Artists and creatives face innumerable challenges given that their career path often doesn’t come with a playbook, a steady paycheck or any form of safety net. It’s definitely not easy and so we asked a few of the artists and creatives we admire to talk to us about why they chose to pursue an artistic or creative career.

Danielle Dong | Wedding Photographer

I didn’t always know I wanted to pursue this type of career, but I have always gravitated toward the more creative side of things. Photography was just another fun hobby for me at first, and continued to grow over the years as I found myself constantly wanting to do more with it. Once I started getting into weddings, I just fell in love with getting to be part of such amazing days and getting to make something beautiful to commemorate them. I always say to myself that I never knew what my dream job was until I started living the dream, and couldn’t be more grateful that I get to do what I do. Read more>>

Nazli Takesh | Yoga & Mindfulness Mentor and Sound Healing Facilitator

Well, I actually think this career pursued me. Prior to yoga I didn’t consider myself a creative person (which is silly – when given the right tools, everyone is creative! It’s in our nature). As I began working in the wellness industry and I was able to create and brainstorm and bring to life ideas that for so long were just thoughts and dreams … I knew I had found a space I could thrive in. Fast forward many years, and I am absolutely in love with my career because of the creative flexibility I have. I get to create classes, trainings, retreats, workshops — all while staying true to my desires and passions. I don’t have to fake anything to get students or clients, I get to be so me that sometimes I’m still blown away that this is what I get to do. Also, I get to work alongside and collaborate with other extremely talented and creative individuals, it’s amazing! Read more>>

Tim Outten & Angelica Ramirez | Digital Media Production Couple

It all started in 2014, Tim and I didn’t know each other but we were both dancers and were involved in the shuffling scene. Individually we edited and filmed our own shuffling videos to post on Youtube. Eventually, we crossed paths and although we lived 3 hours away from each other, we became best friends. Our love for video making and dance brought us together. Tim already had his mindset on becoming a video editor and inspired me to pursue a profession in the same field. What started off as a hobby turned into a career choice and a devotion to media production. Read more>>

Isabelle Wilson | Multidisciplinary Artist

I have always loved research and just about every academic subject. Art/painting has always been a way for me to synthesize whatever I’m passionate about and share that with friends and family. Art is also the only thing that I’ve spent extra time on. Since elementary school, it was the thing that I would continue to work on outside of class, stay after school in high school, and then go above and beyond for projects in college (University of Michigan BFA). My parents are small business owners, and my dad and his dad have always said “everything is business.” So, even if I’m passionate about art, the other side of that is that I’m constantly marketing myself, networking, and working on my practice. I feel that the artist lifestyle can be romanticized, but in many ways its not very different than any other small business. The product just happens to be your art. Read more>>

Sanford Shapes | Handcrafted Artisan Skateboards

Sanford Shapes started organically out of pure passion and fun. We began woodworking and building skateboards simply because we wanted to create our own shapes and designs for ourselves and our friends. After creating those first few boards, we realized that we shared a love for woodworking, and we were hooked! It was an easy decision to take the next step and share our passions with the world. At Sanford Shapes, we have always found creativity to be the best outlet to express ourselves whether we are surfing and skateboarding, or woodworking and experimenting with artistic designs. We channel inspiration from our daily lives while surfing and being surrounded by nature and we implement this inspiration into all of our products. Read more>>

Ashley Feichter | Interior & graphic designer

Ever since I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to do something creative. I always loved sketching and I remember finding notebooks with pretend business card and invitation designs, still life drawings, and I even found a few attempted floor plans, before I even knew what they were. My high school job, working for my dad’s company, also solidified my decision to pursue something creative, as I did very basic accounting, indexing, and other “boring” tasks. Read more>>