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.

Vicki Phan | Organic Balloon Services

I’ve always been pretty crafty and artsy since I was a kid. I loved painting, drawing, and making things out of anything I could find around the house. Anything I saw online I would try to make it myself, and I still do this to this day. I also had family who loved crafting. My sister and her husband created DnHWorkshop on Facebook and Etsy (currently closed) where they did paper banners. My cousin created CraftXTee on Instagram (currently closed) and she also made banners, graduation leis, anything you could think of. They are the few people who really sparked my interest in being able to create art and be able to make someone’s event even more special.How I got into balloons: I originally saw these pictures of ballon circle arches on Pinterest and I asked my sister if I could make one for my niece’s 1 year birthday party. I’ve never seen anyone have a balloon circle arch for their party, so I wanted to try something new and different. I had no experience, I didn’t watch any YouTube videos on how to go about making the circle arch. I kind of just imagined it in my head and it ultimately came together. Read more>>

LaTay “BlvqWulph” Harris | Tattoo Artist & Illustrator

I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil. It’s always been my passion…it, sort of, evolved into my full time career over the years. I’ve definitely had other jobs, mostly in retail…but I always tried to make time to be creative. There came a point when I completely lost the taste for working in the retail industry, or doing anything that had nothing to do with expressing my artistry. The last job I had was at H&M back in 2016 for the holidays. It was more to make some extra money than for a main gig…but I literally got physically sick from working there, as if my spirit totally rejected the act of folding one more pair of jeans. That’s when I knew for sure, I had to follow my passion and focus solely on honing my artistry and becoming a better and more serious tattoo artist. Read more>>

Alexx Bishop | Artist

I have been creating art ever since I could hold a pen in my hand. It’s something that’s always been so necessary in leveling out my mental state, and something that’s been so calming when life feels too crazy. Creating artwork has been something I’ve always wanted to do as a career ever since I was a child, but for most of my life I wasn’t sure would ever happen. In my 20’s I worked serving or 9-5 jobs until I found myself almost 30, and newly let go from my corporate job due to COVID. At this point I was doing art as a fun side hustle, which ultimately turned into the opportunity to do it full time. Being able to create beautiful art with my hands is such an amazing gift. Having others see value in my work and be supportive enough to help me keep living my dream is an even bigger gift. The love I have felt by connecting with others over my art has been fulfilling and heart warming; it’s exactly the opposite feelings I have felt from previous jobs. Read more>>

Diego Esparza | Cofounder & Storyteller

I remember spending my summers in Mexico and spending hours on end with my grandfather. My grandfather would share stories with us about his experiences in life. He was the best storyteller I had ever heard, always adding details that made you feel as though you were right there with him. Summers would end, and I would fly back to California, I would often find myself missing him. Naturally, I decided to start taking up the art of storytelling as a way to connect with him. Taking up any opportunity to share a story with friends or family to practice everything I had learned from observing him. Gradually, I started picking up his mannerisms, his charisma, and way of hooking people into the story. Local Grown Stories originated from that love and appreciation for storytelling. Storytelling is a way to connect people, a way to bridge even the most polarized individuals. My cofounder and I decided to connect with local businesses to hear their stories and share their experiences to our community. Read more>>

Alyssa Martinez | Photographer & Entrepreneur

Pursuing a creative career has never really been a question for me. Creativity and art have always come more natural to me than most other things and almost all of the careers I aspired to have growing up had to do with creating. As a child, I was really into arts and crafts and I would constantly be trying to find ways to monetize whatever I was doing or making. You could always find me drawing, taking photos, or making things out of other materials. Art, in many forms, has been my outlet, my entertainment, and has just brought me so much joy throughout my life. I first picked up a camera when I was around 6 or 7-years-old and when I was 12-years-old I was given my first DSLR camera by my aunt. At that point, it was safe to say I had found my medium of choice. I am the type of person to hoard memories whether it be photos and videos, or souvenirs; it is hard for me to let go. My photography allows me to make those memories tangible and that is what I am so drawn to. Read more>>