Tanzania, East Africa. It's where I was born and raised until I graduated from High School. Home is also Bozeman, MT. Since leaving Tanzania in 2012, I lived in Montana and turned Bozeman into my home.
What do you make?
I make wire wrapped jewelry pieces showcasing seeds collected from Tanzania. I turn the seeds into beads by coating them in a protective resin and hand-drilling each one. I use a few different seeds and make unique designs with copper, gold and silver wire.
Where do you create?
I turned my spare bedroom into my studio, but at the end of the day, I create everywhere. In summer I am usually somewhere on the porch surrounded by pliers and wire scraps and in winter I am usually under a pile of blankets on the couch.
What else have you done, other than being an artist?
I have been a hostess, a busser, an assistant restaurant manager, a painter, a nanny, and a wife.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by other artists. Seeing all the ideas and techniques employed by other creative minds helps me to come up with some of my pieces. Another form of inspiration comes from making mistakes. A lot of the designs I envisioned in my head turned into something else entirely, but equally beautiful.
What's the hardest thing about being an artist?
Time management. Being your own boss is very liberating, but extremely challenging. There are so many separate facets of running your own business that is so easy to forget the things that are not as fun. I am forever behind on paperwork and accounting because there is no one around to force me to do them. Also, I have to do all of my own shipping, designing, social media, advertising, research, and of course the wire wrapping. I am also a wife, so my day fills up rapidly with housework and chores, cooking and cleaning. There is never enough time in the day.
How do you combat creative blocks?
Walk away. Honestly, some days the wire just seems to fight me the whole time, while other times it just flows together nicely. So when I feel like I am forcing a piece together, I set it aside. I work on another piece or I do something else for a while. I will take a walk, talk to friends or family, garden, or workout for a little bit just to clear my head and come back to work more relaxed.
What makes you feel alive?
A clean slate. Working on something entirely new makes me feel like anything is possible like this might be my next favorite or best seller. I also love being in the sun, hiking or backpacking in the mountains. Or trying something new, like rafting the Nile, or bungee jumping.
Who (or what or where) warms your heart?
Who: My husband, and my friends and family.
Where: Tanzania. Being home and back in the culture, landscape and setting that I am so familiar with.