Five Questions for Tia Walker
Name: Tia Walker
Title: Celebrity Lifestyle Blogger & Publisher of The Quest for “it”
1. Where did you grow up and how did you end up where you are now?
I’m from Virginia. I’m a Southerner. My mom hails from Virginia; my dad from Florida. Having a father in the military was always a fortunate thing for me. Even though my parents separated when I was nine, I lived in every part of the country except the Upper Midwest and New England from Miami, to Denver to Las Vegas, to Fort Sumpter, South Carolina. Eventually I landed in Long Island, New York, in a well-to-do Jewish area. You carry these things with you, you connect to your past and that brings things out of people.
My blog, The Quest for “it” offers select chronicles from the worlds of fashion, media, and beyond in the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami and London, I guess for that very reason my decision to offer multi-city coverage is a “connector” to my past, of living all over the place.
2. Which performance, song, play, movie, painting or other work of art had the biggest influence on you and why?
There would be three, and all when I was in high school. Musically, it would be seeing Zubin Mehta as he rehearsed the NY Philharmonic- THAT was life changing. I’d played viola since I was in the third grade, and although I’d never played well enough to make it to the All County or All State level, watching a true artist rehearse professionals gave me an appreciation of how the process of making a performance works. This was NOT my highshool orchestra class.
In film, it would be seeing the French film Jean de Florette. It was huge for me! I was made aware of the intensity of a foreign culture’s ability to illuminate life. Everyday things were so simple, like a man stealing water from another man who needed it so desperately simply to grow flowers. There was such a celebration of the importance of everyday things in life. Not sure that would translate well in an American film—I found that interesting.
The last would be Art and Seurat’s painting of Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Discovering pointillism made everything that had come before mainly, Northern Renaissance Art & Italian Renaissance art MORE interesting. As an Art History minor, I finally found something that was so very aesthetically pleasing without the super depth of say, Christian iconography or mathematical proportion, it was just–pretty. I loved the childlike quality and freshness of it, especially after seeing the photograph he based it on. I saw it as an “escape” from all that I learned up until that point.
3. What skill, talent or attribute do you most wish you had and why?
I would have loved to have been a concert violist. I mean I feel I have enough ability as a writer, and television presenter to be successful in those endeavors. Even as a singer, I can actually sing. I could easily develop those skills with hard work and be the consummate TV Host or the “would be” recording artist. However, I would never, no matter how hard I tried, be a concert violist. It just isn’t possible. That is a God given talent. I went to school with a girl who is now a concert violinist. Her name is Bethany Bergman and I always wished I had her talent—her playing was just so intense; it was in her blood.
4. What do you do to make a living? Describe a normal day.
I blog for a living, believe it or not. I have found a niche with my own blog, The Quest for “it”. It has allowed me to be well regarded as a serious “reporter” if you will, leading to blogging for UPTOWN Magazine’s UPTOWNlife.net and Patrick McMullan.com.
A typical day includes five to six hours of blogging. I get up at 6:00 am, and write from 6:00 am to 9:30 am or so, then again from around noon to 3:00 pm. In between I go out for groceries and catch up with other things. From 2:45 pm – 5:15 pm I try to rest each day. Monday through Thursday or Friday I’ll be out from 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm each night, covering two to three events each evening. In my circuit, the events I attend are considered high-cocktail parties- mostly involve artist’s receptions or openings, in-store events, book or product launches, store openings or charity galas. For the average person the analogy would be I suppose, an after work party as the hours are the same. The significance of course is MUCH greater than an after work party, but that certainly would be the same time frame and of course each offer cocktails and food.
5. Have you ever had to make a choice between work and art? What did you choose, why, and what was the outcome?
Well, I would rather have worked as a curator in a museum, but life did not turn out that way for me. I worked for TIAA-CREF directly out of college and quickly found that I would have to do “art” as an aside. The only art related job I could do while working full time was gallery work. Museum work was out of the question; there was just no time. In order to work full time at the curatorial level in a museum or at the Art Director level in a gallery I would have needed an MFA. I really wanted to pursue the MFA but even after getting it the pay for either of the jobs I really wanted was pretty meager. I’m kind of a high-end type of chick, and the money that you make in that world, I was already making more easily working for TIAA-CREF.
My creative side and love of artists and their work later went into promoting and representing DJ’s, doing booking and publicity for them. Through DJ booking and the formation of my own LLC, Sfumato Artist Management, I saw a way to combine my skills and abilities with the kind of life I had imagined for myself. When that ran its course, I began blogging. I’ve always chosen the way of art, and blogging makes me happy. I enjoy bringing information to people and getting it out of people. As long as it has something to say, there’s always something to see.