Growing up in somewhat rural Wisconsin, I have always had aspirations of a different lifestyle. I appreciate where I live. There’s beauty in the nature, and pockets of inspiration, but as I grew up to be an artist, the lack of acceptance and pride for the creative arts- and diversity in general- became prevalent. I became a bit disgusted at the ignorance of the people around me, and started a riot of determination in my mind that I would someday show them that there was simply more than this.
My mother worked on business in New York City when I was a lanky 13 year old yet to discover my passion for the arts, and she would occasionally string me along for the trip. She had modeled in Paris at 16, and tried to teach me to be an independent woman in a big city. Most times I was in New York with her, I rode all 13 escalators in the Times Square Macy’s while she was in meetings, but even still it sparked a level of perception that my peers back home still have yet to discover. I saw the people around me and I wanted to be them, or inspire them, or use them as muses. I just wanted to appreciate humanity- even in ugliness..I recall watching in awe as my mother pulled me away from a knife fight in the subway.
This appreciation soon developed in a need for release. I was never much of an artist- in fact the only time my elementary school art teacher wasn’t the enemy was when she let us listen to Panic! At the Disco on her boombox.
But my father, waking up at dawn to write his book before he went to work, inspired me. Alexander Mcqueen, and the story of his “It’s a Jungle Out There” fashion show that could’ve made or broken his career, spoke to me. In the months where I faced an extreme loneliness as I developed myself as a fashion designer, Kurt Cobain became my friend, through the needle of my record player. I danced with Debbie Harry, Joan Jett, Lana Del Rey, Ella Yelich-O’Connor, my fifth grade teacher, and any number of women who broke standards just to set them. And soon I was printing business cards and making my website and searching for internships. And then I was an artist.
I attended Chicago Fashion Week as a stylist, working with incredible fashion designers. I designed, created, and directed photoshoots with 10 garments in 5 months. I became student body president, qualified for state in DECA’s Fashion category, completed Parson’s and Teen Vogue’s online fashion certificate, and became editor of my school newspaper. I managed two internships and another side job to afford it all. People at my school marveled over my accomplishments, my family supported me, and I was being offered opportunities that began to lead into a sure future in fashion design.
Even so, I wasn’t happy. I struggled with finding pride for any of my work, and felt like there was something else I was supposed to be doing in order to advance myself. There was suddenly this disconnect between myself and my work
Surrounded by kids from prestigious Brooklyn and LA art schools, I, running on nothing but the simple feeling that I had to do it, attended San Francisco Art Institute’s Pre-College program. There, I majored in Sculpture and Experimental Cinema.
A long story full of character and artistic development short, my passion as an artist went from just fashion design to also encompass film, photography, graphic design, sculpture, and writing. In a month. Now approaching college, I can’t even begin to fathom the possibilities in art, and there’s no way I’m limiting myself. I now have a new understanding of not only the world around me, but my abilities as an artist. The thought of representing that through my future pieces has never been so exciting.