Get Intimate with Devi. Feature #3: Deciding to be an Artist
November 07, 2017
I’ve put this series together for my community – all of you who love and wear my designs; my peers, who are also in pursuit of an ethical lifestyle; those who’ve stumbled upon the collective, and want to know more.
Transparency is something that’s very important to me. I’ve worked hard to ensure that I purchase the raw materials used in my designs from ethical and sustainable sources, and openly share the names of these co-operatives because I think this is something we should all make it our business to care about.
But I’d also like to be open about who I am, as a designer and as a person. Every couple months, my team member Christine asks me a question about my life and my beliefs. She's got a knack for getting right in there. The question this month is: When did you first realize that you wanted to be an artist?
My answer is this:
I guess I’ve always dreamt about being an artist. I’ve been doing artistic things, like making jewelry, since I was a little kid. It’s always been an important part of my life. But when I went to university, I studied biology. I thought I needed to be practical, and developing an artistic career didn’t seem to be a viable way of making money and supporting myself. But even so, I did continue to make jewelry in my free time.
Things changed when I got an opportunity to sell what I’d been making at a market, and started interacting with the public. A few people actually bought my pieces (The first piece I ever sold was at the Squamish Farmer’s Market in 2012. It was a pair of feather earrings). Others were coming by the booth to look and talk with me about what I had made. I realized that there were a lot of people out there who wanted to support local artists and their creativity. I realized that if I put myself out there, I could be supported as an artist too. I felt appreciated and valued.
The first store that ever sold my work was Dream Apparel. We actually featured them recently on this blog. I remember meeting with Wendy (the owner) and feeling very nervous as she looked through my pieces. I’m grateful she took a chance on me so long ago.
Looking back, I don’t know if I felt that I was truly good at anything but this. Making jewelry is such an exciting process for me, and I feel very grateful to be doing something I love. I trusted my gut in deciding to become a jewelry designer, and my experience so far has reinstated my faith in intuition. I am also continually reminded that hard work pays off.
For this very first backpacking trip, I travelled to Bogotá – the capital city of Columbia, and one of the 30 largest cities in the world. I still remember the butterflies in my stomach. I was really nervous, but the trip exceeded my expectations with some standout memories/experiences I'd love to share.
I hope you join me in a big ‘WAHOO!’ for all the ways that 2018 was great, all the ways it was challenging, and all the obstacles I overcame. And I hope the many lessons I learned in this past year are helpful to you.