We had the good fortune of connecting with Stef Garcia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stef, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
First and foremost, keeping a calendar and a visible to-do list where I can write down ideas that randomly pop into mind have been super helpful. Second, I’m not sure if this is a habit, but “showing up” has been very important to me in my practice. When I was starting out as an art student in college I had my bouts of anxiety and self-doubt in my abilities. I was worried about what the future held and was really overthinking everything, to the point where I was scared to move forward into any direction. However scared I was though, I knew that I had to put myself out there and make something happen. I had always heard that an important aspect of art and life is simply “showing up”, so I started showing up for myself and entered group art shows at local galleries like the Insomnia Gallery and Hardy & Nance. Eventually I started to get to know the art scene in Houston and also made some great friends along the way. Even though I felt directionless at the start, by just trying something out I felt like it helped me grow and think more about what my real aspirations as an artist were.
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 create illustrations that make me feel warm and happy with the hopes that it will make others feel the same way. The main themes I focus on in my work are comfort, identity and sentimentality and I like to draw inspiration from everyday life and everything that brings me joy in the world (i.e. food). I’ve been making art for a long time but I’ve been trying my hand at becoming a professional artist for the past three years or so. It’s been a slow climb, but every step I’ve taken I feel like has been towards the right direction. This year has been the hardest for obvious reasons. I had a few events lined up that I felt like were going to help me reach my goal of becoming a full-time freelance illustrator, but all of the events were cancelled and postponed. It was pretty sad and I lost my motivation to create new things for a little bit. I spent most of my summer watching YouTube videos and going to bed early, which in retrospect was great! It was much needed rest that eventually kick-started my drive to create once again. I reassessed my creative and personal goals and got back into in! My story, like any other, has had up and down moments but the trajectory has always been an optimistic one.
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 love cafes and we have so many great ones in this city. I would definitely include outings to Coral Sword, Xela, Bohemeos, Common Bond, Brasil, Siphon, Tout Suite, and Catalina Coffee to name a few. A trip to Ramen Tatsuya, Sweetcup Gelato, Cloud10 Creamery and Chinatown are also a must in my Houston itinerary. As far as places to visit, Houston has so many cool art spots. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the CAMH, the Blaffer Art Museum and the Menil have amazing collections and interesting exhibitions. All of these spots are my favorites in Houston and are a must visit or try when in town!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It’s cliché, but shout-out to my mom, dad, and sis. I’ve spent a lot of time with them at home during quarantine and I’ve been thinking ab0ut how lucky I am to have them in my life. They’ve always supported me and my art and never doubted my abilities or told me to not go into this path of life. They’re great and are the reason I’m here pursuing art as a career.
Stef Garcia/ BEANPOLICE