I grew up an only child in the suburbs of Chicago and was very close to my mom and my grandma.
My grandma was a tough Polish lady with a big heart who was also an artist, but would never have said that. She nurtured me with love and exposed me to art, giving me the ability to see possibilities in things around us. As I grew up, I always said, “I’m going to be an artist”, so I tried art school for a year but realized that wasn’t for me. I became inspired to sew and memories of my grandma sewing my clothes growing up, filled my head.
I moved to Chicago in the 90’s and began to teach myself how to use the sewing machine. I have never felt a part of the group and so the idea of making my own clothes became very important to me; discovering my own ways of sewing, finishing seams and not being taught how to do it the “right way” seemed right to me. Over the years, aside from my hand made clothing I have taught myself how to draw with the sewing machine, construct dolls and figures out of found objects, covering them in stitches and have been finding joy in creating installations that combine all of those things that make me happy.
I wish the same for everybody to find that one thing that makes life worth living.
Working with my hands has saved my life. I have found my strength, sanctuary and cushion from the world in making art. My grandma gave me my first art lessons when I was very young. She sewed my clothes growing up and this influenced me to later teach myself how to use the sewing machine – allowing imperfections, emotions, and child like energies to fuel and inspire me to create. I want to push myself to make art with the things around me, to be resourceful and to follow my heart’s inspiration. Making something wearable, drawing with sharpies or the sewing machine, sculpting, to creating installations that incorporate all of these elements has become my spirituality – my survival.