We asked some of the city’s leading artists and creatives to tell us about how they decided to pursue an artistic or creative career.  We’ve shared some highlights below.

Melodia Medley | Clothing Designer

As a kid I entertained myself endlessly with arts n crafts. Playing dress-up and sewing were my favorite activities and apparently it still is. I was lucky to grow up with an encouraging Mom and grandparents. They instilled the idea that I can be successful at anything I put my heart into. As a young adult I worked retail and landed job working for a local clothing brand. I learned the ins and outs of how to design, sell and manufacture clothing in SD. Eventually I was ready to start my own brand and thus Melodia Designs was born in 2002. Read more>>

Ciera Vida | Artist

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be an artist. When I was young, I would be at school and my friends would come to me and ask if I could trace them a coloring page on a new paper for them to use. Recently I have been drawing and creating stickers. I’ve been commissioned to draw tattoo designs but a hand-full of people while countless of others have seen my work and asked me if I have ever thought about tattooing or becoming a tattoo artist but I’ve always been hesitant and said no. The thought of creating something permanent on someone else is sort of nerve-wracking. But I came to the conclusion that that is what I wanted to do. It feels good to know what you want to do with your life. I have been working on tattoo designs for a portfolio. Read more>>

Alexis Tia Diller | Musician, Photographer & Creative Marketer

There are a few reasons that I pursue an artistic and creative career. I believe that within me is a strong pull to express myself through sharing music and photography — it’s always been this way since I was little. I didn’t think it was something I could viably do as a career when I was younger, however, I knew what I was doing was having a positive impact on others. There was a slow, constant pull in the creative direction as I pursued my master’s degree and worked as a Marketing Manager for 5 years. It was like this creative sleeper part of me that was not truly being fulfilled realized everything else was taking energy away. When I parted from my 9 to 5 job, not only was I able to expand my thinking but also possibilities and opportunities opened up proving that I could make a living putting out my creativity while also helping others share their vision as well. Read more>>

Jonathan Bewley | Snapshots Foundation Director

I feel you are either drawn to the arts or not. It’s a calling that comes from ones love of art and music. Read more>>