Beadwork Artist And Designer Jamie Okuma Has Caught The Eye Of The Fashion World

“As an artist, I want all the things to be wonderful. There’s so substantially shit in the entire world, I want to see natural beauty,” claims Jamie Okuma, renowned Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock beadwork artist and manner designer, who lives on the La Jolla Indian Reservation in California. Okuma has had her artwork revealed at museums throughout the place, which include the Smithsonian and The Met. And before this calendar year she turned the first Indigenous American designer at any time to be inducted into the Council of Vogue Designers of The united states. 

Since childhood, Okuma realized that she needed to be an artist. “I went to my initial powwow when I was five on my grandmother’s reservation at Fort Hall in Idaho,” she says. “For me, it was like becoming at Disneyland for the to start with time. Observing all these gorgeous pieces of wearable art and every person dancing, I can however don’t forget that sensation.” 

Okuma types prepared-to-don, has a thriving online store, and lately confirmed at Yaamava’ Manner Daze, a two-working day occasion celebrating Native American designers. “It was my very first exhibit on a reservation,” she states, “so it was these kinds of a great expertise.” She also designs exquisitely intricate beaded footwear, functioning with luxurious brand names like Christian Louboutin, and reworking sneakers into will work of art. “Even as a little kid, I loved substantial style. But I couldn’t afford to pay for it, of program, so I’d slice out journal photos of bracelets and necklaces and tape them onto my arms and neck.” 

Working mainly with classic beads, some so modest they’re almost the dimensions of a grain of sand, Okuma makes standout pieces like a pair of Casadei boots that she covered in buckskin and hand-beaded with photos of her beloved pet bird, Peep. “I saved my rarest beads for Peep,” she states. “I experienced him for 26 yrs he was my pal. He definitely beloved cigarettes and income. He’d always steal cigarettes from my grandmother, and if anyone still left their wallet out, we’d locate dollar expenditures in his drinking water bowl.” 

Even though most of her designs are colourful and vivid, just one of her most visually arresting will work of artwork is a piece titled “Becoming,” a convertible purse/backpack with a beaded image of the character Pinhead from the 1987 movie Hellraiser, painstakingly stitched onto leather.

The image, at very first look, is dim, bloody, and brutal. But if you seem closely, you’ll see that most of the beads Okuma utilized are really rose-pink and gentle environmentally friendly, developing a dazzling influence. “It’s about lighting, it’s about point of view,” she suggests. “It’s about seeing natural beauty even in the ‘ugliest’ images—even Pinhead.”