We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Murray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work life balance is definitely something I have to work on and work through weekly. There will be months where I am nose deep in a work projects and elicit the help of family and friends to pick up the slack that comes from running a household with two young kids. And then there will be weeks where work is slow, and I get to focus my attention on home projects and activities with the kids, and making fun dinners etc. What I’ve learned is to ask for help. I’ve learned that no single stage of life will last forever. There will be ebbs and flows and that’s just a part of life these days. I have an amazing support team and I know I couldn’t do all of it without their help. I try to be present in whichever arena I’m in at the moment, and while I’d love to figure out a way to combine everything together, I know that for me personally, I’m able to give more of myself when the focus is separated.
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.
My art takes on a couple different forms. I like to start from the beginning of my educational career. It was Kindergarten graduation, and I announced that I would be an artist when I grew up. But ironically, I didn’t take another art class until I hit middle school and was reintroduced to my passion. I studied in the AP program in high school, and when I graduated. I decided to study fashion merchandizing at Texas Christian University. That lasted a semester before switching to interior design, and then another year later, I was switching to architecture. I continued to minor in studio art in hopes that it would feed my hunger for painting while still allowing me a path to a profession. I spent two years in architecture before switching one final time to graphic design where I graduated from University of Texas Arlington with a BFA. Once in the work filed, I knew immediately I was unhappy. My calling was painting and I felt unfulfilled knowing that I never gave myself the time needed to hone that craft. So I enrolled in graduate school at Texas Woman’s University for painting. I have no regrets, and know that while I may be a Jack of all trades, master of none, those skills I learned through the various disciplines I’ve studied and worked through have made me who I am, and opened up so many possibilities that I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. The amount of chance networking that happened during my educational career has set me up for success by allowing me to introduce fine art and commercial art to a new audience. Two friends from college hired me to paint murals on their commercial properties as a way to inject life into an old building and by doing so, added a new medium into my repertoire. I am forever grateful to them for giving me a public platform to express myself through art.
I would say my greatest challenge is overcoming an insecure mind. Finding the best cheerleaders and learning to ask for help have been the two best tools. Learning to generate new and exciting ideas in a world that feels oversaturated can be both daunting and exhausting. You must keep your head down and continue to plug away at what you are most passionate about in order to both set you apart and connect you to the people and things that inspire you most.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Fort Worth has grown so much in the last 20 years since I first moved here. There are still activities and restaurants that even I haven’t tried. What is most exciting about Fort Worth is there is something for everyone, and each district is unique in its own special way. Mostly, I would recommend coming in the spring or the Fall to avoid the ferocious Texas heat. I would start in the cultural district and spend a day exploring the current exhibits at The Modern, The Kimbell, the Amon Carter and The Fort Worth Community Art Center. Cafe Modern has an incredible menu, so I would suggest eating here for lunch, followed by dinner at Righteous foods or Clay pigeon. As for night life, West 7th has many bars and lounges.
Next stop would be a mural tour. Fort Worth is known for their public art and it would take you all day and night to see them all. I’d start with Camp Bowie, and take a drive through downtown, go through the stockyards, and hit up Visit Fort Worth for a bike tour of the Trinity River murals and grabbing a bite at Press Cafe, and finally finish at The Foundry District, home of Inspiration Alley, voted one of Forbes top 10 places to visit. From there you can visit Gifted, the best gift shop in town, grab some wine at 38 and Vine, or coffee at Trinity Coffee, or a cocktail at Blackland Distillery. I’d recommend eating at Maria’s or HG Supply or meandering over to Clearfork for Doc B’s, Rise or Fixe.
Waking up the next day would be a breeze with the help of the Dozens of coffee shops in Near Southside including Avoca, Cherry, Summer Moon and Leaves Tea, and home of the remaining murals in Fort Worth. There you can explore all the foodies finds your stomach desires like Ellerbe, Nonna Tata, Lili’s, Heim, Cannon Chinese, Black Cat Pizza. Grab a sweet treat at Melt Ice Creat shop and don’t forget to stop by our favorite Cocktail spot The Usual and order an Old Fashioned. Come on a day with a festival and really see the neighborhood come alive.
The Stockyards is our next destination. Stay a night at the Drover, watch the cattle storm the street of the old brick roads and stop by the largest honkey tonk on the world Billy Bobs for some dancing and a concert. You could spend a whole day walking shopping eating and rodeo watching right here. Don’t forgot to eat at Joe T’s in their beautiful nature filled garden seating.
Put on your walking shoes as our next stop in the Fort Worth Zoo which is #1 in the US. Come visit the newly renovated areas including the Savanah, where you can feed the giraffes and take in all the artistic elements. I was lucky enough to work on this incredible project and it truly transports you to a different place. Take a brewery tour to Wild Acre, Rahr, Hoptfusion, and many more. Stop by Tulips for a concert and get dressed up for dinner and drinks downtown at Del Friscos, Grace, Toro Toro, Wicked Butcher, and dozens more.
Fort Worth is ever changing and growing thanks to the entrepreneurs in this city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a shoutout to my parents, Jeff and Diana Gorman, for encouraging my love of art, for guiding me through my educational career and always being thoughtful about my process and encouraging my art career. For letting me travel my own path and always supporting the turns and traverses. To my husband, Jeff, and kids, for allowing me the space to grow and find my place in the art world. To the educators who were encouraging and pushed me to be the best version of myself. And to the artists who came before and created a road for us through inspirational art and guidance. I am truly thankful.
Jodie with Reverie Photo