I've spent most of my life in and around Edmonton, Alberta - land of big skies, big mountains, and big trucks.
My favourite place to be is outside, preferably in nature. I love spending hours in the studio make strange and wonderful art, but when I'm done I can't wait to escape on some kind of adventure - riding my motorcycle through small towns, backcountry camping, or traveling. I satisfy a desire to perform by throwing theme parties, belly dancing and public speaking.
I’m also an introvert and face anxiety daily so I often need to recharge with a book or my journal and I've been practising meditation and mindfulness. As a kid I loved libraries, museums, mystery novels and the promise of a secret passageway - and still do. I can also be found wandering the river valley looking for birds, collecting rocks, or attempting to communicate with rabbits.
I’ve wanted to be an artist ever since I can remember. Though I usually backed up that desire with more or less “realistic” choices (paleontologist, librarian, museum curator, set designer), all I’ve ever really wanted to do was make things for a living and have been slowly picking out a path toward making that dream come true.
In the process, I’ve spent a lot of time wrestling with the seemingly opposing forces of creativity and anxiety. From a young age I felt an overwhelming desire to create coupled with a devastating fear of not being good enough to try. I saw the creativity of others and felt barren in comparison. I even wrote a poem as a child about watching other artists soaring on the wings of their ideas while my feet remained firmly planted on the ground.
I still envy people who say they spent their childhoods drawing, latched onto their sketchbooks like newborns to breasts. I spent my childhood wishing I could be someone else.
According to Joseph Campbell, every hero hears a call at some point. Sometimes it quietly drifts in with the fog and leads the hero down a meandering path. Sometimes it crashes down the door and drags her out kicking and screaming. I felt like my calling had been stitched into my genes, like a secret pocket holding a fleeing refugee’s life savings. It was an essential part of who I was, but I had no idea what to do with it.
With time, I wandered from one form of expression to another - writing, collage-making, acting, to set-design, back to writing, and then on down the most recents paths of weaving, paper mache sculpture and printmaking. Along the way I discovered a wild love of nature, travel, and exploration, and a near obsession with the aesthetic and symbolic powers of maps.
In theatre school I learned that I love creating sets and installations that envelop the audience, transforming them from passive viewer to active participant and taking them on a journey with me.
In Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina I learned traditional indigenous and European weaving techniques and that everything I was looking for was already inside me. In following my heart to another continent I started on my own hero’s journey, finally opening up to the call that had been tucked away for nearly three decades. I decided to pursue the one thing I never really thought I could and have been standing up to my anxiety and slowly dismantling my limiting beliefs ever since.
I still face anxiety on a daily basis but have learned to be more gentle with it. I’ve also learned that the creativity that I longed for as a child has been thriving within me all along and that all I needed to do was give it room to play. My life’s mission is to spread the curiosity, wonder, and magic that I’ve found, and help others on their own creative journeys.