Your work is so colorful and unique. The first two questions that come to mind are when/how did you learn to sew and how did you learn to sew like that?
I started altering clothes before kindergarten. I literally always had to paint on them and add little baubles, and draw all over myself in sharpie marker. It wasn’t until I was 15 and traveling around with the Grateful Dead that I finally learned how to use a sewing machine and make entire garments so that I could sell them for gas money. I took lessons from an 80 year old lady – we were such an odd couple! – but she showed me many valuable tricks that I still use today.
What things do you think influenced you in creating the exact style and items that you create now?
Around the time I was learning to sew I was deeply immersed in the subcultures of the Rainbow Family, Dead Heads, anarchist gutter punks and activists. The earthy and rebellious spirit, along with the flare for colors and celebration really resonated with me. Later, as my path continued as a traveler, I was influenced by ethnic groups around the world, as well as other underground movements, like Burning Man and circus freaks (there is a lot of over-lap in these groups).
Do you engage in other forms of art or creativity?
I really never sit still. My house is painted a thousand colors. My cars are psychedelic explosions. Jewelry, gardening, writing – you name it. I traveled around the world painting murals for years. I cant sit near a pen without picking it up and doodling. I think of hitchhiking as an art that I excel at (even if it is not really considered an art form…I swear it is!).
Do you have a secret (or not so secret) geeky hobby/obsession?
(I am not proud of this!) Most people are stunned when the realize the depths of my celebrity gossip knowledge. I cant imagine how brilliant i would seem if I knew half as much about physics as I do about Cameron Diaz’s dating life. It is such a waste of space in my brain, and I pray that one day i get to go on a quiz show and win a million dollars by naming each one of Sandra Bullock’s ex-boyfriends.
What is your favorite thing in the whole wide world and do you think this influences your art in any way?
I think that by far the biggest blessing in my life is (are?) the people i know. I can’t believe that amazingly creative and huge-hearted weirdos I have gotten to share my life with. Without a doubt they teach and inspire me constantly. I am just a mosaic of them.
What would you say to other similarly minded people who are trying to get started with art and creating?
I see so many people hesitate and make excuses and wait until the stars align until they finally take the plunge to make art. That is silliness – the time is never going to be more perfect than right now. Gene Simmons had a great quote that i can only paraphrase (for my tongue is nowhere near as long as his!): “Inspiration is for lazy people” – I couldn’t agree more. If you only make art when you are feeling “inspired” you are depriving yourself of discipline.Imagine how fat we would all be if we only exercised when we felt “inspired.” You have to push through and just DO it. If you want to live as an artist, it is work. I work WAY harder than anyone i know who has a 9 to 5 job. Don’t even contemplate failure – just get it out of your head and create with abandon.