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

Hi Asia, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Commissions are hard! I was just explaining this to someone the other day. People generally approach you with an idea for a commission and in their mind, it’s this moving dynamic entity, filled with radical elements that wouldn’t necessarily make sense in a 2D form. Part of the job of the artist is to bring a client’s ideas into something that make sense but also fully represents their fantasy. That, in itself, is an art!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have a general obsession with creating and bringing my random ideas to fruition in the best way possible. I take my time with my pieces (some would probably say too much time) but I feel all the layers and all the hours result in a beautiful piece that viewers want to get lost in. Witnessing people get extremely close to my portraits in order to survey all of the little details gives me the best feeling. I’m most excited about creating on a more consistent basis. For the last four years, I’ve split my time between two different avenues, my occupation in the scientific realm and my artistic practice. I recently took the plunge to just focus on art and I’m beyond ecstatic to create everything I didn’t have the time to do. I will say, taking that plunge has been my biggest challenge thus far. The idea of the American dream only being attainable through a steady paycheck was drilled into my head from a very early age. As badly as I wanted to be a full time artist, it was such a struggle to deprogram myself from believing a living could only be made by having a “normal” job. But I decided to truly believe in myself, in my capabilities and my ability to grow. I was plagued with the what if questions: What if I can’t pull this off? What if I’m not talented enough? What if I’m not business savvy enough? And those questions honestly couldn’t be answered while standing still in doubt and never moving forward. I could sit and wonder ‘what if’ until the end of time but would never know until I tried. Cliche, I know. But belief in yourself is invaluable.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well precovid, we would definitely frequent the museum district to see exhibits at the museum of natural science and museum of fine arts. We might catch a show at Miller outdoor theatre. We’d go out to dinner at places such as Turkey Leg Hut, Barnaby’s and Dak and Bop. Also, maybe have drinks at Hotel ZaZa.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My fiancé! He has been more than supportive. He’s a crusader for my artistic success. He helps me see value and potential in areas that I would definitely overlook. His perspective and encouragement are paramount. Thank you, Eddy.

Website: asiarenee.bigcartel.com
Instagram: @asiavondope
Twitter: @asiavondope
Other: asiarenee.art@gmail.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.