life is so goddamn strange right now… there’s really no other way to slice it. aliens are confirmed real… not that I had any real doubts before… but no one cares because the cost of living is unlivable and the planet is trying to purge the virus that is humans. every day we wake up to more unfathomable news, and continue to sip our coffees, read our books, breathe in the ever growing toxic air, and carry on existing. and sometimes it all feels too much, and too confusing.
I took a month off of work… and it ’s getting harder and harder to prepare for the jump back into it all. don’t get me wrong, I deeply miss creating… but so much of my job is focused on making money. I don’t make a lot of online sales… I average maybe 1 sale per month. Most of my money is made at trade shows…. I think almost everyone would advise me not to share this. because it makes the business look bad… but it’s the truth. and in the world where everyone wants to paint a perfect picture, i’m trying to embrace the grit and bones of it all. So much of sales is marketing…. selling a story.
well this is mine…
I took a jewelry fabrication class back in 2012 on a whim. low and behold I fell in love. a violent love, a passionate romance with a craft that I barely understood. I spent the next four years learning everything I could. gaining a formal education from my professors and real life experience from various internships and what not. I didn’t take a single summer off during those four years. and I loved it. I ate it up.
I left on a high, thinking it was only going to get better. I was fortunate enough to land a job a few months out of college and I started working as an assistant designer for a brand name company. I was in the trenches. disrespected and belittled. but I was learning and I was hungry so I kept at it. and it ate me whole. slowly the toxicity of it all infected who I was. I looked in the mirror one day in 2019 and I didn’t even recognize myself. I hated my job. I hated the industry. I was lost. so I left. I ran. Ran all the way from new york to los angeles….. I left the industry behind and I found a job at a bookstore.
and for the next three years, that’s what I did. that’s who I was. the bookstore girl. my time there is irrelevant. it wasn’t great… it was borderline insufferable. but I didn’t know what I wanted. so I let myself become this whisp of a person. luckily I found a kindred spirit and I will forever be thankful for that person coming into my life. we suffered together. and together we found our way out.
during that time, I realized it wasn’t jewelry that I had grown to hate. it was the loss of identity, the loss of self that had etched it’s way into my work, that I had hated. I took steps, big and small. I became sober. I started painting again. I began sculpting, and working with my hands again and it all came flooding back. the desire to create had never really left, but it had been buried a while back. it took three years of chaos, covid, love lost, and deep depression for me to find it again. and I did.
as of this May… it will have been a full year since I left the bookstore. left that skin behind. and embraced the artist that I’ve always been. a full year that I have dedicated to this company. and boy has it been a rough ride. in November… I hit an emotional bottom. I had several shows that had been unsuccessful, and that self doubt came creeping in. I let it. and with that, mixed with personal trauma.. I nearly chose eternal sleep over the fight. but I got back up as I’ve done a few times before. I took a hard look at the broken bits and the rough edges of my heart. I tucked everything back into place and continued on.
it took me a few months to start seeing some light. and then I had that moment. it was 4 in the morning, on a Friday… and I woke with a start. not from noise, or sickness. but from a deep call in the back of my head. screaming at me to grab paper and a pen. I spent the next 3 days drawing, with no real end in sight. what was I drawing… well I wasn’t sure. Something was coming out of me, and I had to let it. on the fourth day, I stopped drawing and I started carving. I carved for two weeks… working through about 80 designs… when I took a step back and observed the carves all together… I saw it. it was everything I had witnessed in Norway. every texture, smooth and rough curve. the emotions I endured and the peace and silence I had devoured while I was there. and that’s how the Aurora collection really came to be.
I think my entire career has revolved around creating this perfect story of how my work comes to life. but it’s just not true. I was classically trained in design and fabrication, and I still maintain those skills. but through and through, I’m an unhinged artist. flooded with emotion, passion and so on. I’m tired of trying to paint a different picture to appeal to the masses. this is who I am. this is my story.