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

Hi Frances, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
I would have to say that my favorite quote is Jennifer Lee’s ” Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” I think for a large part of my adult life I struggled with which path to go down. I feel like often our society views success solely in dollars and how fast you can climb a corporate ladder. Now that may spark the fire within some people, but I’ve always felt I needed more. It was hard for me to put myself out there and go a different route. This quote really resonates with me and reminds me that even when it seems scary or impossible, finding that spark that brings a type of joy that runs through your body and flows from your fingertips makes it all worthwhile.

Creating and painting isn’t something that I just find enjoyable. It’s something that sparks a fire within me.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It’s always been hard for me to call myself an artist. Even talking about it now my heart starts to beat a little faster. But after 10 years of being commissioned to create and paint I think I have finally stepped back and looked at some of the designs I have created and thought wow, I did that. I think what has really helped that along is looking at some of the things I painted or created when I first got started and seeing how I have evolved. Early on I was still trying to find a style and medium that was mine. I tried to mirror other styles and never really felt like they matched what I was feeling or trying to accomplish. So much of that was a lack of confidence in the early years of creating. Frida Kahlo herself could have reigned down a compliment and I would have called her a liar. It didn’t matter what other people thought about my creative abilities, I just didn’t see or feel it myself. It wasn’t until I found myself sitting in my own feelings about the society I was raising my children in. I couldn’t put it into words so I picked up a brush and watercolors and painted what my heart and soul needed. Ever sense then I feel proud of each piece. Whether they are a quick doodle on a piece of paper, a logo for a fellow small business or school or a cute holiday design. I finally feel like an artist. I finally learned that mirroring someone else path or style wasn’t going to get me where I wanted to go. I needed to create from the emotions within me and find my own way.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would 100% take them to the beach. Sure, I love the city and the hustle and bustle that goes along with it, but the beach will forever have my heart. My aunt used to say that we have saltwater running through our veins. There is something about watching the sun rise on a nice, deserted spot on the beach that does something for the soul. It helps to clear my mind and find peace. A kind of peace that I feel we all need to experience. Surfside is our go to! That small little island is a gem!

We would have to head into the city for the zoo. Our family makes it a point to go to every zoo in every city or state we visit. I may be a partial Texas girl, but the Houston Zoo has always been our favorite. The Cockrell Butterfly Museum would have to be a must as well. And don’t forget to wear something colorful in hopes a butterfly decides to make your shirt a place to rest.

To end any trip in the city we always make our way to Pier 8 in Seabrook. My mom has been a waitress there for years so it’s a win win to get to visit with her after a long day and enjoy some seriously fresh seafood. If your ever in the area, ask for Rose. I promise you won’t regret it! Her infectious smile, even through a mask, is sure to brighten any one’s day!

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 shoutout goes to my husband, David, and two kids, Sophia and David III. My husband is truly one of a kind. He has encouraged and supported me before I even saw my own potential. He listens to my wild ideas and random projects and without batting an eye can smile and say that sounds amazing let’s do it. About five years ago right around the time I was really getting recognition and setting up orders around the world I was diagnosed with stage 2 HER2+ breast cancer. Literally the day I was diagnosed a marketing company reached out to set up a large order for an NBA team. I felt like the world was crumbling around me all while I was getting my big break. My husband took me by the hand, wiped the tears from my face and told me whatever I decide to do we are in it together. My husband as well as that order carried me through my treatments. They both kept my mind busy and focused my eyes on the future. A future that still seems so bright with him and our children by my side throughout all the ups and downs of running a small creative business.

Without a doubt its hard being a full-time student, mother and wife all while trying to run a small business. Often times I juggled all of that on top of a full-time job. My kids have continuously shown me grace and patience along the way. They are seriously my biggest cheerleaders! I feel their excitement when we sit down as a family to create and paint things. My daughter has even asked to be a part of the creating process to print and press her own designs. That excitement drives me to grow and set an example for them every day. I know without a doubt if I didn’t have my husband and kids, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today.

Website: https://www.southernbrushwork.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/southernbrushwork/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SouthernBrushWork/

Image Credits
David Rodriguez

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