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.

Jimmy Nelson | Wedding filmmaker & Real Estate photographer

I chose an artistic career because I realized that I no longer had a choice. If I wanted to live my best life, I had to follow what I was passionate about and make a living doing what I love. Throughout my whole life, I’ve always been passionate about being involved in something creative. Growing up, it was skateboarding. If I wasn’t in school, I was skateboarding. I practiced all day, everyday, regardless of weather or my surroundings. I remember when going on camping trips with my family, I would practice doing kick flips off of a picnic bench into the dirt because I didn’t want to go a day without practicing. Read more>>

Derek Sherrell | ADU Builder/Coach

Growing up as the child of a starving artist, the only relationship I had with the idea was to run away from it. I knew first hand, the struggles that came with chasing a career in art… Or so I thought! After serveral real jobs, It was clear that I was not a W-2 worker. I wanted more from my life and life wanted more from me. I wanted to create. I wanted to build! Oh Snap! I am an artist. Please don’t tell me mom. Read more>>

Analesa Rodriguez | Photographer & Artist

Right after I graduated high school I went straight into getting an associates degree for medical office management. While still in school I was able to get my first job (ever) in a lab that couldn’t afford to pay me. I worked for a few medical practices from individual providers to larger corporations. Every single one of them had my mental health suffering. I would come home and be too drained and stressed to do anything other than eat or sleep. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety multiple times and felt like I didn’t have time to focus on anything creative. Read more>>

Bekah Hibbert | Creator of Women Do

For far too long I put this unnecessary pressure on myself to find a job where everything I loved was in that job. That is simply not realistic. Especially if you are working for a company or someone other than yourself (but truthfully I just don’t if that is possible regardless). I found a job that I thought would be everything I ever wanted and still found myself feeling like something was missing. And what I finally realized is that it is unfair to think everything you love and are passionate about will be found in your job. Read more>>

Rachel Beebe | Esthetician & Lash Artist

I decided to pursue an artistic career because I wanted to genuinely love what I do. I know that sounds cliché, but if you’re going to work for a vast majority of your life – you might as well choose something fun! I wanted to be able to be fully myself, and express myself through my work. Read more>>

Josiah Whitesinger | Artist

i wanted to put my artistic talent out there and just show my creative side. This wasn’t my first option, i wanted to pursue many different hobbies as well and well i didn’t get much support from others. But i had already got my associates degree in studio arts. So i just kept creating and practicing my craft over and over. Just after almost a year, i finally felt more confident in my style and knew what i wanted to make and put out there into the world. Read more>>

Nikki Turner | Tattooer

Honestly-I didn’t really think that this is where I’d end up. In 2010 I had sidelined my creative pursuits through college as I felt that the prospects of a constructive career were bleak. I’m no teacher, graphic design never really suited me, and I didn’t feel like I had the personality/social skills to become a freelance artist. If you asked the Nikki from 10 years ago where she’d be today it would probably be some retail management position-as I was well on my way there. I had been working retail from the age of 16-26, in many different places but the gist was the same. Stock this, clean that, taking direction from so-and-so…the monotony was numbing. Read more>>

Laura-Lynn Petrick | Photographer, Cinematographer and Director

From a young age, I always knew I wanted to create images. I was fascinated with film, television and fashion. I loved to look through old photographs and absorb the emotion and storytelling behind each. I dove in head first and started photographing and documenting my surroundings. It’s been nearly 15 years now, and I’m still doing it. The comfortable times you feel like you’re on top of the world, and the rocky times create the most interesting work. I’m so grateful to be doing what I love everyday and happily pursue my passions. Read more>>

Nicholas White | Nicholas White | Actor & Influencer

I pursued a creative career in the arts field because I love being my own boss, and doing something fun. Acting requires me to express myself and be vulnerable to tell a story through the characters eyes. I love following my passion because along the way I know it will inspire others to go after their goals. I knew I was meant for more then a nine to five job, I believed God was calling me to go after the career that I wanted. I always use to see Disney stars on tv and always thought that looked so much fun. Read more>>