I always find it so awkard to write those “About Me” pages. Should I go third person and sound like someone wrote it for me? Should I do my best to sound all serious and like someone who knows exactly what she is doing?
At the end of the day, I care about being authentic.
So here is me, writing from Italy, in this little corner of the web, in my little world.
I have been creating for my whole life – I can’t remember a time when I was not daydreaming and fiddling to bring these images into our world.
I am the happiest when I can create.
Things tend to make more sense to me when I create – I tend to understand myself better if I create – I definitely deal with the stuff of life much better if there is creativity going on.
I started to draw when I was around 3 years old, I liked it; so when the growns up asked me what I wanted to do in my life, I answered I would be a painter.
The Little Prince will teach you how little the growns up understand about the world.
Because not only I ended up not being a painter, but, quite frankly, not knowing what the hell I was. I liked many things! I liked to try out new things, to learn, to explore. Society, family, they all want to put you inside a box, with a label on it – even if the label is “The Black Sheep”, fine, but have a label, girl!
I tried some labels on. Of course I did. Even when I thought I was rebelling, I was just wearing another label. And they all fit me quite bad – I never felt really me, really free. Really happy.
And this is how mental illness met my life, I guess. From layers and layers of denial, shame, guilt, stories that were not really mine…
The last 15 years of my life have been a long immersion in the world of mental illness, with severely debilitating depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia, compulsions and eating disorders, with an awful lot of suicidal thoughts. I don’t know how I survived it all. I know making art, creating, was an incredible support during all that time, even when I didn’t realize it myself.
Right now, I am at a point in my life where I am realizing that I don’t know who I am. I never took time to really, really listen to myself. It happened here and there, almost by mistake, blissful shards of light, but I wasn’t taught about it. I didn’t know that to feel good about yourself you had to follow what made you truly happy – I had kind of understood that life was about stealing the most you could of what made you happy, while dealing with an outside world that constantly tried to “get you”, change you, suppress you, shape you up.
Talk about a wake up.
My inner world and my creative force right now are completely dedicated to this effort of getting to know myself; what I create is a daily anthem, and a “making objects out of what I feel”. Each piece is a landmark of a lesson learned, of a new landscape discovered. A celebration of beauty and of the thing stars are made of.
I am passionate about this. Both about the pure creative act, and the sharing of it – as a way to pass on the light, to share relief, to hold hands and uplift. To create something that you can wear as a reminder of your own right to be in this world, of your own special beauty, of your own resilience. Something that reminds you of dreams when you are walking the land of nightmares. Something that calls to your inner Warrior when you feel so scared an powerless.
Nature has a big part in my life as well. And written by an agoraphobic, this sounds kinda funny, I am aware of it. Hah.
But I live in a place where you can open the window and see trees and birds – a luxury that many don’t have anymore. And I have corners of nature that are close enough to my house for me to go and have a walk.
Nature saved me, it saves me every day.
From the first time, few years ago, when I was finally able to walk out of the door and reach a patch of green, and I could feel…HOME. Welcomed. Loved. Like a giant green hug.
Or the big fig tree in the backyard that has been a silent, supportive companion during many hours of tears.
The seeds that taught me how we all need our own time to bloom, and there is no need to rush the process.
The birds that sing in the morning, while I am struggling with an anxiety attack – and they remind me to breathe and sing and soar; little fragile bodies full of courage and faith.
What is more organic looking in my work comes from this love of the natural, the raw, the savage.
And I love the beauty of what is imperfect, in a society of fake looks and apparently perfect lives.
I love the bark of the trees and the scars it shows. I love crystals that grow around their cracks.
So much in this life is born out of sheer pressure, unbearable weight, hardships, erosion, breaking.
So why should I be ashamed of my broken parts, why should I think I need someone to fix me?
Why should we?
From this, my attraction to scratched up surfaces, hammered metal, misplaced elements. Mix this with the childish glee of a self taught creative, and I suppose you get an idea of what my artworks look like. Heh.
Finally, I think beauty saves lives.
I think it’s a thin, silky thread that we can hold on to when the darkness seems to swallow everything. That’s why I create my little pieces of jewelry: a lot of love goes into them, a lot of caring for whoever will be the keeper of each of them, a lot of hope that they will be powerful allies to you.
That they will remind you of yourself.
Or, simply, that you will love to wearthem.