We had the good fortune of connecting with Corrie Pocta and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Corrie, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My personal relationship with work life balance has been a chaotic one. Many artists can not afford to do their work without having an additional job to pays their bills. We know the importance of having arts opportunities in our communities, but on a governmental level in the US, we have seen a lack of financial investment in supporting artists to do their work full time. I believe this often results in artists not being given the opportunity to have appropriate work life balance. I have to work my job as an educator to pay my bills, and then to reach my artistic goals, I work full time with my remaining hours pursuing my craft. People talk about creative energy as though it is this beautiful gift, but I also see it as a pressuring presence at times. Sometimes working on art is a healthy coping mechanism and outlet for stress, and sometimes I run to my work as a distraction from engaging with other parts of my life. I think the relationship between what is our “work” and what is our “life” is a blurred and changing one, and something to check in with and examine regularly. 

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always had a passion for well-designed objects that are utilized daily. I began doing leatherwork after attending a workshop at Oil and Cotton in 2014. Working with an expensive bridle leather from the start caused me to ensure every technique used in my process as well as my designs were thoughtful and made to last. In a world of objects with planned obsolescence, stitching my pieces by hand and making goods that were made with longevity in mind was a driving factor in what I chose to create. One of the challenges I faced when I made my leather brand “Recuir Leather”, was the limitations of defining my brand under a name that was difficult to pronounce as well as limited to one medium. Throughout the years as my work has expanded to include jewelry, metal work, and ceramics, I have decided to redo my branding as my own name so more flexibility for my crafts to evolve without the need to start multiple new brands. Most recently, I have started a ceramics studio, Trade Oak Cliff, with a group of artists in Oak Cliff. We sell our art in our studio on Saturdays from 12-6 and offer ceramics classes and arts workshops.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My Dallas recommendations are to get some takeout from Zalat Pizza or Ly Market and chill on a blanket at Kidd Springs Park. If you need a book to read or cool event to check out, be sure to take a visit to Deep Vellum books.

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?
I would like to shoutout the founders of Oil and Cotton, Kayli House and Shannon Driscoll. They have created a creative space for young women artists to be supported and mentored and have the confidence to move forward with their creative endeavors as independent artists in their fields. It is through their mentorship that many of their former employees have moved on to open their own art and education businesses throughout DFW.

Website: corriepocta.com
Instagram: instagram.com/corriepocta

Image Credits
Zack Huggins, Apryl Dailey, Emily Stoker

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.