VoyageHouston Interview

Meet Andrew (@Drewace06) and Anthony (@Lilant00) of Trill Art Factory in Northeast Houston (Aldine Mail Rt)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew (Drewace) and Anthony Pena (Lilant00).

Andrew and Anthony, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My art journey started way back as a child. I was always interested in being able to draw anything that came into my mind and being able to express myself through art even though it wasn’t my best work at the time. Music and street culture were a huge influence on the type of subject matter I was drawing as a child because of my surroundings. I did not want to live that certain lifestyle that my community was living in; instead, I wanted to be different. I always knew as a child that I wanted to do something creative in a positive way. The type of stuff I was drawing at the time were things like graffiti names, superheros, people, cartoon characters, and lowriders. I remember in elementary school. There was a substitute teacher that was a really good artist. We wouldn’t even have class; he would take drawing requests from the students the whole class period and he would draw them. I think that was the first time that it processed in my mind that an adult can be an artist and make a living. Shoutout that substitutes teacher. Every time I would create, it would put me in a zone where nothing mattered but the process. As life went on, I started to lose touch to my creative side because of my focus on sports and school until recently.

My sophomore year in college is when the spark came back. During this time, I was having a lot of reflection on my life. It felt like I was having a midlife crisis because I was attending college for something I didn’t have passion for. During the winter break, I decided to do something creative and completed my first painting. From there, I continued to make paintings after paintings, and I eventually started to make custom work for people. I started to perfect my craft the best I was able to and fell in love with the idea of creating. I decided to change my major to what I wanted to do after that summer break. I went from a computer science major to a graphic design major. Ever since then, I haven’t looked back and I am glad that I was able to make that transition early in life.

Fast forward to today, we have branched out into a brand that combines art with streetwear and fashion. I have always wanted to create clothing for people but never really leaped because of self-doubt. Anyone that knows me personally knows that I am my hardest critic. One of my first shirt ideas came to me a while back and I just decided to follow my gut and eventually took the leap of faith. I did not know how people were going to react but I knew that we loved the artwork and that was all that mattered to us. We dropped our first t-shirt in January 2019 and came out to be a classic. All types of people seen the artwork and were giving us love. It also reached Texas artists such as Paul Wall, South Park Mexican, Lil Keke, E.S.G, Lil Flip, Sauce Walka, and many more. The first shirt that we dropped is called “The Last Sipper” and the idea behind it was to pay homeage to Texas legends with the theme of the original Last Supper painting by Leonardo da Vinci. I wanted to give them their flowers and recognition of the amount of impact they left in on our lives personally and in the world through their art form. I knew that once I completed the artwork that I had to put it on clothing because I wanted to share my art with the world and the idea of people wearing our art is dope to me. We are grateful for the amount of support and love we have gotten from family, friends, Texas legends, and strangers. If you are reading this, take that leap and don’t be afraid to fail. No matter what your craft is, you must have Trust And Faith. Create & Motivate.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, it hasn’t been a smooth road. Self doubt tends to creep up at times. People hate and criticize our work when they don’t see the amount of work and sacrifice we put in. Our art gets overlooked. New products don’t always sell. People that promise to work with us disappear. Balancing college, work, and owning a business gets stressful at times. People try to take advantage. At the end of the day, we push through it. We are grateful for it all, nothing is guaranteed.

Please tell us about Trill Art Factory.
Trill Art Factory incorporates a combination of art, Houston, and street culture with an emphasis on building a community of supporters for this Texas movement. Our mission is to bring awareness to Southern and Texas culture combined with creativity in a unique way through art, fashion, and influence across the world.

We believe in putting the value in our work and art. Houston is known for being competitive in a selfish, hard way, but this is why we are different. TAF welcomes anybody and everybody with open arms. What we mean by that is that no matter what ethnicity, religion, or background you come from, we do not judge. No matter how successful you are already or how new you are to the game, we want to see our people succeed. All love always.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Being with my brother.

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