Let's hit the road.... drumroll... get ready, get set..... GO!
Welcome to the very first of our *JOURNEY w/* series - aka some fun chit chat around the stories of meandering trails, turbulent rollercoasters, and flowing voyages of some pretty, pretty cool and unique individuals as they follow their life's passions. AND what a fine way to kick off with a life-loving, likeminded, creative & explorative soul - who adores her Jibs soles :)
Name: Felicia Murray
Spends most her time in: Portland, Oregon
Grew up in: Old Town, ME, went to art school in Savannah, GA
Enjoys being a: Fiber Artist
CURRENTLY ENJOYING THE JOURNEY AS...
Natalie: A soft opening for you here… tell us a little highlight to the journey you find yourself in right now?
Felicia: Currently I am an emerging artist finding my path in life. I recently moved to Portland, Oregon and became a full-time artist. I started my own studio, and have been creating personal work, as well as taking on several collaborations, commissions, and projects that come my way. It has been a scary and difficult journey at times, as there are several unknowns. Although my journey has had its ups and downs, I am at a point in my life where I love what I do and waking up every morning and being able to create is a dream come true.
HOW SHE GOT HERE...
Natalie: Jump back a few years, like toddler or gawky teenager years, what were your wildest dreams about your future?
Felicia: When I was younger, my mom taught me how to sew at a young age. I remember being obsessed with Project Runway, and I always said that I would someday be a fashion designer. I guess I thought that sewing = fashion. But when I was a teenager, I got my first job working on an alpaca farm (sounds totally weird right?) During this job I learned so much about fiber arts such as knitting, weaving, felting, and more! While other teenagers were into the latest trends and technology, I found myself obsessed with fabrics, yarns, and materials. I really didn’t know that I could make a career out of fiber arts – but once I got to college, I fell in love with every technique that I learned. And now I love combining them all together to create tactile pieces of art!
THE CRYSTAL BALL APPROACH...
Natalie: Reverse now, and lay up a scenario of where you’d like to see yourself (and/or your business, your family, your career) a decade from now…
Felicia: A decade from now, I’d love to be proud of where I’ve come from. I am still learning SO much as an artist every day and maybe looking back to where I am now, I will laugh at how much I didn’t know. I hope that I will be taking on big commissions and collaborations and filling whole rooms with my art – creating tactile environments for people to experience. Maybe you’ll find my work in a hospital, an airport, and hopefully lots of galleries! But I am content where my path is taking me, even if I don’t know what I’m doing part of the time. I am living my dream and excited to see where my goals and passions take me!
TICKLING HER FANCY....
Natalie: Now take all that and what was your favorite age? What activities were you doing then, and do you continue to do them now?
Felicia: I really miss my college years sometimes. I loved being in school. There’s something about having a rubric and a project outline that brought out the perfectionist and over-achiever in me. While in school, I was so experimental! It was great to have the time and space to create whatever I wanted. Sometimes now I feel stuck trying to create on a timeline, as well as the pressure to make a profit. Maybe I’ll go back to school and get my masters someday – it is a thought that has always been on my mind. We will see where my journey takes me!
OH, THE ADVENTURES WE GO...
Natalie: If you could set off on an adventure with one person anywhere in the world tomorrow, who would that be and where would you go?
Felicia: My biggest adventure buddy is my husband, Alejandro. We got married while still in school, had a beautiful small wedding, but we never really had the chance to go on a proper honeymoon. We both work SO hard as artists and deserve a trip! We hopefully plan to go to Brazil sometime soon to visit friends, but our dream trip would probably be visiting Japan. For now – we enjoy our weekend trips camping and our hiking adventures around the Pacific Northwest – and we just planned a week-long vacation around the Grand Canyon and are super excited for that!
STEPPING INTO THE GOOD...
Natalie: We are BIG believers in putting your best foot forward. Aka perfectly imperfect while we do the best we can feels great. What go-to mantras or memories do you reflect on to keep you driving forward?
Felicia: I’m definitely a bit of an anxious person, and fiber art has helped me meditate through the different repetitive techniques that I use. I often tell myself, “make good art”. This quote is from a speech by Neil Gaiman, an author that I admire. On the good days and the bad days, I always make good art! There is no such thing as “bad” art.
Make your own rules, make your art.
ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER...
Natalie: There’s a reason we sneak “Have a Nice Day” into our insoles. We believe that if you do one small good deed everyday, that can add up to some pretty major change. What little (or big) actions do you take in your daily routine to better this planet and its people?
Felicia: I enjoy the little moments, the small things that can make someone’s day. Every day, I aim to support other artists because I understand how much a simple share, comment, or message can make a small business or artist’s day. I also try to use my platform to share more about the real side of being an artist, and the struggles in my daily life that I encounter. I think that this helps people know that they are not alone in their own difficulties, and that they can reach out to me for advice.
SNEAKY BONUS TIME...
Natalie: What do you do when your plans suddenly cancel and you now have a spare hour / evening / day free time?
Felicia: I have loved living in a state where there is so much to do. I feel that I could live here for 15 years and still not experience every hiking trail, park, restaurant, concert venue, or event. I am usually someone that does not like change, but with endless options, if I had a spare hour I would hop in my car and make an adventure happen! I’ve been working from home for the past year so when I have the chance to get some fresh air I am super excited!
BEAUTY OF THE INDIVIDUAL...
Natalie: We see our shoes a chameleon's, where each individual can take a pair of Jibs and give them entirely their own vibe. Aka - it’s amazing to see the same pair of Classics on a preppy Bostonian, a hipster Venice beach’er, a that grandma walking around the block every afternoon… how would you sum up your unique sense of style?
Felicia: I’ve always felt like my style is all over the place. There is a part of me that loves wearing basic tees, neutral colors, and mom jeans. Then there is a part of me that loves color, patterns, and flowy summer dresses. I also don’t really like in-store shopping unless it is thrift shopping. There is something about searching for a hidden gem and getting a good deal. I also love finding brands that reflect my passions, opinions, and worldly views. Finding a sustainable brand like Jibs has been so rewarding. Every time I go out in my Jibs I have to tell people all about them and their story!