The Heroine’s Journey of Julie Zarate

What is the best thing that I love about my work? It is ever evolving. For me, the journey is what matters to me, moreso than the destination. There are so many things I wish to explore, so many mediums I wish to try, that it’s a thrill for me to continue the learning process and discover things along the way. I hope the journey in learning never ends.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Being content with who I am, where I am and embracing my faults as well as my accomplishments.

What is my greatest fear? Not being true to my word or myself.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Self loathing and self doubt. Having suffered from depression a good portion of my life has ensured this trait will most likely be with me as sure as the nose on my face.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? I’ve been fortunate enough to have become friends with some amazing artists that it’s difficult to choose just one but I think Olivia De Berardinis would embody all that I admire in this profession. I’ve been a superfan of hers for the longest time and I very much admire her portrayal of strong, seductive women.

What is my greatest extravagance? Wasting time. It is the most sinful of luxuries that I often afford myself and ultimately feel guilty about.

On what occasion would I lie?  When it isn’t necessary.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Proportions have always pained me. Being self-taught, I am sure I’ve missed the most basic things about painting and drawing that most artists pick up in their early education. It’s been painful, but in many ways, this ignorance has been somewhat of an advantage.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? When I look back at this journey, I must admit that the happiest I’d ever been was at the very beginning, when I was struggling and hustling and everything was new, times were difficult being new to the scene, but I met others who were beginning their journeys as well and going through the same tribulations I was. It was exciting and the possibilities were endless. There was a certain wide eyed innocence and enthusiasm that can only come of inexperience, and even though it was one of the most difficult times of my career, it was also the happiest I had ever been.

If I could, what would I change about myself? Nothing. For better or worse, I am who I am because of my experiences, my memories, the people I’ve allowed in my life, the people I’ve removed from my life, and all the good and bad things that may entail. I have no regrets, just lessons. Valuable lessons.

What is my greatest achievement in work? In my work? I don’t really know. In my role as an artist? Feeling respected.

Where would I most like to live? Had I the means and the opportunity, I would move to Granada, Spain in a heart beat.

What is my most treasured possession? My art supplies

What is my most marked characteristic? My attention to detail

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? There is something magical about the Rothko Chapel here in Houston. It’s difficult to explain, but never before have I felt both so at still peace and a tumultuous desire to create at the same time.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? I hardly get out these days due to osteoarthritis, but there is a Cajun restaurant in the heart of downtown, a block from where I used to work in high school, called Treebeard’s that has always been a favorite of mine. My order is always the same (being a creature of habit): Red Beans and Rice with Cheese and extra sausage.

What books influenced my life and how? “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan, which my father gave to me when I was 11 has been one of the most influential books in my lifetime. I’ve read it many times, before ever watching the series. There is something beautiful about realizing that despite our differences, we are all connected. We share the same history, the same genetic makeup, the same future. It’s humbling and poetic.

“Krazy Kat : A Novel in Five Panels” by Jay Cantor is one I’d read in my early twenties and it left an indelible mark on my psyche. It too shaped my idea of existentialism and death.

“1984” by George Orwell. Self explanatory.

Who are my favorite writers? Shel Silverstein, Joseph Campbell, H.P. Lovecraft, Mark Twain

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? A recording of my son when he was a child, playing piano, singing and doing a mock interview as a newscaster to our pets.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird), Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings). Each to me is the very embodiment of courage

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My mother will always be my hero. She was flawed and broken, but she was my hero, nonetheless. I wish she was still here.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? “Life is Beautiful”

What role plays art in my life and work? Art is my Zoloft. It is the one thing that keeps me sane, keeps me both grounded and elevates me like a drug.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? Lizbeth Ortiz. We’ve been pals for a long time, it began with mutual admiration and continues. She is “La Otra Chingona” of our Chingona Trio (which includes Stephanie Guajardo). I love that she’s so involved with so very much in the art scene here in Houston. I owe a lot of my success to her and her support. She’s kind of a big deal.

Whom would I like to work with in 2018? I would enjoy working with new artists I haven’t worked with before, and continue to work with those I have in the past. I hope the opportunities are present to do so. It’s disheartening to see so many galleries closing their doors these days.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018? I’d love to meet those online artist friends I haven’t yet met in person. Those that I have, I am grateful to know you. You can’t imagine how much each of you enrich my life. Thank you.

What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on?  I’m looking forward to my surgery so I can get back into the groove of things. Between that and the home renovation from hell, I am hoping it is the ONLY thing keeping me from moving forward and this dry spell dissipates ends when all the rest comes to fruition.

Where can you see me or my work in 2018? You can always find my work ChimMaya Gallery ( as I’m one of the resident artists there. Other than that, I have several social media profiles and a website listed below. 

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? In all my years, I never could imagine life without art. Whether creating it or consuming it or having it a large part of my life. I think long after I’m able to create, the passion for art will linger still.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? As previously mentioned: Lizbeth Ortiz and Stephanie Guajardo. Also, Maria Kane, Greta Ward, Amanda Downs, Adriana Whitney, Andi Suti Wright, Ivonne Carley, Rachel Girard, Elizabeth Umanzor, Sarah Joncas, Naz Kaya-Erdal, Heather Wobbe, and Marmite Sue Menagerie.

How can you contact me?

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