We had the good fortune of connecting with Tina Rea and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tina, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I have had a lot of jobs since entering the workforce. I have worked in fast food, retail, the event industry, logistics, inventory, as well as been on staff at a church. Each one of these experiences helped formed me- they helped me realize things I was naturally good at, things I had to try harder at, things I enjoyed and things I did not like. For nearly any job, there are always pieces that are less “enjoyable” than others. But the older I get, the more I think about the level of fulfillment than the level of “enjoyment” a singular task or even profession brings you. All that to say, none of these jobs brought enough fulfillment to weigh out the time or toil and left important parts of me unused. Pursuing a creative career allows you to choose things that are “worth it” to you- worth the time, effort, tears and sweat. In many ways, it’s more risky and can be more stress inducing, but the payoff is greater when it meets your passions. It’s important to note that most people I know who have creative or artistic careers have side hustles, or at least did for a long time. And honestly, THAT can be good too. I do a lot of Grubhub driving and other things right now. The plus side is I can make my own schedule and it doesn’t draw away creative energy. So don’t be afraid to be a bit creative on how to make ends meet while building a career that fulfills you.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Art that is done well provokes thinking, feeling and considering new truths and perspectives. QRZ exists to help artists put art into the world that leads people towards truth, grace and to encounter the Divine. We seek to be a community that gathers creatives who are spiritually seeking and to help the spiritual create art that matters. A lot of how this came about has been my personal journey as a musician, sound engineer and becoming a Christian in my 20’s. Many of us wouldn’t wander into a church to encounter the Divine or hope- but nearly ALL people value and love art. My desire is to spread hope in our city through art and artistic communities. Most of why I am still pursuing this is because of the people around me- people who remind me why there is a need for QRZ, who remind me of who I am and my passions when I am full of doubt and who motivate me to create places for belonging, contemplation and experiencing beauty and truth.
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.
The Hi Dive on Broadway is probably my favorite venue in Denver. I live for drinking a crappy beer, listening to loud music, meeting new people and having deep conversations at the bar. I spent most of my teenage years frequenting places like this and it just feels right with my soul being there. Close second is the Marquis Theater. They have EXCELLENT non-dairy/vegan pizza for those of who struggle that way. The Marquis hosts a lot of hardcore shows, which is the scene that I came from. Honestly, Denver is really rich with venues and art galleries. I am constantly searching for places that give me new experiences and insights to different subcultures than my own. My fiance is more in the jazz and R&B scene and I am delighting in getting to experience those places as well. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When I was a teenager, I realized and experienced that most thriving creative communities give of themselves freely. One of the ways I saw and experienced this was older more experienced musicians or entrepreneurs taking younger ones under their wings, teaching them and giving them opportunity. I have continued to experience this pretty magnificently in the Denver music scene. Most circles are not competitive for opportunity but rather SO supportive for people creating and reaching new goals. So Denver music scene- you kick ass. In Denver, I have found a large network of creatives who are Christians, who also give of themselves freely and lavishly. I have had many spiritual mentors over the years that have helped me form in my character, passions and they have encouraged me to run after things. Here are some people who have encouraged me to step out in faith and create QRZ Denver and dream big: Jessi Heilmann, staff member at Scum of the Earth Church Malena Roberts, founder of Bspk creative Stephen Roach, founder of Makers & Mystics Podcast my bandmates in Vatican Vamps & Two Tone Wolf Pack My fiance Josue Redemption Church Denver- staff members James & Zach specifically Radiant Hill Church and MANY, MANY others