Shock Factor Matter is the brainchild of Hank Opal Jove (they/them), a queer stained glass artist and poet currently located in Austin, TX. Hank creates intentional glass amulets and sculptures that depict the indispensability of awareness, made specifically for those searching for their own version of peace. You can find them on Instagram as @ShockFactorMatter or online at ShockFactorMatterGlass.com
What made you want to start creating or selling?
I have always been a writer by nature. Poetry is my magic and heart song and my purpose but it's excruciatingly cerebral and takes so much from me. I turned to making stained glass at a time when I needed a break from words. Through glass, I'm able to express myself visually in a way that is very healing.
What do you wish someone would have told you when you started? Did you have experience or did you learn as you went along?
I wish that I had known about "toxic hustle culture". I wish I could've warned myself about the burn out, about the exhausting overhead of selling art or how there always comes a point at which a creator will feel influenced to make things that other people want rather than make the things that their heart wants to make. I learned that in this moment- you have to be protective of yourself and your vision.
What do you love most about your brand? Or the work you produce?
I like to make brutal things, abstract things, strange things. I like that my work reflects these weird realms that I travel through.
What kind of challenges have you had to overcome as a small business owner? As an LGBTQIA+ artist or entrepreneur?
I think the biggest obstacle is perfectionism. It's difficult to abstain from comparing your work or your process to other artists. Sometimes I spend all this time making something and then I never photograph it or sell it because I don't think it's "good enough" and then a year later I'll pull it out of a box and feel an overwhelming disappointment in myself because the piece is just stunning. It's strange how we hold ourselves back.
How have you pivoted or evolved your business because of Covid-19? // How has Covid-19 affected your creation process?
I've gone through waves since Covid-19 has hit our country. I've definitely had to step back from my work bench and focus on my self for months on end and not feel guilty about it. I am gentle with myself and my production. I am aware of capitalism and the way it tries to convince us that our worth is equal to our productivity but it's just not true.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up, make breakfast, drink coffee and try and start my day in my studio. Sometimes I get into something immediately and sometimes it's takes me longer. I second guess the things I make a lot but it's helpful to get a fresh perspective in the morning. If I'm ever frustrated with something I'm working on the best solution is to take a break and come back to it.
Is this your fulltime job?
Who are some of your favorite queer artists or creators? Queer owned businesses?
I love @nora.hidalgo, they are a queer latina badass who makes size-inclusive garments that are straight up hot. I also love @unrulypatchouli, a very cool queer artist who makes amazing earrings and artworks.
What is something you’re looking forward to in 2021?
Any organizations you love and would like folks to hear about?
There is a wonderful instagram page called @atxreparations where posts by local BIPOC folks in financial need are shared and boosted. It's a great place to find places to give back locally.
One last random thing about you! Can be totally random!
I don't regret my tramp stamp.
shop and learn more @ Shock Factor Matter's Virtual Booth