Deciding to pursue an artistic or creative career path isn’t for the faint of heart. Challenges will abound, but so many of the artists we speak with couldn’t be happier with their choice. So, we asked them about how they made the decision in the first place.

Tim Norton | Musician, Composer & Educator

Expression is the ultimate essence of living, and for me – music embodies that expression more than anything else. I find that my contributions to ‘human culture & art on planet earth’ lay heaviest with my writing, composition and performance of music. I often get goosebumps when listening to a really well written and emotionally relatable song or performer. That is my goal with writing and performance; to move people emotionally and connect over life’s myriad of experiences. Without fail, that is what music does for me every day and so I’ve made it my life’s goal to share the highs, lows and woes of my human experience through this delicate connective tissue that we know as music. Read more>>

Tammy Gross | Performing Artists _ Aerial Acrobat _ Fire Performer

I’ve always felt a strong passion and purpose in my life when creating an art project. It was in 2005 when I fell in love with circus arts. It was originally a tool I used to keep me motivated and inspired in my personal life. I loved the feeling of pushing myself physically, strengthening my body in an innovative way and having permission to be artistic and unique. In 2008 I received my first circus contract. It truly went from a hobby and personal discovery to something I was also able to earn an income off of. Read more>>

Josiah Gill | Photographer

When I was younger, I simply would have said “because it’s fun”. Art is fun and amazing but that is not the entire reason why. I knew since I was a child I wanted to be an artist. I did it because I loved it. However, my imagination was not running wild. I struggle with surrealism and creating worlds and characters in my mind, and I could not put that on paper. I was more into realism and learning technical skills. Then photophargy came into my life at the age of 16. Photography overtook my life and I knew for as long as I lived. Growing up I was taught to be caring, sympathetic and to help others. Read more>>

Adele Hendricks | Artist

Simple beauty always has been intriguing and exciting to me. Whether it is the swing of a toddler’s dress as she chases bubbles, the posture of rocks on the beach, or the ennui of the hands of an old farmer.. All these are beautiful to me and I’ve always wanted to capture that beauty somehow and share it. Read more>>

Elliott Schuessler | Artist

Why did you pursue an artistic or creative career? This is still something I continue to understand for myself every day, and I continue to love what I learn on a daily basis. I started my career taking the steps of what I thought was the “adult life” path that I thought was the standard for everyday life. Don’t get me wrong – I was raised in a great family and in a great setting, but the “norm” where I grew up was very structured – go to school, get a good job, start a family, etc. and that’s what I did (minus the start a family, but I do have a pretty bad ass Black Lab named Blakely – who is probably more well-known than me in downtown SD). Read more>>

Miranda Squillace | Visual Artist & small business owner

Although I always loved creating art, I never thought I would be pursuing an artistic career. I spent my undergraduate career studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a concentration in Entomology. I didn’t even pick up a paintbrush for those 4 years. After graduation, I was incredibly eager to be hired for a position in Ecology. I spent hours applying to jobs, but after months and little prospects of success, I settled for a part-time job as an art instructor. Read more>>