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.

Meleina Hancock | Textile Designer

I have always been very passionate about creating things. From a very early age I remember busying myself with some new creative project, which usually had a dual purpose of solving a problem. I think my need to express my creativity is fused with a need to find balance and order in my daily life, which is probably my right and left brain at play. Throughout my earlier years in college I felt quite clueless which direction to pursue. Read more>>

Shareef Clayton | Trumpet, Bandleader, Entertainer, Composer, Producer

I chose music as a career after studying with trumpeter Melton Mustafa at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Miami. He was a great musician and I really liked his level of dedication to craft. He represented excellence on the highest level. Read more>>

Fox Martin | Burlesque Performer & Model

Living in the pursuit of art is just innate. Every time I’ve tried to step outside of that truth, it’s resulted in listlessness. Luckily, I can find the art in everything, whether it’s choosing an outfit or actually drawing and sewing one. I love to dance, and I love to sing badly, but what I always enjoy is telling a story. I don’t need to be visible to enjoy being part of a creative process… Aiding other people’s visions is fulfilling as well. Read more>>

Katherine Mena | Hairstylist/ Makeup Artist

Why I chose to pursue artistic/creative career is because honestly my brain wasn’t wired for anything else haha. Since I was little I’ve known this. In school subjects like math and science really didn’t click for me at all, it was a struggle to get through to the point as a kid it felt like torture to get through the homework; where as subjects like english, history, and art were my salvation when it came to your standard school curriculum. Read more>>

Jada Akoto | Graphic Designer

Growing up, my father, a Ghanian immigrant, would always tell my sister and I how we would make the best lawyers and/or doctors. However, I always knew I never wanted to be either and as I grew older, my dad also realized that. Instead of pressuring me to follow the cultural pressure of having a very esteemed job, he really wanted me to find something I enjoyed and would want to do for the rest of my life. My father really was the push to pursue a creative career because he saw how happy I was doing it. He bought me an Adobe subscription and I just took off. Read more>>

Melanie Kluger | Watercolor Artist

I’ve always been creative and artistic. Art has been a part of every career I’ve ever had. When the pandemic hit, I took up watercolor as a form of self expression and to decompress and it took off so naturally. I loved this style of painting so much that I started painting every night. Pretty soon I was having people ask me to paint something for them, and the first time I posted about my art I received 30 commissions over night. It felt like the world was telling me to pursue this art and I decided to listen. It’s been such an incredible journey. Read more>>