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.

Michele Weiss | Faux Botanical Specialist

My parents raised me to pursue a career that was steady, structured and rule following. My dad was old school and believed that job jumping or switching careers was a sign of being flighty and unreliable. According to mom and dad, your lifetime job needed to have benefits (most importantly a 401K) and you would ultimately retire comfortable after showing up every day and putting enough money away. In a roundabout way, I ended up spending 15+ years in a corporate environment monitoring clinical research trials in the pharmaceutical industry a few years after graduating from college. It was challenging and lucrative work which I enjoyed until I hit those last few years. I thought I was meant to live in a black and white world where coloring outside the lines was not allowed. A career heavily regulated by FDA guidelines doesn’t leave much room for interpretation and there are very strict rules that need to be followed. Read more>>

Tara Sauvage | Fashion handbag and accessories designer

The answers goes back to when I was four years old. I started making paper dolls by drawing the dolls on paper and then drawing clothes for the, coloring them in, and then I would keep them in a shoebox. I wish I had those now! I would also make sandles out of play dough. When I got into elementary school, I would spend time sketching “fashion girls” and I also made barbie doll clothes with scraps of fabric I got from my mom who sewed many of our clothes. At about age 12 I started to collect fashion magazines like Vogue and Seventeen. The funny thing was that I was not exposed to the fashion industry at all as a child. We lived on a dairy farm for many years and then later on a pig farm. I was out doing chores on the farm and the only stores that sold fashion nearby were a mall two hours drive away. I went to University and got my Bachelors Degree in International Business and traveled quite a bit. Read more>>

Milly Reed | Artist

I think most of us are creatives in some form or another. Be it visual arts, writing, computer coding, engineering, dancing or musical expression. For me, I believe art and expression is my unique take on life. It has been important for me to value, be curious and have fun with that. I believe it is important to share and help others grow in their creative abilities. I chose to go all in with art because I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. It’s been in alignment with my spiritual path. I think because creative inspiration comes from such a Intangible mental space. It’s hard not to separate that from a spiritual space. Read more>>

Aly Vredenburgh | Artist/Musician and Writer

I believe that art has the power to create joy, and I want to dedicate my life to making others happy. Making other people happy is what motivates me to keep pursuing art. Having the ability to capture an image to paper whether it’s with oil paint or with charcoal, is something I’ve worked hard to develop into a skill that I can utilize and celebrate. Read more>>

Ryan Hughes | Singer/Songwriter/Producer

One day, after working a pretty basic job, I came to the realization that I was wasting my time. I wanted to make myself happy by pursuing my passion, no matter what the consequences. It was a pretty pivotal time in my artistic career. I had been playing and studying music my whole life but at that particular time, I really decided to go for it. Read more>>