Can you tell us a little bit about the moment you realized you were an artist?
I don’t have an exact day. I just remember always having this creative energy inside of me, since my first memories.
How did you learn your necessary skills?
I started taking art classes at a young age. When it came to learning how to sew, my mom taught me. She teaches sewing classes to young girls, and now I am able to help her teach.
Are there specific opportunities or challenges that focused your career?
Having unlimited access to a home sewing studio has allowed for me to basically sew whenever I wanted to. There will always be challenges and hang ups when learning something new, but being able to have access to a home sewing studio empowered me to keep sewing and keep trying.
Who do you consider as your most influential mentor?
My mother is my influence. She is an extraordinary woman that I look up to. She has taught me to research my designs and keep working patterns until it fits!
Artists are extremely resourceful and often create multiple streams of income. How do you generate income to support yourself and artistic practice?
As of now, most of my income is generated through my social media platforms.
How do you measure success in your work?
If people like what I’ve made I call that success. Or when something I’m making turns out easier than I thought than that’s amazing. It’s pretty awesome.
What artist inspires you the most?
Lorien Stern and Steffi Lynn. Do you have a creative hour, or a time/ place/ or activity that inspires your creativity?
Since I’m in school full time right now, my schedule changes weekly. But I love to create most on the weekends! That’s my golden ticket time.
Do you have a ritual or do you set specific assignments for yourself?
I normally set a goal, grab a calendar, and plan steps on how to get to that goal. As a kid what did you see yourself doing as a career?
I have always wanted to design clothing and be a fashion designer. I have so many memories of coloring and designing clothes on those fashion/model coloring books.
What told you ‘this is the life for me’? (and when)
I didn’t ever believe this life was true until I entered Memphis Fashion Week and discovered Arrow Creative. It gave me hope that I could do this with my life.
What compromises have you had to make in order to succeed (ie: location of studio, driving a lot, not doing something you really want to do, working seasonally etc) Has it been worth all of your effort?
Luckily, I have a designated sewing studio at my house, so I don’t have to leave to create. However, financially, working with fabrics can get very expensive. I definitely have to budget myself when trying to design something fun or beautiful based on what type of fabric I can afford. That puts a damper on my design but I still go for it and use that cheaper fabric to my advantage. What do you love about being a creative in Memphis?
I remember being a little girl and walking through the art exhibits. That was my first introduction to this awesome city! I live in a place where there are amazing artists and art is celebrated! There are so many great opportunities here. It’s really a small town vibe in a big town. Every where I turn, I see the soul of the south and feel the creative energy of its people. I grew up with my mother taking me to the Brooks Museum of Art several times a semester.
Be sure to check out Jorja's new collection at Memphis Fashion Week this summer! Mark your calendars for The EMDP Celebration August 7th!