Growing up, my creative outlets have existed simultaneously in two, independent worlds. One was more “traditional” and defined by rigorous academic standards. I was introduced to this space through structured classes led by formal instructors. During those classes, I spent countless hours drawing from still life and creating endless value charts and color wheels. Success in this space was clearly defined by accuracy in application and representation with little room for error. In this environment, I found solace in the structure and predictability of knowing how to distinguish my progress as the work I produced was constantly graded and scrutinized.
The other world was the subjective and flexible counterpart to the structure of the first. This place was constructed around repeatedly watching a single VHS tape on the functions of a sewing machine. Initially, I learned sewing and crocheting by observing my grandmothers, but then continued to develop these skills through trial and error. I learned how to manipulate and control fabric and thread with just a stitch. My free time was devoted to experimenting with these materials and resulted in one-of-a-kind sweaters for my stuffed animals, crooked crocheted hats and scarves long enough for a giant. I learned by sewing dresses and embroidering jeans that I truly, and unfortunately, believed were fashionable. I thrived on the freedom I found in this adaptable space and I learned through my failures.
Both of these worlds have served a unique purpose in my creative development. The first taught me the elements of composition essential to a strong piece of art. I learned how to combine colors, lines and shapes in a way that is pleasing to the eye and effectively represents the subject matter. In the other, I learned techniques that allowed me to navigate the challenges of fiber and other soft mediums. These skills that I have developed in this flexible space grew into ways of working that have become automatic and intuitive. Most of all, it has taught me to trust my hand and in trusting my hand, I have developed my creative voice.
My artwork represents the intersection between the rigid and the flexible; I integrate my knowledge of fine arts and painting with my affinity for fabric. The unification of these two divergent worlds has created a third that still feels foreign. In this new and ever-changing space, thread can act like the mark of a pencil and felt mimics paint by creating volume and filling a large area. In this novel environment, I am constantly exploring the new challenges that arise in working with fiber and applying traditional concepts I have learned to a new medium. When my two spheres collided, it gave way to space that is mine to explore and define. During the past few months, I have embarked on a journey to understand and discover my place in the fiber art world.