Who or what are your inspirations?
I think we all draw our inspirations from so many directions- which is what makes us each so unique and special. To make something like clothing, jewelry and any type of art design process- you are turning soul and inspiration into a tangible object- super cool. To touch upon every single person or thing that has inspired me would be difficult. Music is probably my biggest inspiration- I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and created something without my Bose speaker vibing out with me haha.
Tell us about your day job.
I currently work in the Social Work Field at a Non-Profit Organization in NYC serving Medicaid recipients who have Chronic Health Issues, Mental Health, and/or Substance Use Diagnoses. Before COVID started, I would meet in person with my clients’ either at their home, their shelter, medical office-wherever they could really-throughout NYC. I have a caseload of 46 people of all different ages (18+), and my job is to provide them with linkage to any resources and to support them in the process of becoming more independent. All my clients’ have qualifying medical/MH conditions which make them eligible to receive assistance. Along with these Diagnoses, comes the fact that my clients are also experiencing financial issues, housing issues, and the list goes on. I am still working right now through COVID-19, and we are beginning to phase in face to face visits again. Working in this field truly is a test of your spirit, and as difficult as some days and interactions have been- I’m grateful for the perspectives I continue to gain because of my clients. It has exposed me to some of the harsh realities people face, and how broken the system is, so I can continue to advocate for the things that need to be changed.
What drew you to live in Brooklyn?
I grew up about an hour from the city my whole life, and to be honest I feel like I almost never went! After I graduated from college and lived in Upstate NY for four years, I moved back to my hometown and waitressed for about a year with full intentions of moving the heck out of there. If I wasn’t working a double at the restaurant, I was driving out with my friends to Brooklyn Bowl, or the many other amazing venues to see a show in Brooklyn. After having saved enough money, I decided why not move to the place I drive to every weekend. I really do enjoy the city in ways: the walks in the park, rides on the subway, the people-watching, the venues, the FOOD. I am so grateful for the time I did really enjoy Brooklyn, but after a while I noticed a wave of unease each-time I left the house because of how crazy and fast paced it all really is. Overtime, I realized the city was a magical place, but it was not for me anymore. I crave a more quiet, simple life.
I know that you are now manifesting a life surrounded by nature. Why do you want to leave Brooklyn and why do you feel called to nature?
After almost three years now of living in Brooklyn, I am realizing that I really did always rely on nature in my life as an outlet. I never quite realized my connection with nature until I was deprived of it. I always had it at my fingertips whether it be where I grew up, or Upstate where I was for college. Being in Brooklyn has its live music perks, but it doesn’t have many trees!!! Every time I travel, I realize how much cheaper it is to live everywhere else where it is more beautiful, and it makes me question my life-for real though. I feel like I am wasting valuable years of my life not being submerged in the mountains – I dream of waking up each day and enjoying a morning on my porch with a cup of coffee, because it really is that simple. When I am in Nature, I just feel like life makes more sense. The vastness of it all just makes you realize how significant and connected everything all really is. I know this sounds funny, but I am serious when I say this- the city lifestyle has been a test of my mental health and me individually as a person. I feel like if you can survive living in NYC you can honestly survive anywhere. I can see the city from my balcony, and it used to really amaze me- now it just always looks the same. I want to look out at the trees and nature, and feel the seasons changing & feel like I am one with the world around me.
How does nature inspire your art?
Nature cleanses my soul and my creative palette. I feel like when I am immersed in nature, I am at true peace and feel most grounded. As I was creating, I was into the brown/rustic and bronze colored metals with the bright colors. It made me feel like my jewelry was then part of all the nature and trees that surround us. I also like to portray nature throughout my art with the color schemes I choose. Nature is an important grounding tool for me in all aspects of my life, and specifically within my creative path.
What are some of your personal beliefs and philosophies that you ride or die by?
Well I feel like even though I am only 25 years old, I have experienced a very full life of wonder and travel. The experiences/lessons are infinite to be honest and I am learning every day. I am always trying to live with the intention to be open minded to others’ perspectives. I love sharing philosophies and could probably do it for hours hah. For me, what really opened a new gateway was when I began my yoga journey. When I moved to Brooklyn my apartment was next to a yoga studio, and through that practice came a whole new way of thinking for me. I was distracted for so long in my youth, it finally helped me stop and just sit in solitude. And whilst sitting in solitude, you realize how precious those moments are. It also made me realize my own power, and strength internally, and within my own physical body. Through meditation, and conversations with teachers I felt like yoga was a lifestyle and a belief in itself- it had aligned with the way I viewed life- almost like a sense of religion. I am no yogi, or Spiritual Guru, but what you learn through the process is almost no one is!! First thing being, there is no such thing as failure, when you are pursuing spiritual work. We are all human souls fighting for our happiness in a world that prioritizes the wrong things. That is exactly it- they don’t make it easy finding yourself in our society. We are bogged down by the concept of “success” and materialism, external forces like technology/ media. What I am learning is that there is more beyond these expectations that the world places on you, and you place on yourself. You can make your life whatever you dream of it, if you put your mind to it & there is no real loss if you are being your true & authentic self. Being an open and vulnerable person willing to share my experiences has brought me happiness because I am being true to myself and real with the people around me. Through this journey, Three Mantras and beliefs I hold onto and want to share are 1) There is value to ALL human life (I feel like our society needs to hear this unfortunately- it is not something that should be up for debate like it is) 2) You are enough AS IS- in this very moment, and 3) You are your own thoughts – what you put out into the universe is the energy you will receive back- the powers of manifestation! It has been a comfort to me through this practice that beyond our physical form is a higher form/self which is eternal and changeless light, and it’s always there for you to tap into whenever you want -how magical!
Why did you choose to collaborate with Little Black Diamond? How has your experience been so far?
This has all happened so quick and has been so surreal for me. I would have laughed in disbelief if someone told me this years ago. I remember being a 19-year-old girl in college following and shopping on LBD for all my upcoming shows and festivals. I was introduced to Adrienne through a woman who followed me on my Jewelry page on Instagram. She had asked if I knew Adrienne Mother Diamond of LBD, and I had immediately known who she was talking about- not knowing what would come next! She happened to be friends with Adrienne and connected us feeling like we’d be a good fit. Little Black Diamond has always stood out to me through the years for I always felt it captured the Good Vibes and spirit that you crave when going to these musical events. To be honest, I had no idea how small of a business LBD truly was, until speaking with Adrienne. The impact and Influence that this Brand has had for only two women behind the scenes was incredible to me. The fact they are using this Influence to stand for the things that matter in this world – Love, Respect and Union for all people, and giving other Independent women artists an outlet to share their art. SUCH SWEET SOULS-These are just some of the reasons I chose to work with LBD and the experience has been extremely fulfilling so far.
What is some advice you can give to other artists who have a full-time job but want to pursue their side gig of art more?
This is all very new to me, and it is a work in progress always. I work full time and my job can be very emotionally draining, as I’m sure other artists face as well. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to rejuvenate and rebalance your creativity. I also really love the book “Big Magic” by Author Elizabeth Gilbert, and recommend reading it. Elizabeth says in the book “There is no dishonor in having a job. What can be dishonorable is scaring away your creativity by demanding that it pay for your entire existence!” I do not mean in any context that you can’t make a full-time career out of your art, and that is essentially the goal. I just try not to put so much pressure on the material gain of my art and try to see it as a passion, and an enchantment I get to tinker with. I do feel like I have two jobs some days, but then I adjust my thinking because it is just something I love doing, and in that comes true success I feel like. Creativity will always be here for me, and so in ways it is more reliable than any job will ever be.
Tell us one of your favorite festival memories.
Such a hard question!!! I feel like when I was truly thinking about this, every single story made me and my friends sound like such weirdos!! But then again, I would assume we can all relate haha. I just miss that overall feeling when I am at the stage listening to the music, and I look around at all the people, and you just feel that union and happiness to be alive. I also never thought I’d say this, but those moments where you and your friends are delirious rolling out of the tent from the night before trying to collaborate yourself for the full day of music together- missing those giggly moments too, as rough as they may be.
What are your current goals, dreams, aspirations? How are you working towards them to make them a reality?
Well my current goal and the one that is driving almost every other decision in my life right now is my dream to move out West, into the mountains. I really feel like I am being drawn towards living a more secluded life in nature. My boyfriend and I are currently in preparation of planning out what this is going to look like for us- the whole moving across the country thing! Within the next year, I will hopefully be living this out. This move is something I have needed for quite some time, and I feel like it will open a new chapter in my life and set my soul free to explore. Compared to NYC, I will have a lot more space to have additional animals, and space to try out some other ways I can incorporate my jewels into the art and fashion world!!! I have met so many amazing artists, and beautiful women and through that have exchanged ideas with them. I currently have a few things in mind that I’m working towards which strays away from my usual jewelry, including a little project with an amazing resin artist (@apeaceoftheroad). If you go to festivals like me, then you also have a love for all the vendor booths at them I am sure. I also really hope to have my Vendor License by the time we can go to music festivals again. I aspire to use my creativity as a way to share not only my colorful art with the world, but as an outlet to share the positive message I hope my energy emits.