I like to think that the beaded earrings that I make are pretty unique. I am currently making a lot of leaf or feather shaped silhouettes, using delica beads. I come up with my own designs and they can vary a lot. All the patterns I come up with have a different source of inspiration. It’s not a cohesive collection, I just get inspired to create when I see something that I like, which I then reinterpret into my own design. Some of it is organic, some is geometric and sometimes a bit of both.
There’s a specific pair of earrings that I make that make me think about my uncle a lot. When he passed away in 2020, we went to Deline, to a spot called Russel Bay. My auntie and uncle had a cabin out there and they would invite family members, or other kids from the community, so that they could spend time on the land. When I was there, I took a picture that became the inspiration for this particular pair of earrings.
Most of my inspiration is related to nature and colours. Some other items are based on songs that I like or things like that. I prefer to sketch my designs by hand. What I love the most is the designing process, especially when it comes to figuring out the colours and where they will go in the pattern. I will either pick the colours first, or work on the design and then figure out which colours will work best within that pattern. Either way, I work it out.
I have always been interested in art. When I was in kindergarten, the teacher would set up stations to play from, and I would always pick the station dedicated to arts. One day she mentioned that I should try a different station, but I said no because I was perfectly happy right where I was!
I create art because I find it really relaxing. It makes me feel calm and peaceful. I can just sit there without thinking and focus on my project. It’s therapeutic in that sense for me. At the end of the day, when I’m done making something — sometimes at 2 a.m. — my body is tired, but I don’t feel mentally exhausted. I actually feel more at ease.
I wasn’t raised in a traditional household. I didn’t go about tanning moose hides and beading while I was growing up. I learned those things later in life. I found an important cultural connection there, and at the same time, it was just another piece of the puzzle that makes me who I am. My art represents who I am as a whole. Like every person, I am multifaceted and multidimensional. When people look at my art, I hope they can see that there is a part of me represented in each unique piece.