1. What led you to discovering your passion?
Which passion? Hehe. In regards to my jewelry, I started making my own pieces from a fairly young age. My mother inspired and encouraged me at that time to play with beads, making bracelets and necklaces to give away or hold onto just for fun. I started making jewelry with the intent to sell in 2011 or so, purchasing old watches and clocks to take apart and turn into wearable art. Taking stuff apart and looking at the insides, trying to figure out how interesting devices work, has always been very fun for me.
Photography is a bit more simple to describe I think. Anyone that calls themselves a photographer, I believe stems their love of the camera from the simple act of taking photos. We innately want to document our lives and (sometimes) everything around us. I began taking "serious" photos mid-high school, not being able to resist all of the wonders around me. I really enjoy capturing dark images and nature breaking through the concrete-clad society we live in, but there's a lot that catches my eye!
Last one~ I started working with clay during my last two years of high school, but was absolutely terrible on the throwing wheel (and probably still am!). Working sculpturally became the immediate go-to for me due to that factor, so outside of class assignments, I started making figurines and oddball creations inspired by music I was listening to while working. I continued working with clay during my second semester of college, not being able to stay away, and that was when I really began to find my style. That first year of work saw the beginning of work that I have been doing ever since, including the Wizard Studyand plaster-cast molds of my hands. I also made some pop-art shrunken zombie heads at that time that I still have, they're pretty funny and almost became my bread'n'butter!
2. What is the craziest hurdle you've had to jump and what advice would you have given to past you?
That's a really good question. I think one of the toughest things I've had to come to terms with is a combination of the fact that I'm not destined for a traditional workplace position achieved from 4 years in college and am truly an artist in every aspect of my life. The thought of sitting at a desk all day and not making art frightens me, but we're from a young age told that after high school we need to go to a 4-year college, get a degree and then go work with that degree for the rest of our lives. How many children (or even teenagers) are going to say they want to be an artist when they grow up? Playing off of that, nearly every level of primary education and society tells us that anyone that stays in the college system longer than 4 years that isn't striving for a "real job" is just a slacker. Too many people view art as a pure hobby and not a lifestyle.
Hmmm, that may I have dragged on a bit, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that the craziest hurdle I've ever had to overcome has been my own perspective on life, brought on by societal norms. Hope that makes sense!
3. When you aren't focusing on your main hustle, what are you up to?
When I'm not making art in the studio or at home, you'll most likely find me managing Modern Mouse in Alameda. We're an independently-owned retail boutique that works with all local, handmade and independent artists. I one day would like to own my shop similar to the Mouse, but one with a gallery aspect and different types of artists. Other than the Mouse and art, I love making music, writing and anything that involves my other half (Mynto) or friends!
4. What is your favorite place in your city?
I have a lot of love for a lot of places, so we'll do both! Oakland is my current home (+hometown), so some of my favorite places there are Portal (great bar), Awaken Cafe, the Roscoe Ceramic Gallery and (most-recently) Samurai Sushi near the Grand Lake Theater. In Alameda, other than Modern Mouse, I dig the Redux Studios & Gallery, Rocket Reuse (secondhand CD's, vinyl, comics, vintage clothes, books), Yojimbo Sushi, Studio 23 and the Lucky 13.
Clearly, I have a think for bars, reuse stores, sushi and art, haha.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
These questions are always tough for me, because although I'm quite OCD, planned and scheduled in many aspects of my life, I view the future much more fluidly. Ideally though, I'd love to be participating in a steady stream of art shows and craft fairs on a regular basis, continuing my art focus obviously. I'll have my Ceramics AA by then for sure, but maybe I can have my BA in Studio Arts as well? That would be nice, hehe. A studio of my own (and not just the Laney Ceramics Studio), some published poetry zines, completed projects and such would be awesome. Who knows, maybe I'll even record an album by then? Haha. However things turn out, as long as I'm with Mynto and making art, I'm positive everything will come together in one way or another.
BONUS : What's your favorite song right at this moment?
Hmmm, Master of Tides by Lindsey Stirling has been perfect at any point I play it during the day, that chorus glissando is just beautiful. Hehe.