I remember asking my father this question after he adamantly refused to buy me a pair of roller-skates one August day roughly 13 years ago. I had just started the first grade and the idea of traversing the half mile between my elementary school and my home on a set of wheels attached to my own two feet thrilled me. It wasn’t long before the ghostly click of plastic on concrete kept me awake during mandatory naptimes. It was during one such sleepless stint that I decided to solve the roller-skate dilemma by making my own pair of roller-skates. My parents were stunned to find me rolling through my house later that afternoon, on a pair of skates I hastily crafted after school with a pair of boots, two toy cars, and a handful of rubber bands.
I have always been driven by creativity. I am happiest when I am physically creating things or imagining how to create things. Working with my hands, employing odd materials, and using my imagination as a way to solve problems has always come naturally to me. I consider the roller skates I crafted during the fall of my sixth year to be my first real “sculpture” or “work of art.” Hundreds of creations have followed, often adhering to a “wearable” theme: small purses made from envelopes and yarn, headbands made from recycled fabric, sandals made from tape and cardboard, and a dress made out of kabob skewers. I currently love dissecting articles of clothing to see how the pieces comprising a t-shirt or pair of pants work together. From here, I create patterns which I use to make unique pieces clothing. It is this continuous act of dissection and creation which gives me total joy.
While I’ve found sketching and observing the natural world to be immediate sources of stress-relief, I still find a good set of wheels to be the best therapy. Instead of rolling down streets and hallways on a pair of homemade skates, however, I prefer to ride my bike. My favorite thing to do is to combine this sense of freedom with my driving sense of creativity. On any given weekend, you can find me pedaling through Davidson and Cornelius, happily hunting for unique fabrics in thrift stores or odd objects at abandoned locations.