Meet Our 2021 Pride Scholarship Winners! - Darn Good Yarn

Meet Our 2021 Pride Scholarship Winners!

Darn Good Yarn is proud to foster a community of love, human dignity, and creativity. In celebration of Pride Month in June, DGY invited LGBTQIA+ fiber artists to share their creations and stories with us for the DGY Pride Scholarship. This scholarship was created in 2020 to uplift the voices of our rainbow community and support their future creativity! We are grateful to everyone who took the time to apply for this year's scholarship and every single applicant was incredible in their own unique ways.

This year, two artists were selected to receive a $1,000 DGY scholarship to put toward their next creations. Both of these artists wowed our DGY team with their creativity and meaningful responses to our survey. We are so excited to introduce you to our 2021 Pride scholarship winners! 

Winner #1: Erika Milo

Erika Milo profile picture wearing dark red knit hat and matching shirt

Etsy LogoRavenworks Creations
Facebook LogoHats So Raven on Facebook

Erika Milo is an Oregonian free-range artist, craftsperson, writer, teacher, researcher, museum/archives technician, theater costumer, stagehand, re-enactor and herbalist. She has been an artist for as long as she can remember and creativity has always been her driving force!

In Highschool, Erika joined the Society for Creative Anachronism, which is a historical recreation group. There, she learned how to research, sew, and embellish her own historically actuate costumes - mostly inspired by Central Asian textiles. Erika loves helping others discover the satisfaction of using ancient and modern techniques to be creative. 

Erika re-enacting on a lawn wearing a red and black coat from Siberia
My re-enactment costuming focuses on Central Asian Nomads including the Scythians, based on textiles found in early Iron Age tombs, but with my own interpretation. The red and black coat is based on Scythian finds from Siberia. - Erika

Fascinated with nomadic cultures, Erika feels that wearing the clothes that she creates is a connection to those that lived thousands of years ago and helps her interpret history in her own way. Since 2014, she has been working on museum collections and helping design exhibit projects- keeping history alive with art! 

A black dress  embroidered with silver thread in designs based on ancient Scythian tattoos
The black dress is embroidered with silver thread in designs based on ancient Scythian tattoos. -Erika

Erika's creativity has no bounds! Poetry, songwriting, bookbinding, and photography to name just a few! She studied Art History at Reed College and has also designed and created costumes for performing art companies! She has also been a vendor at the Oregon Country Fair and other festivals.

6 ladies dressed in white and blue robes performing for an audience in a wooded stage setting

Erika's latest passion is hat decorating - combing her love of thrifting and salvaging materials! She designs without a specific idea and lets the materials direct the creative process- and loves how the end result surprises her! 

A beautiful brown hat with green gems and red ribbon
My hat-making is an exploration of my love of hunting for second hand treasures and salvaging material from the waste stream. For the hats, instead of starting with a specific image or color scheme in mind, I let the serendipity of found materials tell me where the design should go, and love how the result often surprises me and pushes me past my default approach to color. -Erika

Erika was amazing enough to share her mission and creative process with us: 

Erika on her Mission and Creative Process: 

I am a lifelong artist, and this is my mission:

  1. To open minds to alternate ways of thinking through art.
  2. To share my unique vision and to help other artists do the same.
  3. To reduce suffering and increase joy for myself, others, and the world.

My art process draws inspiration from the natural world, history, and human cultures, as well as the surreal promptings of the subconscious.  My preferred approach to life and art is syncretic bricolage*, delighting in the collision of elements from multiple vectors, freely incorporating found materials and found ideas.  At the same time, I am devoted to detail and approach my work with meticulous craftsmanship.

*Syncretic: a union or fusion of different religions, cultures, or philosophies.

*Bricolage: construction or creation from a diverse range of available things; the process of improvisation in a human endeavor.

My ethos is to create handmade, eclectic, original, beautiful, sustainable artworks that strike a shared spark of wonder between minds. I believe in responsible stewardship of knowledge, objects, history, nature, and culture, for we must remember and respect the past to create the future.  I believe we must stay curious, for as long as we are curious, there is always something new and wonderful to learn.

We are so proud to have Erika as one of our 2021 pride scholarship winners! The mix of modern and ancient techniques calls us back to our love of creativity - something inside of us as ancient as our civilization. 

Winner #2: Tatiana Miller

Tatiana Miller profile picture wearing yellow tshirt and with rainbow dyed hair

Etsy LogoTatiana's Art Shop
Instagram Logotatianasartshop

Tatiana is a 22-year old artist who just recently quit their retail job so they can run their business full-time! They are a multi-talented artist, creating resin-pieces, weaving, cross-stitch, needle felting and embroidery. 

Seven embroidery hoops on black and white crow fabric featuring a heart, a revolver, a bomb, a hammer, a wolf, a sword and a crow
The Six of Crows hoops are the first seven embroidery hoops I made and each of the 4” hoops are based off a character with color, number, and subject symbolism, this project started my interest in embroidery and got my to make my art Instagram and I love seeing the progress I’ve made since creating these. -Tatiana

They have always loved art, ever since they took an intro to weaving class in high school. Inspired by nerdy hobbies and Pride, Tatiana enjoys making LGBT+ creations so parade attendees can have unique, cute, and fun accessories instead of tacky and cheaply-made accessories that large companies mass-produce. 

Tatiana especially loves seeing their creations being given as gifts- it makes them feel good knowing that someone is loved and supported and that they were able to be a part of that! They also love meeting other people and artists since starting their business and the support that they have given them!

One of our favorite works of Tatiana's is a multi-piece focusing on the universe! 

A multi-piece embroidery wall display showing a map of the world, photos, sayings intended to show the difference between us and the universe along with the idea of other alternate universes
Finally the last three are all apart of a huge project that I made to show the size difference between us and the universe along with the idea of other alternate universes, the multimedia embroidery hoops all have specific meanings to me (the bottom a chemical in dust that can come from paint to symbolize where my art journey originated, then my cat charms symbolizing love, my house for history as it’s very old and haunted, the rainbow mountains in Peru for pride, and then a population map for Earth) and show the tiniest things on the planet to the planet itself and the people on it. The books have quotes that inspired this whole project and everything is tied together with the yarn my friend gifted me -Tatiana
The planets in a sort of Russing nesting doll style of yarn coil pots - animated
The second part is the planets in a sort of Russian nesting doll style of yarn coil pots, again showing the progress from smallest to biggest. -Tatiana
A huge black and white scarf representing the whole universe
The third part is a huge “scarf” representing the whole universe, the white what we know a decent amount about (but still there’s space around the white since we can never know everything), the gray as we get further away from our solar system, and finally black to what we only have a vague idea for. -Tatiana

Tatiana is applying to go back to school next year for a fiber arts course in the UK! We are so excited to see what creations Tatiana makes in the future- we know they are bound to be incredible! 

We'd like to thank everyone who applied and we hope to see ya'll next year!

Happy Crafting!