Artists and creatives face innumerable challenges given that their career path often doesn’t come with a playbook, a steady paycheck or any form of safety net. It’s definitely not easy and so we asked a few of the artists and creatives we admire to talk to us about why they chose to pursue an artistic or creative career.

Sammi Martinez | Singer | Songwriter

Call me a dreamer, but from a very young age, I was running around telling everyone I wanted to be a popstar. I grew up with music all around me. With my mom being a piano teacher and the pianist at my church, I grew up learning piano at a young age and singing more than I talked. Read more>>

Romen Buffalo | Singer | Songwriter

The reason why I started taking guitar lessons was to learn music theory and how to write songs.. I like the discovery process, looking for the right chords, searching for the melody and writing lyrics. Best part of being a singer/songwriter is the feeling you get when you finish writing a new song, also the scariest moment when you send the song to your band mates and hope they like the song. Read more>>

Mark Clewley | Artist & Photographer

I always leaned towards it. Art was always a major factor in my life starting with Stephen Gammell from Scary Stories series at age 6. The imagry in them just captured me instantly. As I grew i would doodle and draw on anything I could. It wasn’t till college that I expanded into Photography as well. Read more>>

Ashley Czajkowski | Artist, Educator, Seeker

In some way, I don’t feel like I had a choice. I tried to appease my mother and parts of my self by pursuing first a career in Engineering- to be fair it was a Pre-engineering program where I attended undergrad- and I only lasted a semester. I found myself unenthused with learning except in my art classes, so after that first year I stopped putting my focus towards anything but art- and I loved it. Read more>>

Sophia Leon | Photographer

Having a creative photography career has allowed me to bring not only my own but, other’s visions to life. It has also been a sort of therapy for me. I’m an introvert my nature and being in my element has allowed me to be myself without any fears. Being a photographer has allowed me to share mutual ideas with fellow photographers, models and clients. Read more>>

Katelyn Block | Founder of Ivy & Co

I have always enjoyed being creative, whether it is decorating a cake, cooking a unique recipe, or designing a home. Creativity has always stirred a passion inside of me and Ivy & Co has given me a new outlet to do just that. Read more>>

Ludo Smolic | Horror Ink Artist

I think that art of all kinds is very specific to humans and how we perceive the world and emotions around us. That kind of idea has always spoken to me, so I’ve always had a heart for doing art even as a hobby. It just made sense to take what means so much to me and try to pursue art as a career, and I’ve been working towards it since high school. Read more>>

Amy Martin | Photographer, Biologist, Activist

Incidentally, I feel that my artistic and creative career pursued me, tirelessly at times, before I could pursue it fully. In college I concentrated on a science degree with plans to go to medical school. I worked as an emergency medical technician (EMT) in the high mountains in the winter and in the Grand Canyon in the summer, and then joined the Peace Corps for two years. Read more>>

Bentley Monet | Drummer + Band manager + Screen printer

I have always had a deep rooted need to create. I make music, art, clothing, and videos. I decided to pursue a career in music because as far as I know I only live once and I want my life to be surrounded by musicians and artists. It is my happy place and I wanted it to be more then a hobby. I don’t want a 9-5 to distract me from my passion. Read more>>