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Meet Anisa Benitez: The creative redefining the term “starving artist.” 

The life and times of the modern creative are complex, to say the least.

Finding and following your passions on top of keeping the lights on is a mentally and physically demanding journey. Just ask Anisa Benitez, the creative dismantling everything you were told about being a “starving artist.” 

It’s hard to boil down what Benitez does into one word. After flexing marketing roles for brands like Google, YouTube and Time Inc., she just launched her own platform, More by Her, and she is ready to embark on new challenges in her pursuit of creative abundance. 

The KH Squad caught up with Benitez to dig into her mindset and learn how we can rewrite the creative narrative.

Early Days


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Much of Benitez’s early influences came from growing up in New York and seeing artists flourish, which helped her recognize her own creativity at an early age. From an early age, she found solace in playing the violin, dancing, painting, and designing. 

Both of her parents are Afro-Latino and developed careers based on their passions and helping others, sacrificing a lot along the way.

Her parents encouraged her to invest her time in things that would contribute to a “lifetime,” having the perspective to steer her away from jobs that would be soul-sucking. 

creative redefining
Photo Cred: @Vargas.Visuals

Similar to most millennial creatives, becoming financially independent was always a goal. Understanding the thrill in creating and also witnessing the realities of sustaining a livelihood off of artistry inspired her to find a happy medium to build a lucrative career. 

“You have to learn and accept doing some things that are focused on making money. It might be just a job that also allows you space to do the thing that’s creative.”

She continued, 

“I think artists are people who create and create possibilities. That can be applied to absolutely any space that you’re working in. It’s amazing when you can be creatively and artistically expressive.”


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The Moves

Going to college can be a difficult time for creatives as finding a path that encompasses your interests while securing your future is much easier said than done.

Working her way through college, getting a return on her investment in herself was always top of mind. This mindset of continually identifying what brought her value compared to what wasn’t helped her in her journey to choosing a career path.

creative redefining
Photo Cred: @Vargas.Visuals

Benitez grew a love for behavioral economics which led her to focus on marketing for its fusion of her two loves –  creative and strategy. 

“I didn’t want to just do it to make money for businesses, I wanted to help people. I wanted most importantly to help artists.”


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Recognizing her long term goal of working in the music industry along with shorter-term goals that would help her on the way led Benitez to immerse herself in the music scene at her college and find a way to break in.

During her time at Smith College, she hustled and networked to ultimately land a marketing internship with the school’s entertainment group.

Despite being a fulltime student and working on campus, the internship was beyond validating as it allowed her to move towards her dream, allowing her to put forth energy in something she would do regardless of getting paid. 

“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have dreams first, and then set goals that ladder towards those dreams.”

starving artist
Photo Cred: @Vargas.Visuals

Starving vs. Thriving

 This experience was the catalyst to Benitez holding various marketing roles post-graduation, allowing her to support artists while helping build brands in her tenure at many esteemed companies.


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2 days left ✌🏽Then I’ll be leaving Google/YouTube Music and off to focus on creative endeavors. Goodbye, Mama Googs! It’s been 3 incredible years with the company! I’m grateful to have experienced so much growth personally and professionally here, but now I need to fly this nest… – What’s next? Doing and learning. Looking forward to having time to invest in myself. My dreams, curiosities and ideas that need to be nurtured. Some I’ve been holding aside for decades because of fear or ego, others are more recent. So to have time, the most precious resource, to pour into these will bring much learning. Thankful to be a beginner again! Spreading my wings again.

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At the turn of 2019, Benitez’s hunger for more creatively led her to fully dip her toes in creative entrepreneurship and continuing as a performing artist. 

In late 2019, she launched More By Her, a platform highlighting creative womxn shaping culture.


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Having met a number of women who have pursued their creative loves and are able to sustain themselves from such, Benitez wanted to help give them a platform to show others that pursuing your dreams doesn’t destine you to be a starving artist. 

“The aim is really to dismantle the starving artists stigma through storytelling, because I have identified storytelling as the thing that humans are really good at latching on to. It’s one thing that we retain.”

Benitez continued,

“The more stories that we can share as creatives who are shaping culture who are thriving, the more that becomes a reality.”

It’s often hard to imagine ourselves doing the things we dream of because the media fails to show people who look like us, talk like us, and feel like us in those spotlights.

Platforms like More By Her, give the youth, people to identify with and show that creative artistry exists on a diverse spectrum and cannot be universally simplified to “starving” for all. 

Benitez’s empathy for the artistic struggle also led her to launch the No Starving Artist podcast which she hosts and produces.

The podcast aims to help fellow creatives with career guidance through storytelling in an easily digestible format that can help motivate especially during those long trains rides onto your next grind. 

Of the many gems dropped by Benitez in our chop-up, one of the biggest takeaways was simply to invest in yourself because by doing so, you not only fulfill your personal destiny but also inspire others like you to see the possibilities. Thus, shaping culture. 

Let’s thrive fam.


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