I am a young woman, living currently in Asheville, NC, with my dog companion, Bella, and boyfriend, Byron. We live in a cute little home where we love to read, watch movies, cook and be creative. I’m originally from Gulfport, Ms where I spent 21 years of my life before moving to North Carolina. I have lived in Asheville for 6 years and before that Jamestown, NC for almost 3 years.
I grew up for 21 years of my life on the coast of Mississippi. I love the mountains but often miss being near the ocean. Growing up I had come to North Carolina a great deal, especially to Black Mountain, NC. I first moved to Jamestown, NC to attend Guilford Technical Community College where I finished my Associates Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Literature.
Once my Associates Degree was completed I made plans for going on to a university. I decided on the University of North Carolina in Asheville. I was drawn to the school and the town. At UNCA I completed a B.A. in Philosophy with a focus in Ethics. I loved research, writing papers and reading tons of interesting books. It was a lot of hard work but I took to it easily.
Being at UNCA was a blessing for me. I never took the experience for granted. I was passionate about my studies and grateful to be in an environment that was contributing to my growth and development. Being in school also served me during a very challenging time in my life. A few months into my first semester at UNCA Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of Mississippi where I was born and raised. A lot of my family and friends were still living on the coast. Due to the severe damage there was no way for me to reach any of them to find out if they were even alive. I couldn’t go home to check on them because there was no way of getting down there and if you could find a means of travel there was no way of going in, the whole area was sealed off. So, I waited…I continued my classes and went through difficult feelings and had very little sleep. I dealt with a lot of it on my own. Thankfully, once the phone lines were back up and I could reach my family I discovered all of them were safe but not without huge losses. When I returned home for Christmas vacation it was heartbreaking to see what had become of the coast. It was literally wiped out! I had lived there 21 years of my life and didn’t recognize it anymore. That year I had to eat at an Arby’s for Christmas with my dad and brother because there was really no where else to go. My family suffered major traumas and in a lot of ways I suffered with them.
Each semester I would continue my studies and then go home. It was never really a vacation. I was happy to see my family but at a loss on what I could do to help them through such a challenging time, especially since the experience was my own. There is no way to put words to the loss one feels in those situations. It is still difficult for me to wrap my mind around how much that hurricane changed all of our lives. It was made even more difficult by the lack of help and attention the coast of Mississippi received post-Katrina. The pieces are still being picked up even today.
I am thankful for having been in school during that time. It gave me something to put myself into and steady me during a very sad time in my life. My family knows about staying busy with our hands and minds during hardship. We are all intelligent and creative people so art, craft, and reading all serve as ways to relieve our souls in difficult times. I was still stressed out; working, going to school and dealing with the most overwhelming feelings of loss I’ve ever experienced but there was no way around it. It is harder than I can explain to know how to stay healthy at those moments. I did the best I could. I grew a lot during that time. I have always had such a happy disposition; I love life so much, I’m curious about so many things, there are so many things to explore, so many adventures to be had…so many things to fill my days and keep me excited about it all. I still feel that way about life but I also know how deeply one can suffer in their heart and how much of a struggle it can be to overcome those pains. I didn’t lose anyone during the hurricane but post-Katrina I lost many to depression and illness. I had friends buried in their mid-twenties and I saw the ’empire’ of my family literally crumble. In the end I have faith that when an empire crumbles there is the potential for something new to be built and I’m doing my best to contribute to that construction. It takes time and a lot of healing. Mostly, the healing comes with the time. I’m happy to say that in the last few years I’ve seen things starting to take shape with my family and home town again. I’m also in a better place in my own life then I’ve been in years.
I’ve been out of school since 2008 and living in Asheville ever since. I’ve been developing my art more and starting an artisan jewelry business on etsy (arcanememory.etsy.com). Also, I’ve been gathering a lot of real world experience.
I have learned so muchrs! Being in the world fully and thinking a lot about personal survival teaches you so much! I thought a lot about going back to school and still do at times but in the last year I’ve found my self in this home with a whole room to utilize for art, writing, and craft. I found out about etsy and decided to start my own business.
Inspired a great deal by my parents. When I was a child they had a vintage/ antique shop called ‘Through the Looking Glass’, my mom is a lover of all things Lewis Carroll. It was a two story southern style Victorian home they had transformed into a shop. When I look back on it as an adult I realize how magical it must have been to be around such a beautiful world of treasures. I’m finding myself craving that life again in some ways but with my own personal twist.
Being creative was encouraged in my family but more than it being encouraged it seems to be in the blood. Most people in my family, from my parents to my grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles have amazing creative talents. One day I would love to own a gallery/ shop where I could feature all of the incredible art produced by these brilliant people. To share the family legacy with the world is a dream for me and has been since I was very young. I am so proud to be a part of such a soulful, imaginative, intelligent, sophisticated, disciplined, free-spirited, beautiful and magical lineage. Even in the face of life’s greatest pains and sorrows they continue to weave wonders and gaze at the stars. I have seen my family go through some of the most stressful and heart wrenching experiences and still find a way to have those experiences catalyze their art. I carry the torch with a great sense of what it means to be an artist; to live life to the fullest, expressing all the spectrum of emotions, enjoying the world of imagination, while also loving the very real world in which I stand in my everyday life.
A lot of my hobbies are my passions. Including but not limited to reading, collage, mixed media (assemblage and altered art). Writing (research, journals, letters, and poetry), gardening, photography, theatre, dancing, hiking, camping, sailing, climbing trees. Laying in the grass on a sunny day, travel, adventure, conversation, singing, and discussion/ debate. Jewelry came natural because of its assemblage/ collage quality.
The name Arcane Memory is referring to a memory of things magical, mystical, and soulful! To me arcane refers to a knowledge of the eternal in human kind and the world in which we live. That magic spark that informs all things creative. The passion, or said in another way the Eros, soul, that drives all things. It is the most important force in the life of an artist; it is the motivational force, which makes us move. It is one of the most truly divine aspects of being human, the thing that gives us our ‘godly’ quality; from the primitive cave drawings to the most technologically advanced displays of creation there is something magical. When ‘art’ turns it’s back on this very meaningful aspect of creation it loses some sense of purpose. I feel lucky in the modern world to still know and see the Eros of everyday life and to be blessed with the gift of expression and imagination. I am grateful to have been encouraged to wonder and dream.