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.

Karen Rosenfeld | Photographer and Graphic Designer

I come from a long line of artists. Just to name a few, my grandma is a painter, my dad is a photographer, and my brother is an animator. I’ve been practicing art for as long as I can remember and have had a camera in my hand since I was 12. I always like to say that I have my dad’s photographic eye. When I was older, four years of high school art classes were planned my freshman year to ensure I reached the higher levels in senior year. Read more>>

Ben Akers | Photographer

I found my passion for photography during my freshman year of high school. I took an introductory photography course and fell in love with capturing images. I soon got my own camera and took more photo classes throughout high school. When it came time to go to college I was unsure of what to do. I knew that photography was my passion but I also knew that I could have a more stable job in Information Technology. I enrolled in IT courses for my first year of college and soon realized the program wasn’t right for me. Read more>>

Franck Carducci | Multi-instrumentalist, singer & songwriter

I guess the accurate question to ask me would rather be “Why did art, and more specifically music, pursue me?” Ha Ha Ha … Well, I grew up in a family where music is a way of life. At the age of 5 I made my first experiences with a Hammond organ, proceeded to learn the guitar later on and joined my first rock and roll band when I was 14 years old. I was also playing drums, bass, harmonica by that time, so I guess I didn’t really have a choice. Music was my destiny! Read more>>

Aconda Williams | Model & Writer

A creative career path always kept me wanting more out of life. It forced me to see that life is bigger than me and the work that I do is beyond just me. At first, I pursued a creative career out of resourcefulness, out of a need for survival. At the age of 21 I dropped out of college and felt like my back was up against the wall. I heard voices of judgement, constant noise, and failure in my head, “Aconda what are you going to do with your life, what are you going to be, how will you provide for yourself”? Read more>>

Bladen Benson | Falconer and entreprenuer

I decided to pursue this career, not just out of love, but because I was tired and scared of the thought of 9 – 5 jobs. I fully believe in making a career out of doing what you love. I also believe that it is important to step out of societal norms like getting a 9 – 5 job or even going to college. Read more>>

Erica Reed | Owner of Reed and Write Freelance, ghostwriter, editor, and book coach

I’ll never forget how my mother wanted me to be an architect when I graduated highschool, and how I wanted to become a message therapist. It was the closest I could get to helping people in the medical field without having to deal with fluids. From a successful message therapy career, I returned to my original passion, which has always been writing. I’ve been writing novels since I was eleven, and I love to teach others how I’ve mastered this art. My career as a massage therapist funded my passion for writing, leading me to earn a Master in English Literature and Creative Writing. Read more>>

Lee Plummer | Photographer, Writer, Artist.

I didn’t, well at first I mean. I’ve always been artisitc from a young age when my Grandpa taught me the joy of art, but you see in the early 2000’s when I entered the work force I knew, or better yet I was told from a society standard that being creative or artistic was only for the best of the best, so I became a realist and got a job. I mean what else was I supposed to do, I had bills to pay and the reality was just that, go to work, build a resume, get a career and work til I retire. Read more>>

Jesus A Alarcon | Tattoo artist

I love to express myself through art and I had this talent since I was a little kid then started to discover more Read more>>

Owsley Wylyfyrd | Generative Artist & Composer

I’m not sure how much choice I had in the matter. I had a successful marketing business for 4 years, and while the money was good, my mental health suffered a great deal. By the time I started seriously pursuing a career in arts I’d started having chronic anxiety and panic attacks on a regular basis. My last year in business I lost 20 pounds and was certain I was having a heart attack several times a week. Eventually the fear of not pursuing my calling became greater than the fear of just doing it. Read more>>

Chelsy Spicer | Spiced Ink – Visual Artist

I feel pursuing a creative career was something that chose me. Of course there was that moment where I made the decision to take it full time, but my life has generally always revolved around being creative to some capacity. I just kept doing what I loved to do, which ultimately led to people loving it as well. Making it my full time career seemed to be the only way I’d truly be happy. Read more>>

Andrea Jade | Artist

It’s a long long story and could start back when I was 8 and won a greeting card contest but I’ll skip forward to going to college and getting a chemistry degree. Why chemistry? Because I liked chem class in high school and being a pharmacist seemed like a “good job” path. Well after a few semesters of organic chemistry I was like nope and started taking art classes. After a few semesters of art classes, the societal rumblings about starving artists started to get to me so I began thinking really hard about getting a real job to earn money. Read more>>

Linda Lee Cross | Published childens author

As long as I can remember, I have been telling and writing children stories. Raising my daughter as a single mom, bedtime stories were an every night event. As the years progressed and my daughter grew up, I decided to take our favorite bedtime story and actually write it down and bring it to life on paper. I had no idea where this would go! My first book “There’s a Witch in My Dryer” has become a 5 star must read on Amazon and I was so fortunate to tour with Barnes & Noble book stores all across the US. Signing and reading my stories to so many amazing readers was the start of my author career. Read more>>