We had the good fortune of connecting with Jami Amerine and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jami, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Happiness is being in my studio with the balcony door wide open. I love the weather in Houston. It is just right 90% of the time. The air inspires me. From my studio all I see is tree tops. I think people picture Houston as this desert like, squelching metropolis. It is a forest, a picturesque forest, the perfect location for creating masterpieces.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 have just submitted my fourth book, Rest Girl to Barbour Books. It launches in November of this year. My literary agent is currently pitching my first devotional which is also an art book. At the beginning of December my friend, fellow author Katie Reid and I launched an e-course, Socialwised U, a course for families to prepare, protect, and empower parents and children online. With those huge projects where they need to be, I decided that these first few months of 2021 would be spent in the studio. My art agent, Blakely Bering, encouraged me to just paint what I loved without limits. In essence she said, “Give yourself permission to just paint.” She even went so far as to say, “Allow yourself to create lousy art for no reason.” I think this is something some artists need to hear and experience. There is often pressure or dollar signs attached to our art and it stifles our flow. I got where I am today professionally simply by miracles and wonders. I met Blakely at a spa in Montgomery, Texas in the waiting room for a colonic. The serendipity behind this is not wasted on. me. She signed me and then I started doing pieces for JLA for commercial use. Blakely has taught me so much about technique. Much like my book publishing experiences I am left undone by the opportunities I am enjoying now. Seeing my art appear in major retailers is a dream come true. It isn’t always easy, and there are hard parts, but I believe that gratitude is the greatest human power we have. When I get discouraged or caught up in numbers, I am less able to create from a place of pure bliss. Simply listing things that I am grateful for is like a shot in the arm of euphoria. I return to the method of constantly giving thanks dozens of times a day. It feeds my soul and turns my work into love. I cannot believe I make a living writing and painting. In the writing world authors are expected to have one thing that defines them. I have always rebelled against this. I am not just a mom, wife, foster care advocate, author, speaker, artist, I am all of those things and more. I paint with watercolor, and acrylic, and pastel. I write and paint what is an outpouring of gratitude, that doesn’t always look exactly the same. I love the freedom this affords me to just be myself, instead of conforming to what “sells.” It may make things a little harder than creators whose entire focus is on one topic, but gratitude pulls me back into the space of rest.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 love the Nobu. The Rock Shrimp Tempura and the spicy tuna are just bliss. I would take a friend to stay at the Houstonian. My husband and I had the best time last time we went. The grounds are fantastic and quiet. You can stay there and never leave. I guess if I had a week I would have to branch off from only eating at the Nobu, or would I? I think we would hit Mastro’s and Oceanaire and Masraffs. I love to try new things so the Truck Park would definitely be on the list. I love cosmos and margaritas.Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband Justin. He is my business manager and he makes it possible for me to create. He supports and encourages me while simultaneously running our business, homeschooling our two young sons, Sam and Charlie, cooking beautiful meals, and talking me off the ledge on the regular.
Other: Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/JamiAmerinesStudio