WELD Artist of the Week: Neva Everett
Career: Photographer| Director at Fishhouse Creative
Mantra: Embrace your gifts—there’s a plan for you. Be patient and prayerful in not knowing what the plan is.
Interview by: Kristin Read
A Candid Expression of Finding Foundation
I didn’t grow up in a religious home. Frankly, I thought religious people were crazy and wondered why they needed an invisible crutch.
It wasn’t until I felt my own, self constructed crutches weren’t working — after years of fighting to be my own person, find my way, and filling the lack of a father’s presence with a slew of poor decisions — that I let go to find the path that had been laid before me.
At that moment I was (and had previously been) in a very bad relationship in college. It deflated any confidence I had in my creative gifting, where I was going in life, and the future that awaited me. So I detached. I spent my last summer in Chicago riding my bike to the beach everyday and living off the last of my student loans. Amongst the healing process and soul-searching, I was bothered with a hunch that I should move back to Texas. Ironically, I spent years plotting to get out of Texas, and when I was finally where I thought I needed to be, I realized I wasn’t. This hunch felt important.
So, I came back to Texas and worked some odd jobs to make ends meet (temp at my mom’s office, barista, and the much dreaded return to a restaurant). All the while I had two unfinished college credits I left sitting on the backburner — an infamous procrastination habit of mine.
I spent months working odd jobs, knowing there was something else out there for me.
Then came the day that I was moving out of my beloved Lakewood apartment and back in with my mother. As I was getting gas, I got a call from my work manager saying they had to let me go because of a change in management. My pride twitched, but I knew there was a strange coincidence this was occurring all at once.
With free time and free rent, I figured it was time to take those credits off the backburner. I was scared as to whether I would actually finish them or not. Fast-forward a month, it was 1:00am the night before I would email in my final paper, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I told myself I would rest for a bit, but I knew my cycle of procrastination would continue if I did . . .
Searching for a different tactic, I decided to pray . . . I thought it would be a great time for God to prove to me His existence; I was open to see what could happen without judgment.
I went to the living room, got on my hands and knees and simply asked,
‘God, can I go to sleep or do I need to stay a wake?’
I waited, and in a moment of clarity, I got the message to Google: “Bible verse.” A slew of results appeared. I decided I was going to click on the first one listed . . . it would be my decision about God.
30 I went past the field of a sluggard,
past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
— Proverbs 24:30-34 (NIV)
. . . A little sleep? . . . A little slumber? I actually started crying at :30 and :31 because I knew I had stopped caring for myself. By the time :33 came up, it was solidified. I was saved. I was weak. God was my Savior. I heard this kind of thing happened to other people, but now I understood. My entire world changed in that moment.
I stayed up, finished the paper, and earned my diploma.
Boisbuchet design camp in the south of France, 2010.
Later that week, I sat at my computer knowing that God wanted me to go out into the world and do something. I saw a tweet that a creative space called WELD was looking for volunteers to help setup their open house party. God told me to go. I was hesitant, worrying that snobby artist’s would surround me, but to my surprise, there were creative’s AND there were believers too . . . God led me to a place that would nourish my creativity and faith? Truly amazing.
Since then, I have become a member of WELD, and it’s now the primary source of my business. I assist another WELDER, Kelsey Foster, frequently on photo shoots, and have been given numerous offers through our multitude of creative talents. I am a freelance photographer and Director of Fishhouse Creative. Juggling multiple roles seems to be a trend these days, and working at a place like WELD has proven to be a place for my talents to flourish. The creative challenge I find here each day has catapulted me beyond anything I could have envisioned for myself.
Another unexpected gift came out of WELD. A few months after working here, I would sit down to have a conversation with my future husband (Ladies/gents, WELD is not a dating machine, it just happened to be a part of God’s plan for me).
My life before Christ had many wonderful blessings, and holds the same value, if not more. Inspiring friends, captivating faces and unique places around the world are a few of those blessings to count. Trying to avoid expectation, I look to the future with the hopes to spend time with people I’ve known for years, and those I have yet to meet, to better understand the plans that God has for me — for all of us, and the freedom that comes from letting go.
Neva Everett Bio: Neva is primarily working as the director at Fishhouse and is learning the ropes of freelancing. She anticipates getting back into product design in the next year or so; her focus during college.