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.

Brad DuFour | Lead Singer/Guitar.

We are an original rock-&-roll band called Brothers Of The Oven from Red Bluff, California. We’re made up of four members; Brad DuFour (Vocals, Guitar), Greg DuFour (Drums), Seth Burns (Bass), featuring rapper/lyricist, RayDar on a selection of songs. As brothers, Brad and Greg grew up playing music together along with Seth Burns within differnet groups, finally resulting in the formation of Brothers Of the oven, “BOTO” in 2017 in Chico, Ca. Although we all have full-time day jobs, our passion for playing music together is in our childhood roots and has only kept us pursuing our art till this day. Read more>>

Maritzell Cazares | 3D artist, architect & Illustrator

Well this is a very good question, since I was a little girl I’ve always loved to draw, I remember all my childhood drawing different things like portraits, animals, architecture but character design was my favorite. When I had to choose a career I didn´t have too many artistic choices in that time so in my opportunities there was the architecture career, I liked architecture but it wasn’t my firstable goal to be honest neverthless I chosed it. Read more>>

Nimah Gobir | Painter

​​My first memories of art-making are of my dad creating these two-page drawings where he would flip a page back and forth and the image would move. It was usually a person walking or a butterfly flapping its wings. I remember thinking that it was magical and I’ve held on to the belief that art making is a type of magic ever since. Being an artist is one of the ways I can be close to magic every day. It will always be amazing to me that I create things. I was fortunate enough to have art classes available every year at the public schools I attended. Read more>>

Mike Vinze | Photographer/Filmmaker

When I was young, I would never have thought of myself as an artistic person. I always envied those who had a talent for drawing. I could never get the image on my mind and put it on paper. Not until I picked up a camera. I have discovered a way to express my creativity through photos or videos. I can now have an idea and bring it to reality At the same time have the ability to set a certain mood. Through the content that I produce, I hope to inspire or provoke a certain emotion in my audience. Read more>>

Zachary Dobbins | Artist & Gallery Manager

With an early interest in the arts, but a lack of holding on to what it was about the arts that I loved, it wasn’t until I learned about the strange, explorative world of contemporary art throughout my undergrad study that I knew this was what I was going to pursue. Seeing the experimental works of Chris Burden and other early contemporary artists solidified an effective way for me to convey my conceptual interest through the arts. As a politically active, and interested person, sculpture and installation was a natural way for me to work through these political and social narratives and attempt to understand rather than offer an answer. Much of my work investigates my nuanced relationship with firearms, religion, and other power structures present within America. Read more>>

Gracie Fontes | Healthcare Worker, Physical Therapist Assistant

As a healthcare worker, I was thrust right into the front lines during the Pandemic. I was feeling down, burnout and fatigued. I knew I needed an outlet. I had this camera that I bought few years ago that was just collecting dust on my shelf. I began using it to take pictures in my backyard. I had no idea what I was doing back then. All I knew was that it felt right. I had unlocked a part of me that longed to create, and so I listened to the part and kept going. Now, photography is my passion. I don’t know where I’d be without it. Read more>>

Crystal Rose | Musical Artist

Music is definitely something that is a need-based activity for me. I’ve always needed to sing, so I’ve known from a young age that this is what I wanted to do! In my mom’s culture (she’s from the Philippines), singing is an important collective activity. We used to go down to National City, San Diego to our favorite karaoke restaurant, where she would belt out Patsy Cline and I would sing my Disney favorites. As I got older, the music community in San Diego really offered me essential personal and musical support, and I just always felt that I need to keep singing to give back to the community, and sustain my emotional/creative self. Read more>>

Brooke Lee | Photographer and Wanderer

I have always had a creative mind, I just did not know where to channel it. I’ve always loved music and photography and so I started bringing my camera to concerts, merging two things I loved together. I worked hard to better my skills and taught myself most of what I know now about photography. I was hired by a music magazine and my career took off from there. Truly living the dream. Once covid hit, my career just vanished, as there was no more live music and no one booking photographers for things. Read more>>