Artistic and creative careers are among the most rewarding, but they also come with unique challenges. We asked some of the city’s best creatives to tell us why they choose to pursue a creative career.

Andrea Machuca-Kirkland | Latinx Owner | Chef | Cheesemonger

For As long as I can remember, I’ve always loved trying new foods, discovering new places, and spending time in nature. Being exposed, from the formative days of my youth, all the way to present day, provided not only the impetus for the creative career I have today, but continues to drive me to explore the practically limitless boundaries of the industry. I knew early on that a typical “9-to-5” just wasn’t the right fit for me – but from my first encounter with the culinary world (and cheese in particular), I was smitten – and somehow knew exactly where I was supposed to be. Read more>>

Blanca Ramos | Brand Strategist + Designer

Coming from a family of performers, my childhood was filled with creative pass time which is where I fell in love with the world of art. In high school, I would be involved in the yearbook club and student government association which allowed me to pave the way for the career I have today. The moment that truly sparked a love for design was when I watched the 13 going on 30 movie (which is now my all-time favorite movie). When Jenna wished to be thirty and her life was transformed to this big-time magazine editor living in new york, that was the moment that I knew I wanted to be just like her and create designs for a living. Thankfully all my stars aligned and my dreams of becoming just like Jenna by 30 are slowly coming true. Read more>>

Lauren Miller | Graphic Designer, Artist and DIY-er

I have always been creative and drawn to art. Despite that, I majored in history in college. When I should have been studying history books, I would procrastinate and get lost in Photoshop and illustrator. One night I realized that I was pursuing the wrong thing! Graphic design, illustration and art were where my passion and talent was. It felt like the right thing to start design school and it was. Since then, I’ve expanded my creativity. Read more>>

Aimee Jacobs | Musician

There are a couple reasons I’ve chosen music. When I was younger I just did it because I was drawn to it. I enjoyed the way music affected my state of mind and saw power in that. The simple pleasure of using your body to make something is something everyone can resonate with as well. But I think now that I am older, its evolved into a more complex impulse. There are still those obvious factors. But music has also brought me community that I wouldn’t have otherwise. So now its not only about getting closer to whatever divine part of myself I am trying to connect with, it’s also about drawing in members of the community around me so I can infiltrate their headspace for the duration of time they are listening to something I made. I know that sounds kind of twisted but I like it when music does that to me so I figure there must be more people like that. Read more>>

Bridget Houchins | Architectural & Portrait Photographer

As the oldest child, me going to college was a big deal for my parents, both of whom came from families with no college graduates. I didn’t do very well in high school and didn’t have many career options in mind that I wanted to pursue, so when it came to picking a major I decided to wing it and choose something that would make me happy, so I chose photography. I was always an artistic kid, and choosing an artistic career seemed like a risk, but I’m glad it was a risk I decided to take. Read more>>