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

Hi Jake, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
The core reason behind my creative endeavors stems all the way back to when I was a child. I watched movies, TV shows, and music videos thinking there was something very special about them. I always naturally gravitated toward the visual arts. While I grew up, they helped expand my imagination, gave me bonding experiences with friends and family, as well as comforted me through hard and confusing times. The main reason I use my life for creativity is so I can make something that could potentially help someone the same way other pieces of media have helped me growing up. Even if my work only ends up helping one person in any way, then it is worth it!

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.
The art I make is mostly visual in the form of short films, photography, or music videos. Behind the scenes, I enjoy editing and writing screenplays from scratch! I like to stay versatile in my skills so I have the freedom to create whatever kind of project I want to tackle. I like to create stories and visuals that I have not seen before. I like to personalize my stories by giving them atmosphere and personalized characters. I think “if I were the audience, what would I want to see?” because I believe authenticity is one of the most important characteristics in one’s art.

I am still in the early stages of my career and I know I have so much to learn. From the experiences I have had so far, I have learned two important things that I think every aspiring artist needs to hear:

1.) If you dream about doing something, then start doing it!
Begin making moves that will add to what you want to do. The best way to learn how to do something is to DO IT! I did not know how to make a short film before “The Great W”, or how to make a proper music video before I made “Late Nite” by CLOVDX. By diving into those projects, I absorbed the experience and learned from any mistakes that were made so the next project will be even better. You will not be met with overwhelming success on your first try. Great art takes time, which brings me to my next point…

2.) Persistence is KEY!
Do not give up! Once you have started creating, keep creating. I cannot stress this enough. Some days, you will be on a roll and feel like a creative mastermind. Some days, your mind will go blank and you will struggle to find that creative energy you once had. The creative process is an unforgiving roller coaster that I constantly battle whenever I create anything. But creating is still creating! Practice makes perfect, and you will be surprised how much effort can be made as long as you stick to what you love to do.

I have gained these two pieces of wisdom from doing all sorts of projects, whether they are good, bad, or unreleased, I am proud of everything I do because each piece is another step towards great art. I believe

It is not easy, but it is worth it.

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.
My favorite place in Houston is the House of Blues music venue. I have a lot of very fond memories watching some of my favorite bands and artists perform there. The next best place has got to be the Houston Museum of Natural Science, more specifically the Cockrell Butterfly Center! You get to walk around a very large, domed area where Butterflies roam free around other animal exhibits. It is a really exciting and calming experience. Lastly the Houston Botanic Gardens is a must if you love experiencing nature like I do!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would not be making the progress I am today without some very good people in my life, however, there is one person who I am eternally grateful for each and every day. That person is my very good friend Evan Michael Glover! He is an actor from Houston who I met randomly at my college campus. Ever since we met, we have been working on creative projects together. Evan was the lead role in my first independent Short Film “The Great W” and was responsible for the film’s casting and successful premiere. Evan inspires me to strive for more and has always believed in me, just as I do in him. All in all, he is an amazing actor who I am extremely fortunate to work with!

Another amazing person I’d like to shine a spotlight on is my good friend and talented musician, CLOVDX! Clovdx (“Cloudy”) is a Houston-based artist that gave me my first opportunity to film and edit a music video! In the span of one year, him and I have released three music videos onto Youtube along with visualizers and promo videos. Music videos have been a long time dream of mine to make, and Clovdx gave me the chance to make that dream a reality. He is very motivated and has a great passion for what he does, which naturally inspires me just as much. Him and I support each other through the highs and lows of the creative process, and through that we come out with art we are truly proud of!

Instagram: @itsJakeBillard

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZMK8cr2yDLk2IEL0FFDMEA/videos

Other: Playlist of my projects: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrDY-AJChf0fvqhWkxRP1aZO6bqO2iYLr

Image Credits
Nathalie Tavarez, Kaelub Maddox, CLOVDX, Tbone,

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.