Sarah was born in Canada, and lived in Vancouver until she moved to Chicago, USA, 5 years ago to live with her husband. She is now 40 and a mother of a 3-year-old. She is -in her own words- a multipassionate weirdo : a quilter, teaching sewing and garment making at Lillstreet Arts Center; also a DJ at Chirp Radio in Chicago, where she has a weekly show celebrating independent music and in particular female performers; and occasionally a stand-up comedian.
If you were to meet Sarah today, you would see a fulfilled, uninhibited, happy and creative woman, wife and mother. However, it’s never been granted. For the extremely shy child she was, educated in a restrictive traditional family, it took courage and determination to start exploring and discovering other dimensions of herself.
I was a very creative child with an early interest in textiles. However, I completely forgot about it as I took an academic path. It’s only in my 30’s that I started pushing my limits and challenging myself in uncomfortable ways like dying my hair pink when I was working in a government office, getting my first tattoo, taking improv drama classes and being a stand-up comedian.
Expressing her uniqueness in a vulnerable way only made her distinctive.
People would remember her for her quirkiness, and she started caring less about what other people thought of her.
In 2019 Sarah had a first child and after a year of what it feels like self-obliteration, craving some quiet time, she took a weekly sewing class as a desperately needed outlet. A year later, she launched a clothing brand called io the alien, a name she first took as a pseudonym for her first DJ show (in reference to the term the US immigration was referring to her in their paperwork). She quickly realised that garment making was not creative enough for her, so she started quilting. With her textile superpower, she picked the technique very quickly and got passionate about improv quilting.
Sarah never follows a pattern, building very intricate and personal artworks using a unique process that ties her passion for music and textile together:
I start by choosing a song, dancing to it, and then visualizing the colour palette and movement of my future artwork. I see my quilts as an expression of my uniqueness, unlike the garments I started to make under io the alien brand name.
Sarah is now in the stage of life where the mould that was imprisoning her spirit is broken. By choosing to let her light shine, the old toxic patterns that were holding her back have been released for good.
She is embracing the aging process as it only brings more awareness, confidence and freedom.
I know I have everything within capable of surprising myself in the future, and therefore I trust what will unfold.
Being now a mother, she has this extra-drive that pushes her to be the best guide she can be for her son, living the most authentic version of herself.
When asked how she was seeing herself in a few years down the road, Sarah said:
I do not make long-term projects but I know how I want to feel. A life out of the city, in a safe and quiet family sanctuary, where performance and travels would keep feeding my creativity.
That made me think of Danielle Laporte who has been encouraging us to be heart-centred for years.
When we focus on our feelings we can never go wrong!
Social and business achievements, or material goals should not be our drive in life. Knowing how we want to feel – and taking action towards it – is the best way to build and live a fulfilled and content life.