We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Karen Ali and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Elizabeth Karen, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Absolutely. In 2017, I started my own business in pet care. It is wonderful to be self employed, but it requires very long hours to make it successful. I also have passion for art and music, so it is very important to me to find a healthy balance between managing my pet care career and indulging in the arts. I started modeling in 2013, and that’s when I discovered how beneficial it is to express myself through an outlet where I can immortalize certain moods, concepts, and ideas. My mind is very active, and the urge to create is so strong that if I do not take time away from work and everyday life to brainstorm ideas, it takes a toll on my mental health. Being self-employed, I now have more control over my work-life balance than when I was an employee for other companies. My outlets for creativity are modeling, drawing, writing, makeup, music, and photography- currently, modeling is my biggest artistic focus, but in order to keep the balance I have learned to flow into whatever is calling me at the moment. Expending creative energy can be exhausting in addition to working a physically and mentally demanding job, so there definitely to be time set aside for self care. In order to find a healthy balance I have to be very in tune with my mind and body, and recalibrate regularly as my needs and desires shift.

Photographer: Ryan Pramik (IG: @pramikphoto)
MUA/Bodypaint/Headpiece: Ashly Martinez (IG: @ashlypaints)

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 am a freelance, unrepresented model. I am not dialed into a specific genre, however I tend to lean more towards glamour, fashion, and creative/themed art concepts. A lot of the work I do consists of modeling for photography workshops and styled events. I love collaborating with photographers and makeup artists who share similar visions when it comes to planning creative shoots. The brainstorming process is so raw and real to me- it is such an amazing feeling to get an idea at 3am, discuss it with a team, then shoot it and make it come to life and become a tangible product. I will admit that after the shoot is when I am most anxious. I have an idea of what the final product will look like, but it is not until after I see the final images that I am overcome with emotion. It is an indescribable, amazing feeling to picture something in my mind, and then see it in reality. It is what I live for! When I was just starting out, I used to think that I had to be signed by a big agency to be a model and I spent years trying to go that route. It was definitely not easy and I did not enjoy it, but it did help me develop a thick skin which is extremely necessary in an industry that judges a person based on their body and physical appearance. To this day, I still am told a lot of things that are meant to bring me down, but I am fully myself and am glad to have found wonderful people who enjoy working with me. I will grow and find ways to improve as a model, but I will not change who I am or become physically unhealthy just to be accepted by an agency or other professional. I just want others to know (especially those new to the industry) to stay true to yourself and the right opportunities will reach you even if it takes a long time. Be patient and work hard.

Staircase photo- Photographer: CT McGhee (IG: @mcgheect)
MUA: Marissa Ramirez (IG: @beautybymeeh)
Tub photo- Photographer: Karina Hinson (IG: @karinanoeliaphotography)
MUA: Ashly Martinez (IG: @ashlypaints)

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 I am a big foodie, so I will suggest some of my favorite places to eat in Houston! There is a restaurant called Loving Hut that I absolutely love, their entire menu -from drinks to desserts- is vegan. They have a vegan cheesecake which is super delicious. My 2 favorite entrees are their BBQ Baguette and Golden BBQ Vermicelli. Another restaurant I love is Whiskey Cake (Katy, TX). They have a very unique menu, and their namesake dessert, the Whiskey Cake, is one of my favorite desserts. There is an amazing bakery called Three Brothers Bakery- their carrot cake ball and cream cheese brownie are so delicious! Hopdoddy Burger Bar has great and unique burgers and shakes.

Red lingerie/car photo
– Photographer: Maurice Lewis (IG: mlewisimagery)
MUA: Marissa Ramirez (IG: @beautybymeeh)
Side headshot- Photographer: Ryan Pramik (IG: @pramikphoto)
MUA: Sara Demicelli (IG: @saraelli_makeup)

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Honestly, to name a single person is very difficult because there are people who believed in me before I believed in myself, and there are lots of artists who inspire me. There are photographers who told me I had potential and helped me grow as a model… Models who are so generous with their words and support when I reach out for advice… Friends who stick up for me and always have my back. There are musicians whose music, songwriting, presence, and art inspires the way I express myself in certain genres of modeling. The list goes on.”

Instagram: Instagram.com/modelelizabethkaren
Facebook: Facebook.com/modelelizabethkaren

Image Credits
Photographer: Ryan Pramik Instagram.com/pramikphoto MUA: Marissa Ramirez Instgram.com/beautybymeeh