if everyone learned I actually wasn’t as perfect as I tried so hard to convince them all I was? Every single decision was riddled with fear and anxiety, and as a result, if I didn’t have every piece and step figured out in any potential new venture… then it didn’t happen. All the t’s must be crossed, and i’s dotted before I would even consider it. Then something happened. I got really sick and tired of hitting the glass ceiling, I knew everything I needed to know, I knew I did the absolute best I could in all things I did… Read more>>

Michelle Clare | Certified Medium and Spiritual Coach

Even today, I tend to think about risk as being an “uncomfortable”. I definitely felt like going into business as a Medium and Spiritual Coach was a huge risk but one that I needed to take. In a span of 11 years, I had 3 near death experiences, the first was in April 2000, the second was in May 2006 and a monumental life changing event on November 1, 2011. Each one impacted me in a beautiful way and led me to connect in ways that I had not previously known to be possible. These experiences “woke” me up so much that I could no longer ignore it. At times, I wondered what “qualified me” to receive this information and guidance for people. As it turns, out 3 near death experiences actually are pretty decent qualifications (especially for a medium) because I learned quite a bit along the way. It was truly a risk for me to believe that my qualification was my experiences. Read more>>

Maxime Kot | Co-Owner & Director of Licensing

I’m naturally, a risk adversed person, which is ironic because I’ve built a career and a business advising individuals and groups to take large amounts of risks. I think of risk as anything that pushes someone outside of their comfort zone, as simple as hiking Camelback Mountain (if you’ve never done it before) to investing in a business. When it comes to making risky decisions, while I do my due diligence, it always boils down to trusting my gut, and it has never served me wrong. Being a cannabis business consultant, over the years, I’ve advised individuals and groups to invest in what most still believe to be risky, but have also witnessed great success and return on investment in an unbelievably short turnaround – which in turn pushed my naturally risk adversed self and threshold/idea of risk enough to start and invest in a business, let alone, during a pandemic. Read more>>

Rich McCor | Photographer & Paper Artist

I get asked a lot, or told rather, “it must have been risky leaving a proper job to go and pursue your photography”. I never saw it like that though, for me it was a much bigger risk to not give my photography 100% of my effort to at least see how far I could go with it. If it turned out that it would crash and burn then I could live with that, so long as I’d given it a chance. I saw staying in a job that I was coasting in and that I didn’t love to be a far bigger risk than not pursuing something I loved. Read more>>

PRIMME | Recording Artist, Producer, & Business Owner

Saying “yes” is one of the riskiest things I do. Saying “yes” to opportunities that seem intimidating or the one’s I perceive to be outside of my immediate skill set, are ultimately the one’s that force me to step beyond my comfort zone and level up. As an independent singer/songwriter, producer, and business owner, thinking outside the box and taking risks is just part of my job description. Because my work is in a field that is so subjective, I’ve learned that there has to be a reason *why* at the heart of everything I do, because not every risk is going to lead to the outcome I expect. Failing or succeeding as the result of jumping into something with both feet matters a lot less to me than the motive behind the jump – that’s why if I feel 200% committed to any given risk, I try not to overthink it. You have to weigh the risk without letting the risk weigh you down. Read more>>

Thanasi Panagiotakopoulos | Financial Coach and Personal Advisor

Evaluating and understanding risk is a daily task for my line of work so this is a great discussion. The reality is that we all view risk differently and our perception of risk is based on heuristics and biases. A doctor views a surgery that has an 85% probability of a successful outcome as very low risk. Meanwhile, the patient who had a family member die on the operating table with similar surgery views the 15% chance of complications as an unprecedented amount of risk. I view risk as just another factor to consider in my decision-making process. Taking calculated risks, or carefully considering the probabilities of various outcomes, the impact and the rewards have been paramount in my path. For me and my family, risk has been about managing trade-offs and understanding the results long term of not taking risks. Read more>>

Lauren & Brandon Bennett | Marketing Agency Owner & Investor/Day Trader

Risk taking has its time & place in life and especially in business. Higher risk often means higher reward. Brandon has always been a risk taker, which has allowed him to experience so many different things in life. Some good and some bad. As a pair, we balance each other out. I am less of a risk taker but because of Brandon’s encouragement I left my career as a teacher and launched my own business at 24 years old. Read more>>

Hannah Yeun | Musician & Floral Designer

I think playing it safe inhibits one’s growth in whatever creative field they are interested in. There is a way to take risks as long as they align with your personal goals. For me personally, I knew that I had to move across the country and get out of the stifling DC suburb I grew up in. I think that’s a common feeling for many creative people—the need to escape their hometown. If you have to start over somewhere that no one knows you, it forces you to face yourself and the things you truly want on the most basic level. And then you start feeling resilient and feel freedom to dream bigger and take bigger goal-aligned risks. Read more>>

William Lesch | Photographer, Sculptor, Kayaker, Stone Mason

Making art is all about taking risks. As an artist, you have to push yourself past what you already know, to work at the edge of the unknown. Georgia O’Keefe said the job of an artist is to make their unknown real, to make it known and show it to others. I have always been interested in work that surprises me, whether that is work of mine or the work of another artist. If we aren’t experimenting, trying new things and willing to fail, we never move off from what we already know. I’ve been taking risks since I first went into business for myself at the age of 25. I had the realization that I would rather sink or swim on my own than work for someone else. I wanted to learn life by living it, to experience it as fully as possible. Read more>>

Ann Tracy | Painter & Photographer

For the majority of Americans, just the act of being an artist is risky. I grew up on a farm with 5 siblings. Pursing art wasn’t practical. Our mother encouraged culture, and we had creative people in our family history. But both parents thought I was more than a little nuts for going to art school and pursing this life. Later in life they proudly introduced me as their daughter that’s an artist. I hadn’t thought about it before, but yes, it’s a bit gutsy to say, “Hey, this is my purpose and I’m doing it. I’ll probably always need a day job, and hope to have a family, but I can make art at night. I can do this.” And I did. You also have to put yourself out there, accept a lot of “no’s” and keep going. I’m busy in the studio for long periods, then on the road for exhibits or residencies. It can also be isolating, which has it’s own challenges. Read more>>

Benjamin M Johnson | Artist

I see risk taking as an essential part of life. I’m a painter, and my studio practice has taught me that risk is an important part of growth. In order to avoid making the same painting again and again, I must explore new ideas creatively, I have to consciously try new techniques and approaches, not knowing whether they will work, or whether anyone will enjoy the resulting paintings enough to want to look at them or perhaps purchase one. I often compare being a professional artist with being a professional gambler. I will spend months in the studio on new paintings that may be successful or may fail, but I have learned that all of my significant development as a painter came from the times that I stretched myself and took some risks. I have seen that parallel in my personal life as well. We only learn and grow when we allow ourselves to step out of our comfort zone, even if just a little at a time. Read more>>

Shelby Joiner | Painter/Dyer & Costume Technician

For me, risk taking always comes back to my own comfort zone. I was taught to continually push myself outside my comfort zone to achieve personal growth and that’s scary. That’s risky. I’ve found that now as a adult, I know when it’s time to take a risk and that mentality has really manifested itself in my career as an artist and technician, but also as a human. This year, for work at Arizona Opera, I’m in the middle of learning a set of skills I’ve never done before. It can be uncomfortable, it can be nerve wracking, but I’ve also found it to be rewarding. And ultimately, it was a risk I chose to take to become more well rounded in a competitive field. Risk can be a friend. Read more>>

Matt Bonaime | Car restoration

Risk is both a motivator to push myself and my crew but also a very real reminder than if things go wrong, there are consequences. I’ve tried to strike a balance between motivation and fear and usually have kept the financial risk minimal. Little to no debt, and only the type of work linked to what we have already done. Read more>>

Marily Acevedo | Photographer & Influencer

The way I take risk is go big or go home. There is so much to do in this life , if we start to hide behind or not go for what we want to go. Then are we going to get where we want to be at the end? It is better to say “yes I did that !” Rather then “no I did not do that” or even “I wish I did” because at the end we don’t know the answer. And I think we all fear what is the unknown. 5 years ago I found never thought to have the life I have now and they Experiences that I have now that I am 30 years old. Quite a few years ago I was so afraid that I wouldn’t get the “likes” that it takes to be an influencer or as popular. Because I was a single mom of a infant. But I still went for photography and I completely fell in love, knowing what I know now that you don’t need to have 100k followers to be big, having a unique and charismatic personality behind of what is a screen. Read more>>

Joshua Meyer | Professional Artist – Sculptor, Painter, Blacksmith

I love the concept of risk but unfortunately, I think it’s super misunderstood and feared. Most of us view risk in the context of taking action and trying something new, but rarely do we consider the great risk we are taking with inaction and not taking the chance! It can be equally as risky and harmful if we do nothing and never try new things. Personally, I thrive on risk-taking and it has more often than not paid off! That doesn’t mean that I don’t carefully consider things, but many times you just don’t know if something will work out the way you hope unless you try so you just gotta go for it and who cares if it fails! Failing at something doesn’t make you a failure unless you don’t learn from it. We are so worried about what other people might think and we are our worst critics so we must learn to embrace failure as a positive and a chance to learn and get better and try again. Read more>>

TechNoirCandy | Empress of Glitch & Fashion Designer

I have Risk & Faith to thank for everything beautiful and amazing in my life and career. My fashion brand which I officially started in 2019 was built around the Glitch art graphics I began creating 2014. The graphics began as a form of meditation for me, they are based on themes of Quantum Physics, Futurism, Black Holes, the duality of Nature, Quantum Entanglement, Tech Noir and Cyberpunk aesthetics essentially my art work is myself. Beyond the money, the expenditures, The biggest risk you can take as an artist, entrepreneur, woman in fashion design is to simply be Yourself and at the risk of wearing your heart on your sleeve. Essentially one of the other risks is exposure, during my first year in design I was invited to do the RAW show. I contemplated it, and decided to go for it. Read more>>

Carla Keaton | Fine Artist

I am a firm believer that if you are an artist, risks are inevitable. It comes with the territory. I had a painting instructor say once that sacrifice is necessary if you want to be an artist and make a living from it. I totally agree with that. You have to decide if you’d rather have paint supplies vs internet. You have to be able to sacrifice some of the comforts in life and think outside of the box. I’ve taken more risks than I like to admit in my lifetime, to finally achieve a level of success with art that I am comfortable with. Am I rich? Hardly…. But I am content. Taking risks exposed what I am made of and what I can live without. It opened many doors for me where I didn’t think doors existed. I have taken what lots of people may have considered foolish risks, and looking back, I think to myself, boy that was really brave or either dumb of me. Read more>>

Jesse Berlin | Professional Sculptor

As a fine artist, risk-taking is everything. The vast majority of people who study fine art never become professional artists. Those lucky few who do only do so by risking everything. Building a life as a professional artist means working on art and promoting your work full-time, even if you’re not getting paid. You have to be willing to spend a great deal of time and money participating in exhibitions, travel to exhibitions, residencies, and workshops, buying materials and equipment, obtaining adequate studio space, etc., and there’s no guarantee that any of this will result in financial success. I only got where I am today because I was willing to risk everything. At times it has cost me dearly, but I like to think that I’ve finally reached a place in my career where all of that risk is beginning to pay off. Read more>>

Jennifer Raboin | Fine Art Painter & Studio/Gallery Owner

Without risk…..one never truly knows what they can accomplish. Even though I have 29 years of experience as an artist, there are still commissioned projects that require me to push myself beyond my comfort zone. That’s the best thing about commissioned projects is that someone else is challenging the artist to make adjustments to their own perspective and see what kind of artistic compromise or challenge they can accomplish. I have always been very comfortable designing and painting metal floor and wall sculptures. A few years back, I was asked to design a twenty foot tall outdoor sculpture. I had never done anything on that scale before. As a new business owner of my own studio and gallery, this was a scary project to accept at this time. Then I remembered a quote a mentor of mine had said to me many times over the years. “Take the job and figure it out later. Read more>>

Adam Jackson | Professional Artist

Risking everything is the life of an artist. Do you remember the feeling of showing your art to your fellow classmates? Do you remember anyone crying? I do! That fear of being judged is the life of an artist and why, to be an artist is an inherent risk. Contemplating risk got me thinking about the night I stepped of the bus to boot camp. I have never been more terrified. I only remember thinking one thing. That I had just made the biggest mistake of my life, but now looking back I know it was worth the risk. I also know what pushed me to take that second step towards boot camp. I wanted to be an artist. After getting out 4 years later the U.S. Navy GI Bill allowed me to go to ASU where I received my bachelors in Fine Art emphasizing Oil Painting. I then became an Art teacher for people with physical and/or cognitive disabilities primarily focused on dementia. Read more>>