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.

Gabriella Kohr | Fine Artist, Muralist, & Founder of DéKohr Studio

Ever since I was child I was always interested in drawing, painting, fashion and creating worlds of my own. Through this innate upbringing of constant creativity I followed my passion within the arts. By pursuing a career in painting, as well as starting DéKohr Studio, an online clothing store, I have pursued my childhood dream. For me, I feel as though painting and developing DéKohr has allowed me to express myself in all facets of my creative being. Through this expressive creative outlet it has allowed me to pursue a life that fulfills my desires, and brings me the utmost joy. Read more>>

Nanette McGuinness | Soprano and Artistic Executive Director of Ensemble for These Times (E4TT)

First, because I could only be happy and fully myself if I followed music’s siren call: I’ve often felt that people who become musicians do so because they can’t not. And I’ve been fortunate to be able do so—as not all have the opportunity—and to be able to use my own voice and my music to shine a light on unheard, forgotten, or unrecognized voices. Finally, because music, and particularly singing, is such a direct method of communication: it lets me speak directly from my spirit to the listeners’ hearts. Read more>>

Shaynie Rhoads | Musician

I grew up playing guitar and idolizing rockstars like Scott Weiland and James Hetfield. Once I found purpose in music, I decided I wasn’t interested in much else. It’s how I give back to the world. It’s is all I’ve ever known. Read more>>

Sheridan Dyches | Lifestyle and Fashion Photographer

Growing up as a perfectionist, I was (and am) always on the hunt of feeling proud of the work I’m doing. I have distant memories of me grabbing my mom’s digital camera and taking photos of everything I found interesting. Fast forward to high school when I was taking my art credit class and was recognized by peers and teachers for my portrait work. For me portraits and lifestyle photography bring two of my biggest passions together: art and fashion. It felt like I finally proud of the work I was putting out and that fire has never died. Read more>>

Zuly Inirio | Afro-Latina Soprano, Scholar, & Arts Advocate

Ever since I could remember, I was surrounded by music. One of my parents’ favorite stories to tell is that when I was a very young girl before I could even fully talk, I would request ‘merengues’ (Dominican music) based on what I heard in the song. So, there was one particular merengue where the singer would sigh, so when I asked for that one, I’d say “Zuly quiere ‘ahhh’” (Zuly wants “sigh”) and eventually, my family figured out what that meant. Before I could fully express myself, music was speaking to me. Listening to stories like that really affirmed what I felt in myself all along, I love to create music, and more specifically, I love to sing. Read more>>

Anthony Smith | Photographer

I’ve been around photography my entire life. My dad has always been taking photos my entire life and gifted me his old Nikon DSLR when I was about twelve I want to say. I never really caught the bug though at that time. then 8 years later I went on a camping trip to Big Sur and brought a disposable camera along at the suggestion of my good friend Hunter Pollock. Read more>>

Christina Briggs | Owner/Creator Farm Momma Soaps

I have not always been an “artistic”individual while I enjoyed coloring as a child it wasn’t something I pursued. Traditionally I would have never thought of soap as an artistic medium but that is exactly what it has become for me. As I began soaping I was never satisfied with just a simple single colored bar. I began experimenting with natural colors, clays, botanicals, and infused oils to bring more color variety to my creations. Read more>>