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.

Shamia | Founder of Pretty Vintage

Since a very young age, I have been creative and have always wanted to pursue a creative career. I knew while studying fashion merchandising that I wanted to start a business in that field and be my own boss. Being able to express my creative side is fulfilling and allows me to push the boundaries in ways that are not as applicable in other industries. Read more>>

Montserrat Lewin Mejia | Content Creator/Applied Engineer

I decided to become a content creator during quarantine when I realized that I was not satisfied with just studying engineering. Don’t get me wrong, one of my passions is learning about how objects are created and how supply chains work. However, for the longest of times, I had pushed my creative passion to the side. So, what better time to start something new than when we were all locked up at home? I absolutely love creating content with brands, as photography and modeling is an art in itself. It became the challenge I needed at that moment in my life, and it continues to be one as I balance it out with my full time job. Read more>>

Jeannine Romero | Artist

About nine years ago, I was at a point in my life where I was able to reinvent myself. Although I have always had a creative side, I was largely pursuing other academic interests for years (journalism, social work and public health), as well as raising two children. Finally, I was without anymore worries about my childrens’ college funds, and able to leave employment as a hospital social worker in women’s health to pursue more creative activities; in my case, I knew it would involve plants, gardens and, eventually art. I was fortunate to be able do this, to follow my heart, to do what I love (as I had heard it said), and see where it leads. And, I’m grateful for it, because the journey has been personally rewarding. Read more>>

Lauren Gress | Personal Chef

I have always had an artistic spirit but struggled to find my medium. Growing up with ADHD, I had a tough time in school and found it nearly impossible to stick to anything long enough to master it. I went to university for nursing and was miserable. As I discovered my passion for food and found out that I was a kinesthetic learner, things started to click and I took what felt like a bold step. I left my college, moved to a new city and committed to the culinary arts, getting a degree from the Seattle Culinary Academy. It wasn’t easy, things still aren’t easy, but sometimes you have to go for it. Read more>>

Christina Furnival | Licensed Mental Health Therapist & Children’s Book Author

I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, which would easily be considered a more traditional career. I completed college and graduate school and became licensed in order to provide therapy. That said, I have put my creative spin on it all, taking what I know from my decade in the field to create relevant, engaging, and evidence-based mental health articles and children’s social-emotional books! By taking complex therapeutic approaches and synthesizing them into manageable and practical tools for my clients and readers, I am able to express my creativity while empowering them to have agency over their life and experiences. Read more>>

Nora & Naji Chaya | Owners of Nora’s Desserts

The beauty of a business that requires a creative mind is that it allows you to experiment and create things that you normally wouldn’t. Some of the things we most enjoy doing are creating new recipes or enhancing the products that we already make. While some of our new experiments don’t turn out the best, the ones that do bring a lot of joy; and since we both love food, the joy of the new discovery largely outweighs our failures. Read more>>

Benjamin Cook | Artist, Educator

Maybe this answer is a bit of a cop out but I don’t know that I ever really considered anything else as a possibility. Creative thinking has always been how I made sense of the world and it is my go to method for any problems. Read more>>

Viet Tran | Chef/Bartender/Foodie

I think pursuing or being passionate about creative work comes from each person’s individuality. I’m a chef who loves creativity. Each dish must be unique and change with the seasons. Therefore, the work requires creativity. I have not only transformed the presentation but also the new taste. Therefore, I am not only passionate about being a chef but also a foodie and bartender Read more>>

Kaira | Photographer/Artist

Interview I always loved photography, and I was surrounded by creativity growing up. I had my first camera (an SLR) at seven. My dad additionally loved photography and videography. He even had a home camera in the 60s! My mother also took photos on our vacations, but her passion is painting. In high school, I was developing B&W photos in my parents darkroom. I remember once I spent 10–12 hours there trying to get some photos “right”! I was asked to be the newspaper Photographer, and many of my photos also ended up in the yearbook; but my personal subjects always remained artistic. Read more>>

Sarah Slurpie | Content Creator

I actually have yet to use what I do on social media as a career yet. I started using the internet the way most of us began to use it. When the internet was still fresh and we found new ways to communicate with friends and family on the weekends or after school . The days of Aim , Myspace, Youtube, Stickam and Xanga were my introductions to exploring what I could do online and be part of the future of community building. I had a love for drama and acting and creativity my whole life, and when i realized the internet could allow me to show everything i had secretly inside of myself, I fell in love with everything . I blogged my heart out, posted every picture I took, and recorded my ups and downs as gifs and later as full videos. Read more>>