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.

Josh Patterson | Photographer, Writer, Explorer

I’ve never been one straight lines or authority. I’m easily bored, I hate routine and have always found more enjoyment in nature than in a cubicle. I was a terrible student, nearly flunked out of high school and topped that off with dropping out of college two years into a bachelor’s. On the other hand, I could easily entertain myself reading, writing, drawing or exploring nature. It was pretty obvious from the get-go that four walls and a glowing screen weren’t going to hold me. Read more>>

Ashanna Bri | Actress, Curve Model, and Host

I pursued a career in the creative artistic world because I always felt that visibility, diversity, and representation were necessities and there was a lack of that! I wanted to be able to give those a voice, who felt under represented. Read more>>

Ambika Thiagarajan | Ambika Thiagarajan I Visual Artist

I always knew that I had a problem with understanding and channeling my emotions. I know I’m a really sensitive and emotional person but I didn’t know how to interpret the complexity of it. Being an avid over thinker, I wanted to dig further into the world of all these feelings I was experiencing and explore it in another forum. In middle school, I started pursing different forms of artistic expressions. I learnt South-Indian traditional dancing (Bharathnatyam), singing and took several after-school Art lessons. This led to late night sketchbook drawings, painting on my bedroom walls, and constantly reading about anything related to the world of Art. Around high school was when I decided Math and Science just wasn’t doing it for me and I instead want to choose a path of self-expression and share it with the world. Ever since I made that decision, I have been throwing myself onto the canvas. I even attended Acting School in between which only furthered my love for creativity and expression. Read more>>

Lucas Ataide | Ballet Dancer

From a young age, I felt that art/dance was my calling. As I’ve matured as an artist, I’ve grown to understand how important art is to community building. It makes us think, it helps us empathize with others and it helps us to see the beautify that surrounds us. Without art we cannot progress as a society. Read more>>

Erika Hurtado | Stationery Designer

I have a degree in marketing but design has always been in my heart. I have an ability to make pretty things, from a design for work, to decorating a room or an event, but I went for stationery because I’ve loved paper since I can remember. I’ve always been that girl who makes all kinds of paper crafts, so I started doing invitations and day-of pieces for kids parties, but one day a wedding planner friend asked me to make the wedding invitations for a client and I totally feel in love with the process. Somehow I started having more and more requests so I took the chance and created my stationery studio. Also, being my own boss was a very important thing for me, first because I always hated being an employee! haha, mostly because of flexibility. I hated having to count my days off and having to ask for permission when felt like spending them. And second because I always knew that when the day came, I wanted to be able to enjoy my kids and be in their lives as much as possible. Read more>>

Emmett Harper | Musician & Entrepreneur

My mom was a painter. As an only child, my mom would would break out the supplies and keep the boredom at bay with art projects. A lot of her friends were also painters or musicians and they always had the same advice. “Don’t become an artist, there is no money in it”. I took that advice and became a programmer. When I was 24, my mom called to tell me she had stage four pancreatic cancer. In six months, she had passed away and I had become a different person with a new fear. A fear of dying not having created the art that I could. We all pass at some point, so it goes. When I pass, I want to pass as an artist, like my mom. Read more>>

Christina Antonio | Artist and Designer

You could say I was born to be an artisan. I was born and raised in London to Greek parents and come from a long line of leather artisans. Originally, I was actually drawn to fashion because I loved the theatrical experience and almost art exhibition-like sensibility of couture shows. I graduated with Honors from the London Institute, specializing in Fashion, Textiles and Surface Design. However, after relocating to New York City, I made the switch to interior design. Drawing on my family legacy working with leather, and my process-based experimental education, I began to focus on custom leather furniture and decorative hardware design. I founded Bespoke Leather Works Ltd. in 2005, which evolved into my current eponymous design firm, Christina Z Antonio. Read more>>

Dino Angelo Luciano | Chef/Artist

In a world where pain & sadness exists, art has always been a medium used to lift the spirits of the people. Art has always brought relief to culture all over the world, & art itself has always given artists a place to express themselves. Now, with the widespread knowledge of ingredients & evolution of dishes in many cultures, we’re able to create works of art on a plate, presenting people with beauty, through both visual & taste. Before taking my culinary career seriously, I was deeply immersed in painting/drawing. Now that the life of a chef has taken over, incorporating art into my food is a must. Seeing a person in awe when their plate is placed at their table is a feeling that I’ll never be bored of. We opened Le Mariachi (in Montreal) last November during the Covid-19 pandemic, in hopes to spread joy & offer comfort with our dishes to those going through tough times. Read more>>

Shant Nicholas Salkhorian | Filmmaker

The love I have for filmmaking started when I was a child. Film was always my thing, and it was a pretty easy choice for me. The hardest part was not knowing the steps to making it into the industry. Growing up, I loved watching Charlie Chaplin films. I had these old VHS tapes of classic Charlie Chaplin films. I would watch them for hours. Chaplin could make me laugh and cry without saying a word in his films and I thought that was magical. This is when I decided that filmmaking was for me. I went on to study Film at Woodbury University. This is where I directed my award-winning short film MISTAKES. The film went on to win at several film festivals, including LA Shorts, Top Indie Film Awards, SoCal CIFF, LA CineFest and LA Indie Film Awards. Making the film was such a great experience for me. I had so much support from my friends and family. As soon as we wrapped… I knew that I was addicted for life. Read more>>

Anqi Liu | Composer

I have a relatively lonely and tough childhood which fostered a strong and independent personality in me. It is the artistic career to make music with people and bring a gentle beam of light to me. I firstly struggled and ended up going the law school for a degree. In the almost impossible circumstance, I still tried to make music and tried to have my music alive, although I was in a complete vacuum. It is one time in your life; you are absolutely certain of who you are. Those challenges and my passion for making music enable me to clearly see that I can only be a composer rather than anything else. I don’t feel I have an alternative. Read more>>

AJ Robosa | DJ/Turntablist

Honestly, it just happened. As corny as it sounds, DJ’n found me. Music has always been a big part of my life and I’m super thankful to be able to express myself through it. There’s just something about being in front of a crowd having the time of their lives and it’s because of what records you’re playing, the order you play them in, how you transition from one to the other, etc. I know most of the time the crowd isn’t even thinking about any of that but that’s the finesse in it. Read more>>