White Dawn Designs
What makes your art unique?
Through my work, you may catch a glimpse into the unseen world of nature - the realm of the nature spirits. I jest lightheartedly that the flower fairies help me with my work, but all joking aside, whether they are my muse or I am their unwitting channel doesn't really matter - the point is that life is teeming outside of the bounds of this three dimensional box. I like to think I bring a contemporary twist to working with pressed flowers - my goal is always to reveal the intrinsic beauty of the flowers I'm working with.
Why is sustainability important to your art?
Although it's hard to avoid some of the packaging waste that my supplies come in (e.g., plastic) almost all materials associated with my botanical arts are either recycled or composted - I strive for near zero waste and do my best to source ethical, sustainable and humanely produced raw materials. As an animist I see this planet as a living being, and treading as lightly as possible on Gaia may look different for each of us. I've been a vegetarian for 35 years, and for the past 20+ years have been composting my food/organic waste, planting and maintaining native plant and pollinator gardens, as well as organic fruit, vegetable, flower and herb gardens everywhere I have lived. While I do LOVE to travel (unfortuntaely this requires fosssil fuels), my destinations always involve some sort of ecotourism (e.g., whale watching is a favorite). Locally, I spend as much time as possible hanging out with the great blues herons while on my stand-up paddleboard.
What do you do to give back?
As I progress in my career, I'm beginning to understand the importance and value of giving back through teaching and look forward to sharing my knowledge with others seeking some creative play in their lives. Each year I donate art work for fundraisers to several environmental and social cause non-profits. Outside of giving back via my artwork, I've now adopted 9 rescued dogs and my husband and I have fostered almost as many -- when time and resources permit, it's one of my favorite ways to give back. I donate a portion of my proceeds to multiple animal welfare charities each month (ASPCA, HSUS, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Soi-Dog Foundation, etc.). I spent this morning following around two fledgling wrens in my backyard - protecting them from the aggressive blue-jays and our companion critters (dogs and cats) who take a little too much interest in the commotion. After a few hours and when I saw that these babies could fly enough to make it out of the little enclosure I constructed for them and into the surrounding woods where their parents could safely bring them fresh insects to help fuel their journey, I backed away and let nature take her course. As I write this, I'm hearing them chirping in the woods and it fills my heart with joy.
What do you hope your art inspires in others?
I encourage the viewers and wearers of my pieces to become earth keepers, and to remain open to nature's magical realms - whether we access them deep on a solo quest in the forest or by caring for a houseplant, starting a compost pile or creating a sacred space to display artwork in the home that serves to connect them to nature's powerful medicine - nature will meet us wherever we are at.