Chief Lady Bird

:: AGE

24

:: LOCATION

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

:: MEDIUM

Montana Black spray paint, acrylic paint, and Molotow paint markers for murals and street art

:: IDENTIFIES AS

Anishinaabe (Chippewa and Potawatomi), Female

As a womxn, why do you think it is important to create?

As an Indigenous womxn it is important for me to create, to tell my stories of survivance (Indigenous self-expression that tells a story about our active presence in the world) because it allows me to assert sovereignty over my body and lived experiences. As an Indigenous womxn my existence is political but it is also pure love, and by expressing this to the world I am able to contribute to the creation of safer communities for our youth and future generations.

What has been your proudest moment as an artist/creative?

My proudest moment was the completion of my first collaborative mural project because I saw my future in the brush strokes.

How do you define love?

Love traces back to our ancestors and is rooted in the land. Love exists in our blood memory, our ancestral knowledge, and our strength.

Describe the space that you like to create in?

I create in my home studio, which is an open concept apartment in the East end of Toronto. There is lots of natural light, and it is very comfortable. I mostly create illustrations at my desk but am also known to spread out on the floor with large canvasses. The space is a mix between a messy studio and a living room. I don’t like to separate my creative process from my leisure time.

What do you like to listen to while you create?

My top five artists to listen to while I create are Fleetwood Mac, Elle King, A Tribe Called Red, Tanya Tagaq and Lady Gaga.

How do you make time to create?

I am a freelance artist so lucky for me, my art is my career and my passion. I spend every day creating in many different forms: commissioned paintings, street art, murals with youth, illustrations, designs and logos for various organizations, writing for Life As Ceremony, as well as creating my own bodies of work. I enjoy having different jobs to do everyday because monotony kills my soul.

Do you have any words of advice for young womxn/artist/creators out there?

Do it. Whatever it is you want to do, make it happen. You are magical and strong. Any barrier that you face can be overcome with handwork, dedication and support. Reach out to those who can help you, and take advantage of the resources that are there for you. There is a community of womxn artists who are more than willing to help you on your journey, so don’t hesitate to reach your hand out for help- there will always be someone there to grab it and help you up! We gotchu!

What social issues do you care about most?

Idle No More, MMIW, NoDAPL

What could you not live without?

I can’t live without my sister. We create art together, laugh together, cry together. She uplifts me, and I uplift her. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of sisterhood. In times of great upheaval, we need each other!

Who are your influences/inspirations?

I am inspired by womxn who hustle to make it happen. Mothers. Sisters. Daughters. Aunties. Grandmothers. All the powerful matriarchs who don’t take any shit from anybody.

What message do you want to spread with your art?

Strength. Resilience. Survivance. Storytelling. Empowerment. Indigenous Resistance.