Arts in Context

Austin creatives answer: 'When did you first know you were an artist?'

Austin creatives answer: 'When did you first know you were an artist?'

Editor's note: CultureMap is proud to present the latest installment in our partnership with KLRU's documentary series Arts In Context. The series explores the process of creation and what it's like to be a working artist in the Austin area. You can watch more stories at

"When did you first know you were an artist?" Throughout its eight seasons, Arts in Context has interviewed hundreds of local artists ranging from painters to dancers to actors and beyond. In this episode, the show asks artists a simple question with surprisingly complex answers. 

Some were born with a calling, others figured it out later in life. Regardless of when they knew, these Austinites are compelled to create. And for some of them, like SkyCandy founder Winnie Hsia, they knew they had to do it right here in Austin.

"Moving to Austin and being in a DIY, gritty, artistic community gave me permission," says Hsia. "I moved here from New York, and and in New York I had to make enough money to survive, and do what I had to do. I just wasn't allowed to breathe and make things. Austin gave me that."

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is dedicated to telling stories that entertain, inspire, and change our lives. KLRU highlights what makes Austin unique — whether music, arts, or public issues — by creating and distributing award-winning original content. KLRU produces several series including Austin City Limits, Arts In Context, Central Texas Gardener, Decibel, and Overheard with Evan Smith. As a nonprofit educational organization, KLRU also prepares children to succeed in school and creates lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Sevylla del Mazo Arts in Context
Austin artists share when they realized their artistic passions. Courtesy photo