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.

Janelle Despot | Visual Artist & Creative Mystic

It’s something I’ve always just done. I know it in my bones, and I don’t know if there’s ever been anything else! My “career” is just a winding path of choices that felt fun and right at the time. Floundering around the detours led me to new discoveries and people, and now I’m blessed to try to fit all the beautiful pieces together. Living as an artist is the truest thing I can do, for me. This is a good question to reflect on, because pursuing an artistic/creative career is full of constant challenges and doubts. Sometimes I am misguided and lose my “why,” but I think creativity is such an individual, special gift that we get to find, nurture and share with the world. Or not, maybe it’s a quiet, individual practice. In committing to my path, I get to inspire and help others do the same, whatever that looks like for them. Read more>>

Brittany Goodwin | Wellness Blogger, Writer, & Musician

I’ve been expressing myself in creative ways since I was young. From making crafts to writing poetry, being creative always felt natural to me. As I got older, I realized that the gravitational pull I felt towards creativity was innate and part of my identity. Pursuing a creative career always felt like it was in the cards for me. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. When I moved to NYC in 2018, I felt unclear about what I wanted to do in my life. After some challenges and triumphs, I noticed how drawn I was to music and mental health. I put the two together after a period when I was struggling to make music. I noticed that my mental health influences how creative I am. When I prioritized wellness and self care in my life, lyrics came easily to me and I was less afraid to try new things. It’s exciting because there is so much more in store for me and my ideas. Overall, being creative makes me feel limitless. Read more>>

Laura Cheadle | Professional Singer/Musician

I grew up in a very musical family. My father, James Cheadle is a legendary piano player and producer so my life has always been intertwined with music. I am also a very creative person so I could never be in a career that lacks creativity. I was blessed with the ability to be able to sing and play instruments so this was a very natural process to become who I am. Read more>>

Colin Jonnes | Musician & video artist

I just couldn’t seem to stick to anything else. I spent a long time wandering around, trying to find something I liked to do that I could make into a career while trying to make the music happen. That didn’t work too well. Then I came across film which is about as easy to break into as music is. but loved it just the same and nothing else really fit so I tried to find a way to combine the two. Working with video to give story to the music and the vice versa. Read more>>