We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Hazel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Anna, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Before deciding to pursue art seriously, I worked a lot of service industry jobs with erratic scheduling. Since embracing painting, I’m able to take my weekends off regularly for the first time since I don’t know when. I’ve even taken my paints on the road to house sit and work on commissions. It’s great! I paint in the studio during the day, but once late afternoon lighting sets in, it’s quitting time because the colors start to look different. I mostly cook at home and take breaks every one or two hours to keep my brain from being too mushy. It feels very natural working this way.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started painting pet portraits in 2021. I’ve managed to keep a steady flow of work, and I really enjoy the content. I started an Instagram page just for my artwork, and put up a website to go with the domain I’ve had for several years. Since a young age, I’ve been drawn to all things art related. I sold my first painting in high school, and did house portraits in watercolor or pen and ink for a while. I’ve dabbled in sewing and selling upcycled grocery bags, furniture restoration, jewelry making, macrame, and photography, among other things. If you looked at my resume though, you’ll mostly see service industry with a few curve balls like zip line instructor and sawyer. I’ll pretty much do anything to stay out of the corporate world. I accept all kinds of commissions, not just of pets. I worked with author Michael Gibson to produce two custom book covers, and painted a portrait of Terence McKenna in a psychedelic setting for another client in Seattle. I do supplement my income doing landscaping for some friends. If I’m not painting, I’m working on putting up flyers around town, or cooking up my next project.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them on all the bayou bike trails! We would take the Buffalo Bayou trail to White Oak trail and get some killer views of downtown. Another day we would take the Columbia Tap Rail to Trail around to downtown to visit EaDo Bike Co, hit up Koffeteria for amazing pastries and then back through downtown past the GRB, the library, and round to the Buffalo Bayou trail. I’d take them for a bike ride to Herman Park to feed peanuts to squirrels, and then share a paddle boat on the lake. We would go to Saint Arnold for some great social distancing, delicious food, and beers for a night. I’d hope they wouldn’t be mad at me for making them exercise so much and see if we could take a day trip for a hike along the Lone Star Trail to look for chanterelles. One night, we would go to Love Buzz for the best pizza and a great juke box. As for caffeine fix, I’d take my friends to Southside Espresso or Retrospect. Almost left out a trip to the Menil, how could I forget!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Big thank you to Grace Gibson for been an amazing friend and supporter of everything I do. She has her own Anna Hazel art collection, and connected me with multiple opportunities. Thank you Gian for always getting excited to see my painting progression, and for the constructive criticism, which is hard to come by. Thank you Melissa for the friendship. Shout out to my sisters, Erin, Hilary, and Joy and my parents, Reese and Sarah. And thank you Brock for everything, I couldn’t pursue art without the opportunity you’ve given me.

Website: http://Annahazel.com

Instagram: @anna_hazel_does_art

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/AnnaHazelDoesArt

Other: annahazel@gmail.com

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