Creativity has never just “Happened” for me. I’ve never just sat back and dreamed of strange things - and then created them.
Creativity — for me — has never meant thinking up artistically interesting ideas and bringing them to life for no practical reason.
Creativity in my eyes and in my heart, has always been taking on the challenge of creating something from almost nothing.
Growing up in a village in Belize, Central America with very little money and resources, and lots of extra time (we were home-schooled and didn’t have cable TV) I practiced making something from nothing on a daily basis. I flipped through a stack of used Martha Stewart magazines that an american friend gave us— over and over— and tried to do all the crafts, recipes, and home decor projects with any of the materials I could find in my house. I constantly tried to think of ways to turn the same beans and tortillas into different ‘gourmet’ meals, attempted to create elaborate dolly houses from sticks, fabric, boards and styrofoam, and painted portraits on boards (no canvas in my house) with a paintbrush and finger-paints.
If I wanted something that we couldn’t afford - I learned to make it. When I needed a shelf, I found scrap boards, dug through my dads tools, and made one myself. When I wanted a green chair - I painted my brown wooden chair green. When I wanted a bag, I made a bag from old jeans.
As a pre-teen I wanted to be cool and fashionable, but couldn’t afford Hollister, or Old navy, or even Target. Instead I shopped at the local market for second-hand pieces. I cut my own hair, dyed it with Koolaid, and hand-painted designs on plain T-shirts, shoes, and bags (to make them more unique) and altered dresses to make them smaller or prettier by sewing on beads, buttons, or lace - and soon began making my own dresses.
My creativity sprung from a place of need — The need to create something from nothing.
Creativity is my job now. I help clients to feel beautiful and think creatively, take collections from idea to sketch to runway. I have to create on a daily basis (Whether I want to or not).
Since Earth Day last year, I’ve looked forward so much to collaborating with Monica Gallardo (photographer) on Earth Day again this year. I love projects that I get to think creatively and create something from nothing.
I spent $0.00 on materials. I got to run around in the bush with my brother and sister collecting dried vines, leaves, and flowers, and then spend half my night trying to get leaves to stick together, sewing cabbage together, and tying vines together. I got to hike up one of my favorite places (we used to hike up that creek-bed as kids, and have picnics there as a family), stick flower petals on a gorgeous model’s eye, and make vegetable jewelry!
I left that project feeling energized, excited about the world, and much more appreciative of the beauty that exists naturally.
I live for projects like these.