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.

Jimena Elizabeth | Photographer

Ever since I was young, I’ve been told I have an incredible imagination. Growing up I would struggle with subjects in school. Such as math, or science. But, I would always stand out as a creative. All my life, I have gravitated towards all art. It is what interests me the most. Hence why I pursued something that comes so natural to me. Read more>>

Jennyfer Stratman | Artist

Creativity is something that has been a part of my life since I was very young, so it naturally unfolded to become my career path. Throughout my school and university years, ceramics was my preferred medium. Part way through my Fine Art degree at ASU, my ceramic sculptures were becoming so tall and thin that they were often breaking under their own weight and delicacy. My professor nudged me toward the metal foundry, and I never looked back. By the time I left university I knew I wanted to be a full-time artist. I think I was born a maker, so being the studio is my happy place. I can’t wait to get in there every day. For me, art and life are integrated, nearly everything I do seems to have an artistic element to it. Read more>>

John Wagner | Photographer

When I started in photography, I was most interested in the camera as a tool… the way it felt in my hands. I enjoyed the feel of the dials and levers used to advance the film and control the amount of light entering the camera to expose the film. I didn’t have any grand plans of being a photographer, it was more about he mechanics of it all. It wasn’t until much later that I learned the power of framing and capturing a single moment in time, a moment that reflected my point of view. I am a mostly quiet person… I keep to myself… I like to observe the people and places around me. I found that I could communicate using film, the camera, and the darkroom. I pursued it because I felt like it let me speak. Read more>>

Amberley Rae | Artist & Designer

I think it’s easy to say choosing an artistic career path was a no-brainer, but it took me a while to get to the level of certainty I’m at now in regards to who I want to be, what I want to do, and what I want to put forward into the universe. My career in music and art started as something personal– something secret just for me as a way of processing daily life. As that world expanded, I realized I had stories to tell which resonated with people. I learned in time that I have the ability to elicit an emotional response through the medium of art. When everything falls away, I feel people rely the most on art to give them some sense of comfort and reprieve or on the opposite end pushes them to look at things from a different perspective and challenges them. Read more>>

Vikki Reed | Mixed Media Artist, Paint By Heart Facilitator and Sound Frequency Practitioner

Since I was the last of her six children, my mom was able to return to some of her pre-maternal interests, one being painting watercolor. I had a brush in my hand by age 3, not that I was a child prodigy by any stretch of the imagination, just that I was given free access to art supplies of many kinds, and lots of (usually unwarranted) encouragement. The question inevitably comes, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer was always, “I don’t know, I just know I want to be able to paint…and help people.” Quite often, the follow up comment, “well, you know you can’t make money as an artist, you don’t want to be a starving artist, do you?” would sting and confuse me, and I would doubt what was so central to my understanding of myself. Read more>>

Paige Ashmore | Intuitive Artist

I’ve always drawn or painted my whole life. I decided to pursue an artistic career because I believe in the power of art can change people’s lives. I do it because I can’t think of doing anything else. It feels like a calling, like something deep inside of me that is driving me. Read more>>