"I am most creative when I have taken care of myself, and my art is just one extension of my many self-care practices. If I am not taking care of my mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing it is extremely challenging for me to get into the flow and dive into the process."
What artist(s) have influenced you the most? And why?
I am constantly being inspired by the world around me and get creative sparks from nature to architecture and everything in between. I have been privileged to travel abroad extensively and have been heavily influence by folk and indigenous art from around the world. The detail to everyday object that is found in tribal art has been one of the most influential things on my work; the ability to make things beautifully and with a purpose that in a way made the ordinary sacred has always captivated me and it is something I try to emulate in my own work.
What is a moment (or what) makes you feel most creative?
I am most creative when I have taken care of myself, and my art is just one extension of my many self-care practices. If I am not taking care of my mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing it is extremely challenging for me to get into the flow and dive into the process. My most powerful sculptural work has come out of intense emotional pain, but it was part of the process for me to integrate the experiences I've had and transform the narrative I held around it. I find myself pushed by my curiosity to explore what clay can do and the life it can take on, and that only happens by being in tune with myself and the world around me as best I can.
Whats the hardest part of your work?
I am a perfectionist at heart, even though nothing can ever be perfect nor does it need to be, I am highly critical of my own work, as most artist are. I find myself getting caught up in what I had planned and not allowing my intuitive knowledge of the material and the process to flow through me and allow things to just happen. Throughout the process of creating I have learned a lot about my own thinking styles, and with that valuable problem solving skills. It can be extremely challenging when you've spent countless hours on a piece, just to have it crumble in your hands while you are putting it back together, and not have the pieces line up exactly- you learn a lot about yourself.
What is something about your process that no one knows about?
I do everything I can to slow down my practice, it becomes a form of moving meditation that allows me to be extremely mindful of what I am doing and gives me the space to embellish my pieces with small, but important details. I want each piece I make to be unique, and special for those who engage with and support my craft. I have a tendency to include representations of vulvas in a lot of my wheel-thrown work, it is something few notice. I like to carve back into pieces and inlay stains to tastefully accentuate the base of the pieces and to make a simple mug a work of art. In my sculptural work I like undertaking what is called psychological portraiture; it is the idea that through self representation we can better understand and process the internal landscape in an external manner.
What do you love about yourself and your art? / (or) / What drives you to create?
I have always been an artist, even as a kid I was constantly drawing and creating things whenever I could. My medium of choice has changed over the years and it wasn't until two years ago that I seriously got back into ceramics. Unlike others mediums, mostly of the 2D nature, clay just made sense in my hands. Through my work I have been able to process and transform my personal experiences into something that can be shared with my community, thereby allowing important dialogue around identity and socialization to occur. My art has literally saved my life, and it is something that I plan on sharing in any way I can. I am working on attaining my Master in Art Therapy through Lewis & Clark's Graduate School of Counseling Psychology so that I can share the healing benefits that art has to offer.