We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeri Rae Venegas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeri Rae, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks and getting out of your comfort zone is where growth happens. It’s where I’ve learned my most valuable lessons and had the greatest amount of satisfaction in life and in my work. No one ever has an epiphany or made a discovery by doing something they’ve always done. The reward is in the risk.
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.
Right now, I’m most excited about science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. I love the infinite possibilities that come with the genres and being able to provide a vehicle for escapism to others though illustration, especially when they’re accompanied by literature. Getting lost in other worlds for a moment is something everyone could use from time to time and I think taking the time to explore different narratives leads to a better understand of yourself and the world around you. Something I’m really leaning into lately is, learning to enjoy the process. Nothing comes easy, and if it does, it’s probably not worth pursuing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I think Houston is the best city in the south, there’s always something to do for cheap or for free. The Museum District as a whole is always a win, but the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Natural Science are my two favorites because they’re ever-changing. My favorite store was the Wilde Collection, so I’m hoping they’ll rebuild at some point. Kaboom books is one of the most densely packed stores with a book on any subject you can think of and beyond, complete with a store cat. Quarter price books is a good one as well. For records and CDs, Vinal Edge and Sound Exchange. For food and snacks, Honey Art Cafe, Green Seed Vegan, and Houston Sauce Co. Great outdoor spots are Glenwood Cemetery, Smither Park, and the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. I could write a whole essay on things to do in Houston, but that’s a good start.
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 friends, family, and former professors.