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Artist Story

My name is Inuk. I am an Inuvialuit, born, raised and continue to live in the NWT . I am a multi-dimensional traditional and contemporary designer.  

Many people think that my mom (a master moose hair tufter), sat me down at a young age and taught me to tuft. But actually, it wasn’t until I was 18-19 years olds, that a high school teacher that I respected a lot, whom asked me to create four moose hair tuftings. Although, I had been surrounded by moose hair tufting and watched my mom all my life, this would be the start of a lifelong love and art career of caribou hair tufting. Who knew, by the time I was done with the fourth caribou hair tufting, everyone in my family knew I had a natural talent to tuft. I chose to use caribou hair specifically for tufting because there were few moose hair tufters at the time but there were even less caribou hair tufters. Somehow at that age, I knew I had to come out of the tufting gates really different, to make an impact and make my own mark upon the Tufting world.  The texture of caribou hair is soft, I love the velvety feel of it when I’ve completed a tufting. When I work on a design, it must be trimmed nice and even, to feel smooth like velvet. Some of my favorite things to tuft are birds, animals and abstracts designs, and this ensured my place in having truly unique tuftings.

I have also wanted to be a designer since I was a little girl. I would see “CK” on the back of expensive jeans growing up and I had no idea who this “CK” was but I knew I wanted my name on jeans someday! For years, I have worked full-time while maintaining my tufting career. In my mid-thirties, I decided to apply to a fashion college, I wanted to see if I could become a designer like I always dreamed I could be. I didn’t want to die with any regrets. I graduated from a two year fashion apparel technology program at 39 years old. Which then led to my love of jewelry making, it has always been intertwined with my other passions. Just like my tufting, I wanted to carve my own way and do it wholeheartedly. I always chose to work with quality first, and quantity second. Now, my earrings, pendants and sealskin cuffs are at the same level as my caribou hair tufting, soft, distinct and bold.

Making art connects me to myself and my cultures.  My latest collection is about honoring my bloodlines, who and where I come from. I grew up with the northern landscapes as my backyard, with a mother who loves to create, with a father who taught us about the animals, and with a brother who hunts to provide for us. It is so special to me to be able to incorporate all those elements in my work. When I see someone wearing a piece of antler from a caribou that my brother fed us with, when people wear my creations and get this amazing energy that puts a skip in their steps, it feels magical to me! Some of my greatest work has come from the darkest moments in my world. Being an artist isn’t always easy, but it is the act of creating that always lifts me up. If I could speak to anyone out there finding their way, I would tell them to dream huge, to work really hard in order to achieve those dreams, and to stay true to themselves in the process. I’ve had tough experiences, but I have always stood up for myself, my social media brand and I kept going.  I had a dream of becoming “CK”. For me, “CK" turned into “Inuk360" which I built on a solid foundation.  - and my dream is still growing, one stitch at a time.

Artist Bio: 

Inuk is an Inuvialuit multi-disciplinary artist and master caribou hair tufter living in Yellowknife. She  was born in Fort Simpson, and grew up in the South Slave area. The year 2020 marks Inuk’s 30th  year as a caribou hair tufter. Never sacrificing her integrity, she built a name for herself as a tufter, a  jewelry artist and as a designer. With a million ideas swirling in her head at all times, she aims to  one day apply her tufting to fashion designs of her own making. Inuk pulls her inspiration from life  itself: her loved ones, her travels, the beauty of different cultures, her history and experiences, her  bloodlines, as well as all the people that she admires. She cherishes the connections she has  created because of her art and admires the other artists who, like her, make their own way both in  the traditional and contemporary worlds. You can follow Inuk on Instagram: @inuk360.

Last Updated: October 26, 2020

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