I’ve lived in Ulukhaktok for seven years. I come from a family of artists. For me, creativity felt like something inside of my stomach. Like a burning passion. I had to try to visualize it, on paper or on walls, to try to draw it out, or sew it, and try to make it real. I mainly sew, but I also make carvings, take pictures, and do photography. I capture drum dancing, as well as the landscape here, on film.
Sewing is interesting for me because I get to use my hands and my fingers a lot. My grandmother taught me; it’s been in the family for years. I like to work with sealskin or canvas. I do a bit of the hunting myself. I do everything by hand. Using a sewing machine is unsatisfying. Needlework has a strength to it. I even sew some of my own clothes.
Ulukhaktok is a very supportive community for people making art. Lots of people do drawing, carvings, showing a lot of traditional things. But it’s also interesting to see people carve or paint non-traditional things, like families, or fights. Annie Pootoogook is an inspiration – she tells it like it is. As an artist, it’s more important to tell the truth than hide behind the lies. For me, being creative is not about making what others want to see, but about what you want to express as a person. It’s about creating what’s in your heart, on your mind, and in your spirit.