We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeremy Tolbert and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeremy, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Art has been a part of my life since I was A young child. I can literally remember being in my grandmothers house watching cartoons on VHS, and I would pause my favorite parts just so I could put a piece of paper on the tv to trace them. I was told I was doodling before I would walk or talk. Being creative has always been a part of my life, as well as the idea of making something out of nothing, Me choosing to make a living out of my art has been a no-brainer for me for a while. I’m not completely at “Full-time” artist level yet, but I’ve done a number of projects and events since beginning my career that I feel have impacted me and others in a positive way.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The brand A.M.P. Artwork (Always Making Progress Artwork) was started back in 2009 while in college at Houston Baptist University. I’ve always heard of the “Starving artist” ever since I was in high school, and even getting into college being a fine arts major at the time was always looked upon with sort a stigma; The only career oath most saw coming from that was generally either an art teacher of some sort, or possibly an art gallery in some form. The challenges of owning your own business is always going to be there, particularly you may have 4+ orders/commissions that come in one month, and none the next. I am not full-time yet, but I find every moment I can to work on new pieces that I feel inspired to create, while balancing time between my family and career. What I would want other to take from my brand is the brand name , Always Making Progress. Small steps towards your end goal is always better than making no progress at all. Don’t doubt yourself. Create small attainable goals and build upon them as you complete them. Hold yourself accountable for your brand’s success and always bet on yourself and improve where you can.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend visiting me in the city, one place I’d take them to eat would definitely be Turkey Leg Hut. The hype is as real as the lines can be long, but it’s an experience they wouldn’t’ want to pass up. Being from Houston, I’m also big on soul food so I would definitely take them to Esther’s Cajun café & soul food to get a plate of smothered pork chops with yams and greens. Being that Texas is a BBQ state, we would definitely have to take a trip to Burns BBQ over in Acres Home. As far as hanging out, I would say we would probably visit City Centre and enjoy the atmosphere, and maybe go for a round or two of bowling at Crate & Barrel. We would definitely have to take a trip to HMAAC (Houston Museum of African American Culture), the TSU Museum, and The Museum of Fine Arts, among the other great gallery establishments in town. The Galleria always seems to be a “place to experience” for out-of-towners, so we would most likely take a trip there, as well as
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?
First and foremost, without God, none of this would be possible. My creator gave me the gift to create, and I only hope to inspire others to use their gifts and talents as well. I would most definitely shout out my wife next. She was there at my very first art show back in 2012 (as my girlfriend at the time 🙂 ), and has supported me so much and been my biggest constructive critic ever since. I would also like to shout out all of the local artists that I know and have worked with or met throughout my career. here in Houston.