We had the good fortune of connecting with Vera Wirianta Yates and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vera, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
I learned to find joy in the small things. And, to me, being happy is a matter of perspective as well. When I focus to what I do have, I find many things that makes me grateful. And gratefulness lead to happiness in my humble opinion. First & foremost, together time with my family. I come from a very close knit family. Many times, it just a matter of hanging out and just catching up. Not really doing anything special. And, when possible we try to travel together. My siblings share my love of traveling & we would try to pick places we never been. Of course, under current situation that has to be postponed. Then, my dogs, I am a big time dog lovers. Nothing can bring you joy like the pure love of a dog. I have 3 and they each have their own personality. I seriously can’t imagine life without having a dog. My dogs teach me to enjoy the simple stuff, like good weather, walk around the neighborhood, etc. Being creative is also a big part of what makes me happy. I could have a bad day and not in the mood at all in being creative, but when I force myself to sit and just start doodling or water coloring, slowly I find myself relaxing and can start thinking clearer. The process of creating something out of nothing and being surrounded by happy colors are very therapeutic. Another thing that makes me happy is traveling. When I travel, I have that feeling of excitement and joy at seeing new sights, exploring new places, learning different culture, trying out new things, etc. I jump at every chance I get to travel. Life is a blessing and I just appreciate being alive and finding happiness in daily life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have 2 careers. On one side, I have a career in home building. I have worked many years as purchasing manager for a home builder. This is my main job. Then, on the other side, the fun side, I am a card maker and design for various stamping company. I want to focus on this one, since it’s my passion and it brings me joy. I started by designing for small, unknown brand when I started in 2009 and started blogging. It was hard not to feel insecure about your own work as I think as artist we tend to be our toughest critique. I network a lot and I joined lots of challenge or competition. As I started winning some competition, I gained more confidence and step out of my comfort zone & submitted my work for publications. I still remember how exciting it was to see my work being published. I got more exposure and able to get a position to design for bigger company, With my cards, my intent is to bring joy to others. And, people that know my works say that they can usually spot which ones are my creation. I like to describe my style as clean, simple & cheerful. I’d say in being creative, don’t be afraid to try new technique, new style. Even when you don’t think it’s your style, sometime you can be surprised at the end result. Or the process. Never stop learning. Always be open to idea and challenges, And, give back to the community when you can.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Let’s see, I love having brunch at The Kitchen at The Dunlavy. They have good menu and bonus, if the weather is nice, you could enjoy your food on their deck overlooking the Buffalo Bayou. I am also a fan of Houston zoo. I love animals and I think Houston Zoo is one of must visit zoo in the States. Houston Museum of Natural Science and Cockrell Butterfly Center is also a fun place to visit. Now, when I travel, I tend to go, go, go. That doesn’t always work for everyone, of course. So, places I visit would depends on whether I am showing Houston to visitors or just hubby & me doing random stuff. Also, I am a big fan of bubble tea. I have a couple favorites, Teapresso Bar on 18th St or to Teahouse Tapioca & Tea in Yale St. For low key hangout, The Nett Bar is a great place. You can bring your dogs and it’s great place to enjoy an afternoon or evening with friends. For dinner spot, I have so many favorite, it’s hard to pin point just one. It’s Houston! We have so many good restaurant in town. Exploring China Town in Bellaire is probably a good option, too. For art lover, I’d also suggest checking out open studio night at Silver Street.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be where I am without the unconditional support of my mom, my brothers and my husband. They’re my main support system. No matter what, I know they’ll always accept me and love me. They believe in me, in my talent and always cheering me on. Especially my mom. She is my rock. My husband is the best cheerleader for my art stuff. He always so supportive & open on whatever art I want to try. He’d just say go for it. And, ever since I got into card making, I’ve met so many inspiring and supportive crafters. The community is filled with people who genuinely kind and supportive in building each other up. Many of them help me in getting better and get myself out there. Some of them has become close friends (hi Alba, Therese, Jackie) and they continue to push me to do better,