All of my life, I have been told I have to choose between art and science. While working in STEM fields, I was constantly told that art is pointless. I was told that only stupid people pursue art, and that if I chose to as well, I would be a failure. And broke. While in art school, it was the other way around. I was told not to think logically, but to “just be creative.” I was chastised for using the scientific terms for bones and muscles, for reading research journals while searching for fashion inspiration.
I never understood this fight between “creativity” and “logic,” because I believe they go hand in hand, and I find my inspiration and passion in STEM fields. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. How could I not? It makes up everything!
My design process, like everything else in my life, is messy, confusing, and tangled up. I often compare my brain to a magpie’s nest, a real one, not the ones shown in the media with a pretty collection of shiny objects. My brain is , woven with colourful schemes, mundane thoughts, scientific observations, and narcoleptic dreams. It is filled with my collection of things I have, for some reason, deemed to be “incredibly important” facts. These include “how to make dye from purple snails” and “all the pretty garden flowers that could kill someone.”
My brain hoards all this knowledge away like a greedy dragon until I am given a project, and then I am flooded with inspiration. I sort out my nest and find exactly what I need, and then start visualizing. The visualization process lasts a while as I piece together my knowledge, what I wish to create, and how I picture both the creative and technical elements. When it finally comes time to create, I know exactly what I want. I may rework the piece a few times to get it to look like how it does in my brain, but in the end, I am generally happy with my creations.
“Your skin is so nice, Buffalo Bill would be jealous!” – My Dad during Christmas dinner when I was 10
If I don’t love what I am doing, I can’t do it right, and that applies to modeling and promotional work as well. I am the kind of person who makes their own paths, chooses a third option when there are only two, and is always willing to “cut the Gordian Knot” if necessary. With this in mind, I am open to modeling or acting as a brand ambassador for any company or campaign that I can support with a good conscience.
Growing up in the Southern United States, I did not have a lot of representation for “people like me.” I was bullied constantly for my disabilities, my sexuality, and my fluctuating weight. I don’t ever want people to go through the same traumas and feelings of isolation as I did, I want people in similar situations to know that they are not alone. I am a firm believer that people should wear whatever they feel comfortable and happy in, whether that be a ballgown on a Thursday afternoon, a cape to the mall, or pajamas all day. In my case, that is “pajamas all day,” but I am chalking that up to the narcolepsy.