Artist Story

I’ve always loved being creative and dabbling with as many art forms as possible. I learned to sew at a young age. Growing up in Tuktoyaktuk, I was lucky to have an amazing home economics teacher, Lucy Cockney, who inspired us with her own designs and sewing skills. Over the years I have made mitts, uppers, slippers and parkas, but in 2017 I took a cardholder workshop that really set me on my path! We didn’t have enough time during the class to complete our project, so I finished mine by myself at home and realized how happy it made me. I branched out from there and now, my real love is beaded jewellery and fashion.

Nature is always a main source of inspiration for me. I particularly love to try to replicate the designs and colours of water. I’ve also always been mesmerized by the Inuvialuit drum parkas and their special details, such as the black and white trims, and always try to include some of those traditional aspects in my designs. Most of the jewellery I make is completely unique, or will at least have a unique colour palette. I love coordinating colours in distinctive and appealing ways. My late grandmother sewed beautiful things and I want to keep these traditions alive with my own hands, continually tapping into my ancestry.

I always say that to create is to heal. In my heart, I know that making artwork is healing work. I fully support anybody like me, who may have gone through darker periods in their past, to pursue a creative outlet that appeals to them. Everyone who is interested in my art knows that each item that I create has been made with so much love and so much respect: I pour everything I’ve got into my creations.

I also truly enjoy organizing fashion shows. I feel like I need to be in the fashion world, surrounded by its beautiful madness. Our people are so talented in many ways and I am excited to be a part of that sharing!

Artist Bio: 

Erica originates from Tuktoyaktuk and now resides in Inuvik. Erica has collaborated with Caroline Blechert, from Creation for Continuity, after they met at the Great Northern Arts Festival. Erica was a part of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto 2019, and returned for the 2020 in its virtual form. She plans on continuing to make her way into the fashion industry by expanding and learning new skills daily.  Erica is alumni of Entreprenorth for their Circumpolar Fashion program.  Erica's work was featured on Simons with Fabrique 1840 as well as Proudly Indigenous Craft & Design.  You can find her work on her She Was A Free Spirit website.

Last Updated: June 8, 2023

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