WORDS Amanda Dobra Hope
Photography Heidi Ross
Throughout my career I have run across far too many people that unknowingly bought the one-size-fits-all version of happiness that was sold to us in childhood. College degree, 2.5 kids, and a white picket fence were exactly what we all wanted, right? Sadly, by the time some of us achieved these things, we then had a mental and emotional breakdown because we realized it was not our dream that we had been pursuing.
Those that have figured it out have a powerful story to tell, as many have found their way to
creating the life that was actually meant for them,
albeit after much soul searching. Talking with fabric artist Liz Hodder, it is clear that she is one such creative hero, bringing the world beauty and energy through the art she was always destined to make.
“You have to decide if you want to participate in life,” she says. “I now have a renaissance in my life that I didn’t have before. I’m so excited I got here; I never thought I would. I hope that what I’m doing inspires others,” she continues.
Growing up, Hodder says, she lacked the confidence and support to pursue an arts education. “I applied to art school but didn’t go. I didn’t take my work seriously, so I went the academic route. When I made art it was easy, and I thought that must be wrong because it wasn’t supposed to be easy,” she shares. After a lot of inner work, she now comes to it with a different perspective: “Change is hard, but I’m an artist. I’m used to that.”
A lifelong creative, Hodder enjoyed a lucrative music career as a singer and songwriter in her early adulthood. After a creative hiatus to attend to family life and inner work, she switched from music to visual art when she began making designs and printing them on linen. When Hodder first started printing on fabric, she pondered where she could take it and realized that she could be printing on clothing. Hodder then began experimenting with silk and linen on scarves and pillows, and now she also prints her favorite patterns on frocks that she both sells and wears around town herself.
Inspired by the repeating patterns of nature, Hodder works with simple shapes and paints not only clothing, but anything else she can get hold of, including furniture, wallpaper, and lampshades. “I’ve recently been cutting up fabric and making collages with it and then putting it in windows,” she shares. “I’m always experimenting. It’s a blessing and a curse. My house has fabric everywhere. It’s crazy-town. Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist, but that’s my process. I don’t walk in looking at the chaos; I look at the process,” she continues.
A current love of Hodder’s is dyeing fabrics with indigo. From frocks and tunics to bedspreads and throws, she has taken a liking to the Japanese art of Shibori Dyeing. A true multimedia artist, she also works in ink, clay, and acrylics, and both a kiln and an indigo vat can be found in her crazy-town of creativity.
Perhaps you could engage Hodder over a cup of coffee and ask her more about her story, as a true desire of hers is for more people to create a life on their terms and give their unique gifts to the world. “I’m finally setting my life up in a way that feels good to me,” she said. Her hope is that everyone else experiences the same joy.
For more information, visit www.lizhodderstudio.com.