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.

Key Exposure | Artist & Photographer

My purpose in life was to be a creative. I found art and photography in a time where I didn’t know how to express myself and my confidence was low. So I found a way, I used art as my voice for the things I didn’t know how to say or even just a way to bring me peace when my mind would race wild. My medium is acrylic paint, with every stroke it’s a relief. When I set up my canvas and use my brushes it’s an escape to my paradise. I started hosting painting sessions which people really enjoyed and they found comfort and joy as well. As for photography, I believe everyone deserves a hype man and precious moment should last a lifetime. In this industry a lot of well known photographers go for the “model” look, but I believe everyone is picture perfect. I want to be the change in the industry that shows whoever wants to be in front of a camera on a magazine dreams do come true and everyone is uniquely beautiful. Read more>>

Emol | Artist, Art Educator and Wanderer

Art is what makes me feel alive as an individual and as a collective being. I need to poetically materialize my ideas and perceptions. The art I produce also activates the poetry that is in other people. This creates a connection between us and helps to humanize us. My artwork allows me to learn more about myself and more about other people. Art sharpens the critical and poetic perception of life and is how I want to contribute to the world. Read more>>

Stephanie Arsenault | Food and Travel Writer + Photographer

I’ve always loved the world; by that, I mean all of the cultures, the foods, the places. Food, especially, is what brings people together, regardless of their background. I’m Canadian, I moved here a couple years ago; my dad is from Prince Edward Island (a very small island on Canada’s east coast), my mom from Poland. I’ve got several cultures just in my own family and moving here (to San Diego) was so exciting. As a food and travel writer and photographer, every day feels like an opportunity to explore and share. As a recipe developer, I simply cannot get enough of the delicious food and drinks here. Being creative was never not an option for me. The need to explore and share is in my blood. Read more>>

Aries Tjhin | Artist, Supervisor at Starbucks and Team Lead at Urban Outfitters

When I was in 4th grade, I remembered being in class, and we had art time, and I was noticing that I was able to follow instructions and copied what my teacher did when she demonstrated how to draw a house or a still life of a flower. It was that time that I realized I was different from all the kids in class. Also my 4th grade teacher, was an artist too. She let me go through her archive of past art projects for class, and for me to copied and do art after school. Also I had a mom that encouraged me to pursue my art degree. Read more>>