We had the good fortune of connecting with Germain Quintanilla and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Germain, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I am a father of two young boys, one is 4 years old and the other is 2 years old. I am also a full time art educator at a local high school. It has been a challenge to find balance in my life and art career. I haven’t completely found balance in my day but what is working for me right now is writing down my daily schedule. I make it a goal to work in my studio each day or to sketch out ideas for new artwork or products throughout the day if I know I will be busy with dad duties that day. Being an art teacher comes in handy for busy days. I can sketch in my classroom as students work on their projects. On a good day, I can finish all my work responsibilities by clock out time, come home and watch/play with my sons until bed time, and then work in my studio for a few hours as my family sleeps. It’s not a perfect plan but it’s a good start to become more productive when it comes to my craft.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My artwork is a mixture of my graffiti background and fine art training at the university level. I do my best to represent both art forms in my artwork, I am still experimenting to develop the style more. My proudest moment in my art career has been working with great local businesses. I have been fortunate enough to create artwork for several hard working and passionate business owners. Helping them achieve the look/environment in their business is very satisfying because I know it truly means a lot to them and their clients, its nice to have your artwork appreciated. I’m nowhere near where I want to be or say i’m successful yet. I am proud of where I am now in my art career because it has taken a lot of dedication in school, practice, and being honest with myself. Being a full-time art teacher and raising two sons, doesn’t leave much time for developing my skills. I have come to an understanding that I have to use my time throughout the day wisely if I truly want to become a better artist. I draw with my students, I practice anatomy, perspective, and gestures each day with them. This has given me the opportunity to develop my skills more. On work nights, I do my best to get my kids in bed at a decent hour so I can sneak off to my art studio to develop ideas. I am still working on my routine and becoming more productive with my personal artwork. My goal for this year is to produce more artwork and promote myself better. I would like to be known for being a hard working artist that is constantly evolving to become better. I am never satisfied and always view weak points in my artwork. My goal is to better my art forms and produce artwork that is reliable to everyone.
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?
I don’t get out as much as I used to since having kids but for a simple day I would recommend breakfast at Barnaby’s cafe in the museum district. I would recommend walking through the museum district for the afternoon. The Museum of Fine Arts Houston always has great exhibitions and great permanent collection. After the MFAH, I would recommend walking through the Menil museum which is always free, I love their gallery space. For lunch I would recommend Sweet Paris in Rice Village, they have an amazing selection of Crepes and French fair. For the evening, I would suggest Onion Creek in the Heights. They have a great bar and amazing environment for drinking. Their food is top notch as well.
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?
I would like to give a shoutout to “The Junction Group”. We are a collective of artists who are also full time art educators. The group consist of Jayson Luce, Sarah Spano, Shelbi Griffin, Daniel Rodriquez, Bob Rynearson, and Bailey Coll. Our collective is a mixture of art specialists, we have painters, ceramists, glass blowers, illustrators, and sculptures. We all met in graduate school at Texas Tech University. We speak daily in our group chat, they are my support group. We lean on each other when we have bad days at work, give each other advice on artwork and our careers, and sometimes fight like brothers and sisters. They are a big part of my life and are family to me.