Before I even had my own home, I’ve always had a dedicated art space. My studio after college was in the basement/garage of my parent’s house. That was interesting, and I am sure they are still discovering random spots of dye or unearthing embedded straight pins. I moved from there to a really tiny room in an office building, the only thing I miss about that place is the windows..rent was dreadful there.
I ended up at the Drugstore about five summers ago. It took a whole U-Haul and my dad’s truck to get everything in there. The Drugstore sits at the corner of Main and Westport inside of the historical Katz Drugstore building, but I can’t relate to that. I relate to it being the old Osco. In fact, most people who grew up in the area around the ’80s and ‘90s remember it being the orange branded building. I remember going to Osco for numerous trips to the photo counter to drop off film or pick up newly developed prints. I called Midtown, from what my mama tells me, my city.
All those years later, I found myself back in that building. Creating a business down the street from where my mama built her business decades ago, I was back in my city.
Acclimating to the community again was a little difficult for me in the beginning. I went from being in a studio with at least 12 other people at school, dreaming of solitude to the basement/garage to a space a had to keep what I was doing under wraps from the professional tenants.
My space took on many different forms over the years. I certainly accumulated more machines, mannequins, and fabric since. Sorry, it took so long for me to warm up, but I have certainly accumulated more relationships during my time there. Walking a lap around the space before getting started or when you need a brain break just shows you how much talent was crammed in one space.
My 12 x 12, turned into 15 x 15, then expanded into the crazy 30 x 15 abode I worked in until the end. I’ve created two collections here, wrote proposals, shot look books & magazine covers, sang at the top of my lungs, lip-synced for my life, built a cutting table, taken multiple naps on said table, cried, worried, dreamt, wondered how, collaborated and made it happen here. Whenever I looked up from my space, I saw the “Made Fresh All Day” sign left behind by Osco. This sign has become sort an affirmation for me and my practice. Something to keep in mind during those long sewing days.
Stepping into my studio at The Drugstore was a visual representation of my brain at peak creative function, there’s a lot going on and hella lot to look at. Colors, patterns, textures, various materials, and machinery. It was space for me to paint and dye without the worry of a mess, space to kick production mode into high gear, space for fly photoshoots and space to center myself. It overwhelms ya’ll but it was cozy up in here to me. It’s always going to be home to me.