I'M THRILLED TO BE FEATURED BETWEEN SUCH AMAZING WOMEN AS NAA-SAKLE AKUETE, ANGELA DUCKWORTH AND SARAH ROBB O'HAGAN (not to mention seven other risk takers after that!) IN THIS APRIL EDITION OF MARIE CLAIRE.
A year ago this week, I decided to take a step back from Graphic Design/Photo Art Direction when I realized New York and the big cities just wasn't "it" for me anymore. I was trying to get my bearings somewhere between city and country, corporate design jobs and becoming a social creativepreneur for so long and it wasn't working. What are the jobs available in this time even as a freelancer? I've been moonlighting as a fine artist for all the years that I've been working as a designer but it's never been enough time to accomplish what I wanted and I knew if I didn't do this soon I'd look at yet another decade slip away, no where close to getting my pottery studio realized. And then of course, it became so much more than ceramics, I wanted to teach everything.
I committed myself towards my goal of teaching by entrenching myself into self-appointed grad studies. An intense period of dye chemistry formulation and testing, kiln design, fiber research and tool making while still consulting when I could. In May I started my business, MarRi Collective and threw myself into this sustainable brand with gusto. As with any form of kinetic learning, it naturally resulted in creating something with this brand. I really fell in love with dyeing like never before.
Now I'm setting my sights on locations and working with a business consultant to find my home which is "wherever the art is" as I've been told. And it's true. My studio is where my heart and home is. I'll start with ceramics, a dream I've wanted since I was 12 when I started potting. When I feel the move is right, I'll introduce fiber arts, painting and printmaking. It will be what I've been planning and working towards; my academy.
I've met amazing people along the way; vendors, customers, social comrades (I love my Instagram community, you know who you are)! No one should ever undergo something in this without knowing it's going to be a lot of work. There's going to be a lot of questions you have to answer with yourself and other people and tons of planning. I'd be nothing without lists of all the things I needed to attack in a day. And because I work in so many mediums, and in so many stages, this organization is pivotal. It keeps you focused and reminds you of goals. But I don't take those too seriously either. If I can't make it in a day it moves over to the next day. Beating yourself up about your own goals is absolutely pointless. You'll lose any motivation because you feel the loses more strongly.
This next chapter is not about me. Every consideration I'm making, this feature for instance, is getting closer to teaching and pushing me. I'm a teacher now. It's becoming so clear just how it makes me feel, how I see faces light up as understanding hits them in forming a pot or advising on dye chemistry. I'll always be a designer, a maker and brand builder, but teaching makes me sing. I've made so many things my whole life if someone told me I had to stop to make way for new artists I'd be okay with that.