Something Cool may sound ambiguous, but it really is the most fitting description of this hidden gem.

It’s part studios, part gallery, part workshops, part collective and part anything you want it to be.

Founder Luis Angulo, aka ULOANG, refers to Something Cool Studios as an art hive. It’s a place where artists of all levels, and all art supporters come together to celebrate creativity.

Photo by Fabian Rey

What are your goals for Something Cool?

We want to be a part of what I feel is a renaissance of art in Austin and help establish the city as a legit player in the art world. There is undeniable talent in Austin but some of these artists haven’t been given the opportunity to shine. We want to create the stage to help these artists and the art scene grow.

What void is SC filling in the art community?

Our intent is to create a lasting, self-sustaining collective. This is why we don’t focus on only one thing. Several collectives have popped up and fizzled out because the spirit was there, but there was no business foundation. That’s what we’re trying to fill. We want to stick around and have success so that we can bring in opportunities and benefit other artists.

“You don’t have to dress or look a certain way to be a part of what we do.”

Do you feel like art & business go together?

A lot of young artists don’t realize how important the business side is. Every artist that chooses to do this full time is a small business. You don’t have to compromise your art, but you have to be aware of what the market is like and how you can fit in to the current art world. We have to make money so we can make more art.

How do you balance your art + running the space?

It’s been tricky to find that balance because I’m essentially running two businesses. They are both full time jobs. With SC, I’ve had to find ways to partner up with the right people so I don’t have to do all of the work. I don’t want to neglect my art, that’s the most important thing to me. I’ve had to think of it with a hive mentality. It’s not one bee that does everything, it’s hundreds that work together. Like Outside/In couldn’t have happened without opening up and letting other people take the lead.

Is SC a place non-artists can come and feel comfortable?

We’re trying to create an environment that first, feels authentic. You don’t have to dress or look a certain way, or make a certain amount of money to be a part of what we do. It starts by approaching the gallery space from a different perspective. It’s more than just a fancy art gallery opening. Here you can experience the space in different ways. People can meet the artists in their studios, or be a part of workshops. It’s about creating different reasons for people to come.

What’s your advice for emerging artists?

The simplest way to say it is work your ass off. Being an artist, like any profession, requires an insane amount of work and dedication. It’s a daily thing. It’s not a hobby. Don’t wait for inspiration to come to you, seek it out yourself. You only do that by putting in the work. It’s a slow, incremental process, and it will be long but focus on making daily progress.

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