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.

Evelyn Sell | Wedding Planner & Designer

Growing up I was always doing something that was creative, whether that be painting, sewing, drawing etc. At an early age I would walk into a room and start redesigning it in my head, it was just the way my brain operated. In high school and college I took fashion design classes, interior design and architecture classes. I knew I wanted to do something in one of those fields but I could never put my finger on exactly the best path to go. Then it clicked, I would be a wedding planner and designed. I can’t tell you how I knew that would be my career, but I just did. I launched my company at the age of 21 and 13 years later here I am still going strong. Read more>>

Aaron Aranda | Frontman

One of the many beauties of art is how versatile it is in the way it affects people. For example, three people can listen to the same song and have the various interpretations. The same goes for the artists pursuing a creative career. Within our own band, Reasons Above All, the reasoning goes from such a career being fun and exciting, to satisfying a necessary stimulation of a creative mind. For anyone, creating and playing music can be a sort of release of emotions that have built up overtime. Likewise, it can also be a sort of escape from everyday stresses and responsibilities. The chemistry between band members can be a phenomenal thing as well. When you find yourself apart of a group that gets along and works well together to create amazing things, you may come to realize what a rarity that can be in life. As a result, you wish for it all to keep going as long as possible. Read more>>

Cucu Chanel | Drag Queen

I chose to pursue an artistic and creative career because I felt like it was my outlet to effectively create change. As a drag queen, if I can create a space online or in the entertainment world where people feel safe, where people see themselves reflected for the first time, where people find their ideas challenged or renewed, then I think I have done what I set out to do. As fun as it is to get dressed up in all these cute outfits and put on the long blonde wig, I think drag is about so much more. By dressing this way and donning the character of Cucu Chanel I am becoming everything I was told a boy or a man isn’t; yet, wipe off the lipstick, and there the boy is. Boom. Gender norms and the idea that gender is one certain thing is challenged and proven wrong. I did it, so can you, and so can everyone else. Read more>>

Megan Brickwood | Singer-Songwriter

It wasn’t a choice as much as a compulsion. The choice wasn’t about what I wanted to do, it was about whether I wanted to be who I was or pretend to be someone else. I think we all have to pretend sometimes, especially when we’re working to build something. Most of us, myself included, have had to work day jobs to support ourselves while building an artistic career, so I’ve had to pretend to fit into social boxes that really didn’t fit to put food on my table, pay the band, pay for studio time, etc.. But it has been in service of being true to myself and creating music, which is just part of who I am. It’s the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do with my life. Read more>>

Austin Jones | Artist & Art Teacher

I pursued being an artist because ever since I was a young child, I always dreamed of being an artist. When I was in pre-school, my teachers noticed I had a talent for art. As I grew older, my parents encouraged me to keep doing it because I enjoyed it. And as I matured and went to college, I just kept going and I haven’t stopped. I’m about to turn 30 next year, and I don’t see myself ever stopping to create art work. Read more>>

Mary Lynn Eichert | Nurse Practitioner & Med Spa Owner

The pursuit of a creative or artistic career was never my goal, but more of a byproduct of who I am. When I was much younger, I was passionate about and excelled in art. Upon graduating I was even offered a scholarship to an art program, but pragmatism, and looking back, a bit of destiny, got the best of me, when I chose to forgo the offer, and pursue a degree– and subsequent career– in nursing. After graduating in 2004, I began working in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Throughout the course of the year long preceptorship for the NICU, I worked a second job at a med spa in San Juan Capistrano, Ca. I continued working in the NICU full time for many years while simultaneously working part time at a med spa. The more I learned about aesthetics, the deeper my dedication grew. Read more>>

Emily Ann Dutkiewicz | Artist & Art Teacher

Growing up an only child I always gravitated towards any and all artistic outlets. Maybe this was because I didn’t have any siblings and with my family picking up and moving every few years, the arts was something I could practice independently and participate in no matter where I went. Constantly traveling throughout my childhood allowed me to become inspired from all of the different places we’d lived. As I got older I realized my connection to creativity developed into a lens that I chose to live through. In high school and college is when I really started to understand how art was intertwined to every aspect of our lives. I became aware of the idea of self-identity. While I live to make art, my decision of pursuing a creative career was to be able to share this awareness with others. Read more>>