We asked some of the city’s leading artists and creatives to tell us about how they decided to pursue an artistic or creative career. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Barbara Bliss | Photographer

I have a passion for photography and everything about it just makes me happy- being able to capture moments in time for clients, bringing joy to others through my photography, and just being able to get out and shot pictures.. People say I light up behind the camera. I believe everyone should pursue their passion and go for what they want to do! You only live once you should definitely do what you love. Read more>>

Karen Kurka Jensen | professional artist

I felt compelled. All of my life. Even as a small child I could feel the energy of the earth, the pull of being outdoors. We were lucky growing up, living on the edge of a city; fields, woods and farms surrounding us. Our mother let us roam all day, only calling us in for dinner at night. It was magical and I think I’ve never really lost that. I pursued art in school, as an interest initially but always loving every new medium I found to express myself and the world around me. When I found sumi-e, where the emphasis is on evoking the spirit of your subject I found the answer to my soul. So I studied it. Read more>>

Harrison Sheckler | Pianist & Composer

I was 6 years old when I started taking piano lessons and since then I’ve always known I wanted to be a professional pianist. It’s my passion! Though, at that age I also wanted to be a fireman, scientist, and a baseball player as many young boys do. One of my earliest memories is watching The Lawrence Welk show on PBS. The guest performers were captivating and his band was top notch. Mr. Welk was a showman and knew how to appeal to a crowd with his witty banter and excellent stage presence. He was one of my earliest inspirations. Read more>>

Carrie Green-Zinn | Travel Blogger & Content Creator

I really love this question because it reminds me that “creative person” is actually part of my identity. I lost that for a while and I am so happy to have it back! In fact, the entire reason I started my blog was because of a serious need to bring creativity back into my life. A few years ago as I approached my sixth decade, and an empty nest, I felt a slump emerging. It was a dearth of creativity, and I desperately needed to infuse myself with some kind of spark. Read more>>

Xander Simmons | Actor

I started acting when I was a baby and I had my first paying job when I was 4 years old on set! At this point, I love it and want to continue any opportunity given to be on set. Read more>>

The Oddity | Rock Band

We chose to pursue an artistic career because we all share a love for music. One of the reasons we prefer making music and performing over a conventional 9-5 is because making music gives us the opportunity to work at our own pace and have total freedom over our music, it never really feels like work. We love the feeling of capturing an audience and setting the tone of the environment. The most rewarding feeling is when we’re on stage playing our original music and the crowd is feeling it. Read more>>