Debbie Dillon

South Slave
Fort Smith
Primary Art Type: 

Artist Story

My interest in making earring began when I attended a powwow in Alberta in 2014. There were so many vendors with beautiful earring collections that it inspired me to start making some of my own. I taught myself how to bead and eventually, started creating my own designs.

I am Inuvialuit, so my designs are influenced by my culture. I try to use things like the delta braid, a well-known pattern in the Western Arctic, as well as incorporating ulus and inuksuk shapes into my designs. I have mostly done a lot of ombré style, and am working on adding more colour into my patterns.

My designs have evolved in the past years. I started with seed beads and porcupine quills, and now I’m trying to make the longer earrings with moose hide and delica beads.  I enjoy making art, being creative and passing time this way.  I especially enjoy making art because other people appreciate it, which is why I like to post my creations on social media. I love to see when people connect with my creations.

I usually make beaded earrings but I also like to make dream catchers. At the same powwow in Alberta, I purchased a small dream catcher for my vehicle. They are beautiful and you can take them with you. At the time, I bought some small hoops to make my own dream catchers and have used a few since, in the hopes of eventually making bigger ones as well. I enjoy the process of creating them and I love that they can be used for decorative or spiritual purposes.

Artist Bio: 

My name is Debbie Dillon. I was raised in Inuvik, NT but have also made Tuktoyaktuk and Fort Smith my home. I come from a family of diverse cultural backgrounds; Inuvialuit, Gwich'in, Cree and Metis. I am a self-taught beader; I started beading in 2014 after spending many hours watching tutorials online, I eventually started making my own original designs adding unique elements from my culture in my beadwork. My goal is to eventually learn various types of cultural and traditional art while being respectful of their customs and values. 

My beading journey has been incredibly rewarding and very therapeutic. I have found inspiration and creativity through nature and discovered a newfound passion for learning and connecting to my culture in ways I never imagined. I am so thankful for the teachings and encouragement I have received from other artists who are willing to share their knowledge with me and for the endless support that I receive from everyone who enjoys my designs as much I enjoyed making them.

Thank you, Mahsi Cho, Quyanainni for being part of my journey. 



Last Updated: September 23, 2022

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