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 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.
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!
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.
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!
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:
- To open minds to alternate ways of thinking through art.
- To share my unique vision and to help other artists do the same.
- 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 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.
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!
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!