March 20 (First Day of Spring!)
Where are you originally from?
Virginia Beach, VA, USA
Where do you currently live?
New York, NY, USA
Preferred Art Medium:
Paint on clothing
Hobby or interest aside from art?
Splurging on shoes
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Yinka Shonibare MBE, Shantell Martin, Marta Minujin
Waste Land (documentary about Vik Muniz’s garbage picker portraits)
Anything by Oscar Wilde
What are 3 things you want to achieve?
1. Write a book; 2. Exhibit my work in a museum; 3. Give a TED talk.
“I like to work with a sense of urgency.”
What is something you deeply love about yourself?
I love my emotional connection to color.
How has Instagram worked for you as an artist?
Instagram makes it relatively easy for people with similar interests to find and engage with my work. I occasionally feel limited by the format, but it is one of the easiest platforms to use.
What is your definition of art?
Art begins as something in the world and, through the aid of an individual or collective, is interpreted it in a different way.
“[The art world] is and has been seen as a place for the wealthy and well-educated. But there is so much to be gleaned from the experience of art no matter your income, class, race, or background. [...] I aim to make art a bit more accessible.”
Artfully Awear is unlike other art blogs we’ve seen before. Can you tell us a bit about what it is?
Artfully Awear is much more than a blog to me — it is truly a way of life, and how I see the world. Artfully Awear is a record of my engagement with art: what I see, how I see it, and my attempt understand art in a deeper, more meaningful way. After studying an artist’s work, I create a garment inspired by the art, and wear the handmade clothing alongside the work in order to create a dialogue. I aim to create an Artfully Awear garment for each place I travel to (and sometimes more than one). I have taught classes and workshops and have given lectures on how to dress like a work of art and create your own masterpiece. I’ve received messages from people all over the world who have created their own Artfully Awear-like juxtapositions, and in that way I feel that the project has come full circle.
How did Artfully Awear begin?
My mother was an artist and a truly inspirational, creative person who always encouraged my artistic endeavors. When she passed away, I began using my personal style to reflect the artistic outlook she taught me – and as a way of coping with her loss.
“Artfully Awear is a record of my engagement with art: what I see, how I see it, and my attempt understand art in a deeper, more meaningful way”
What is your creative process like?
I’m always looking at art with the aim of seeing as much as possible. When something inspires me for Artfully Awear, I start reading about the artist and his or her process. Then I visualize how to translate that process onto a garment. From there, I gather supplies, and then get to work painting, stitching, stenciling, or working with whatever type of medium I’m using for the specific project. When the garment is complete, I visit the artwork in person, whether in a gallery, museum, public space, or the artist’s studio, and take photographs with the work and my handmade piece of clothing.
Artists paths are normally non-linear. Can you recall for us what your path has been like?
I’ve always been interested in art (as I mentioned, my mother was an artist and inspired me to create), but I actually entered college to major in Pre-Med! I soon realized that the medical field wasn’t the right fit and changed my major to Studio Art. From there, I had a few stops and starts, but I have been working in and around the art world ever since.
How has Artfully Awear evolved from when you started to now?
It’s always changing! When I first started, all of my art-inspired clothing came from thrift stores – and I took all of my photos myself, using a camera with a timer set on a tripod. Now, I make nearly all of my Artfully Awear garments, and most of my photos are taken by talented photographer friends as well as my boyfriend. A wonderful development over the years of Artfully Awear has been the people I’ve met and interacted with because they, too, share a love for clothing as art, and have been inspired to share their own ensembles with me.
Is it hard to keep your own creativity within the confines of another work of art?
Quite the opposite. I find it very freeing to be able to use another artist’s work as a starting point – it is like having a problem that I have to solve – how to translate this work to something wearable. I love the challenge, and it serves as my motivation to keep creating.
“After studying an artist’s work, I create a garment inspired by the art, and wear the handmade clothing alongside the work in order to create a dialogue.”
What kind of patterns, routines or rituals do you have to keep the creative juices flowing?
My number one ritual is seeing as much art as possible. Even if it’s something that I know ahead of time will be unlikely to inspire me to create an Artfully Awear ensemble, seeing all forms of art lends to my creative inspiration. For the most part, I complete a piece in one session – I rarely come back to work on pieces again later, because I like to work with a sense of urgency.
What is your opinion of the art world as it is right now? is there anything you'd like to change?
One thing that bothers me about the art world in general is its lack of accessibility. In many ways, it is and has been seen as a place for the wealthy and well-educated. But there is so much to be gleaned from the experience of art no matter your income, class, race, or background. That’s partly what I love about Artfully Awear – I aim to make art a bit more accessible.
“When [my mom] passed away, I began using my personal style to reflect the artistic outlook she taught me – and as a way of coping with her loss.”
How do you think the internet aids/complements the art world? And how do you think it deteriorates it?
The internet has leveled the playing field for artists in a lot of ways – it is much easier for people to find your work and interact with it whether or not they are able to see it in person. Likewise, the internet allows people to see and experience work that they may never have been able to see in person. I honestly think the internet has been far more positive than negative for the art world. One drawback is that people may be less likely to seek art experiences in real life since they can find so much of it online. It’s important to see work with your own eyes if possible – there are nuances and details that are just not as apparent on a screen.
Did you feel there were a lack of opportunities for you to express your creativity and emerge as an artist? If so, what would you propose to change this? I never really felt stifled growing up since I came from an artistic family, but I truly didn’t understand or realize how many options and different paths there are for creative people until I moved to New York City. I think art students should be presented with a more realistic perspective of what they can do career-wise – and be given more tools they can use to market themselves.
“I find it very freeing to be able to use another artist’s work as a starting point – it is like having a problem that I have to solve – how to translate this work to something wearable. I love the challenge”
What are the main obstacles you have had to overcome as an artist? I struggle a lot with materials — finding the right paint, or the right fabric. It feels like there is rarely enough time to truly experiment until I get it right, so I’m often rushing through and trying to make it work!
What is in store for Artfully Awear? Any upcoming shows/ plans?
I’m developing a video workshop so those who are unable to make it to an Artfully Awear session in person can still hear the story and hopefully take away some inspiration. I am also working on some exciting collaborations for 2017! I can’t share too many details yet, but you can expect them to be colorful.
“The internet allows people to see and experience work that they may never have been able to see in person.One drawback is that people may be less likely to seek art experiences in real life since they can find so much of it online. It’s important to see work with your own eyes if possible – there are nuances and details that are just not as apparent on a screen.”
Find her Work Here: