On Flexing Your Creative Muscles: Director and Filmmaker Tia Williams

As we prepare for BABES FEST 2019, we’re sharing interviews with some of the creatives on our lineup. Today, we’re featuring words from writer, director and filmmaker Tia Williams. You can catch Williams’ series Gentrified premiere a few episodes at the BABES FEST 2019 Film Showcase on Day One of the fest.


The path to greatness for a woman of color in life, as well as entertainment, isn’t always the easiest. Within the mind of Tiara “Tia” Williams her dreams aim to bring reality to both the silver screen and the male dominated entertainment industry. Born in Austin and raised in a small town right outside of the city of Houston, Tia followed in her mother’s footsteps and moved back to the weird city as an adult, for a change in pace. Tia found her creative niche while podcasting and combined her true love for writing and love for people of color to begin blogging about victims of Police brutality, and expanded her storytelling abilities with romantic short stories and screenplays. As a new filmmaker Tia’s goal is to use HER art to tell the stories that help not only entertain, but break down societal norms and highlight Black excellence.

How would you describe who you are and what you do?

That’s a very hard question, but I’ve finally gotten used to saying I’m an artist, a storyteller and simply put I tell the stories of the forgotten/overlooked.

What are some of your current projects?

Gentrified is really my focus, I have a few others in the works but I’d prefer not to jinx them!

When did you start fully owning your identity as an artist/creative? Can you remember any mindset shift you experienced at that time?

After seeing my short film “XO” screen during SXSW at the Austin School of Film showcase, I remember saying “I don’t want to do anything else.” It was like falling in love, something clicked and I knew I was where I was supposed to be.

What do you wish the general public could better understand about your work as a creative/artist?

I wish that the general public understood exactly how hard and mentally/emotionally exhausting the creative process can be for all creatives in general. We pour ourselves into our art for public consumption and it takes its toll.

At BABES FEST, we're all about making space. How do you make space for creativity within your life?

It’s been hard to find balance between what pays the bills and what feeds my soul. I’ve learned I have to schedule time and focus on my creativity. The same way that I schedule my workouts—it’s a muscle so I have to work it out.

How do you approach personal and professional patience?

That’s still a major work in progress, and I’m not sure it’s something that I’ve mastered. I try to remind myself that it’s not a race.

What's something you unlearned lately that you're grateful for?

People-pleasing—for a very long time making everyone happy was important to me. I’ve realized that is impossible nor should it be my first priority.

If you weren't you—let's say, you're instead your best friend—what would you be most proud of yourself for?

My ability to keep showing up, to keep pushing even in my darkest hour. I’d say, “Girl, you keep showing up and I am proud of you for that.” I actually have to have those talks with myself often.

What are you most excited about for BABES FEST? What do you want to share with those who attend and the fellow artists on the lineup?

I’m truly just excited to be in the room with so many other badasses. I’m ready to soak up the energy.

BABES FEST is an ~ annual convening of minds ~ in Austin, Texas, celebrating and amplifying women and nonbinary artists. As a weekend-long exhibition, our performances, panels, pop-up markets, film screenings and networking hours span music, film, art, creative education and comedy. Our daily schedule, 3-day passes and one-day passes for BABES FEST 2019 are available now.

~ everybody’s welcome. ~

Jane Claire Hervey