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