We spoke with Xerri about her work, what DIY means to her and how it fits Ferndale.
To learn more about our DIY Project and to participate, go here.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a fiber artist and DJ. My Grandmother taught me how to knit and crochet when I was 6-years-old, and I am forever grateful to her for instilling so much positivity in me early on in life. She taught me more than just a craft, she taught me mastery over hand and eye coordination and it has helped me in so many other areas of my life, especially in the realm of "DIY." My business, Starlily Creations was named after my dear Grandmother Lily. I still use her favorite crochet hooks, and sit in her favorite chair. I even use her favorite stitch in my pieces. I channel her and she lives on through my art!
2. What does DIY mean to you?
DIY to me is a way of life, I grew up in a family that lives by this ethic everyday. My father is a designer in the auto industry, my mother a seamstress... Creativity is in my blood! DIY is about community, sharing ideas and your skills to inspire creativity in others. It always inspires me to see other artists putting themselves out there, expressing their uniqueness and seeing it shine through in their work. DIY means forging a different path, it means rising above adversity and transmuting negatives into positives. Most of all, DIY means staying true to yourself and your art, and doing what comes natural to you and sharing it with those around you.
3. Tell us about a DIY project (or projects) you have worked on and why it was DIY.
In the realm of fiber art, I am constantly coming up with new ideas. I seldom use a pattern for anything and if I do I tweak it. My crochet scarflettes is my signature design I'm most known for. It's a short scarf; vintage inspired with a detachable flower clip that I embellish with vintage buttons and recycled pieces of old jewelry. I enjoy taking something old and making something new out of it. I have been collecting old buttons since I was a kid, and now I get to use them in my work!
DJing is my other passion and is an ongoing DIY project... I started getting my name out there by promoting/hosting my own events and DJing alongside local talent. It's a labor of love, and I still buy vinyl in the digital age. I attribute my ability to mix records to my first love, knitting and crocheting. I love mixing fibers in unusual ways, and this idea surely translates into my art of DJing when it comes to mixing music! I enjoy making DJ mixes the old school way, I suppose it's considered a dying art now but I've found quite a niche for myself. You can find my DJ mixes on soundcloud.com/jenxerri.
4. Why does the DIY attitude fit Ferndale?
The DIY attitude fits Ferndale because the vibe is more progressive. The people are very open-minded and there's a concentration of artistic people that are coming together to share what they do.
There's a sense of community and a fresh energy about Ferndale that makes it special. The small local businesses and funky vibe of downtown Ferndale makes for a more unique experience, DIY all the way!
5. Who is your favorite DIY artist/musician/human?
Mike Huckaby is a native Detroit DJ and musician. He currently teaches music software to children at Youthville in Detroit.
This profile is part of Ferndale Patch's month-long DIY Project where we talk with residents, artists, musicians, crafters, anyone with an opinion about DIY. The project will lead up to the DIY Street Fair Sept. 16-18. If you'd like to participate, email Ferndale Patch editor Terry Parris Jr. at email@example.com.