Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebecca Wright.
Rebecca, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
When I was a child, I was obsessed with Barbies. I had quite a hoard of dolls and clothes, but I had also inherited my mother and aunt’s childhood collection to play with as well. I marveled at how lovely, meticulous, and unique all of the older pieces were long before I even understood the word “vintage.” My Nana is a seamstress, and watching her hand make all kinds of special little dresses for me inspired me further. I guess you could say clothing (whether barbie or human-sized) has always been my main source of happiness and creative expression. I bought my first sewing machine at age 16 when I first discovered the joy of thrifting. I wanted to make all the cute, quirky, but ill-fitting clothes I found fit me, flatter me, and blend seamlessly into my wardrobe. I then went on to study Fiber Art & Textile Design at the University of North Texas, which sparked my fascination and respect for handmade quilts, vintage fabrics, and folk art. I was inspired in particular by the Women of Gees Bend, and their UNBELIEVABLE handmade quilts, pieced together from scraps of other fabrics most would just discard. I felt (and still feel) a strong connection to the authenticity and functionality of their work. After graduating, I dedicated the next six years of my life to working my way up in a fashion resale company, starting as a buyer and gradually moving up the chain to Manager. And that’s when my life came full circle, and the concept of Psychic Outlaw really started brewing inside of me. I felt like I’d seen it all, yet I longed for more. I realized that my love of clothing demanded far more than just being surrounded by it both night and day. I needed to create my own brand, and share it with the world! I needed to embrace my passions, and just become a seamstress already!
I must have been born under a lucky star because soon, I found not one but two local companies that needed an in-house seamstress. You’d think it’s kind of an obscure job these days, but as soon as people found out I could sew, mend, and alter, it seemed like everybody and their mom started crawling of the woodwork with their piles of too-long-pants, too-short-curtains, hole-filled-sweaters, and every other kind of project under the sun. Luckily, it turned out to be mutually beneficial, because fixing & taking those odd jobs added not only to my experience working with all kinds of fabrics but helped me survive without spending most of my waking life inside of a clothing store.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Psychic Outlaw is the brand name I give to my wearable pieces of art. I create clothing out of recycled fabric and quilts. I prefer to use things that are being discarded because of the condition that they are in. I clean them, mend them, and help their story continue in another functional form. In a world filled with fast-fashion, most find it unnecessary to hand-make or even mend anything, but to me, it helps keep these cherished fabrics going. I also love to feel connected to the way people did things in the past, which is why I search out and use vintage sewing patterns for my pieces.
The reason I consider my hand made clothing art and not really a fashion line is because I want to make something different every single time I sit down to sew. Every piece of fiber has a mind of its own, and a personal story to tell. I don’t ever want to make multiples or duplicates. I think that takes away from the history being created with the items. To me- quilts are relics of a strong creative feminine history and culture that should be appreciated and shared! Wearing is sharing!
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
I’d say having to choose between pursuing your creative passion and actually being able to support yourself. For years I tried to do both. I eventually realized that to become successful with my own creative business, I had to be able to dedicate almost all of my time towards it- and no one is paying for that in the beginning! I am lucky to have a supportive partner and family that have helped me pursue my dream of being a Custom Clothing Seamstress. As soon as I stepped out of the comfort of my full-time job, I was met with so many supportive & honest humans. It seems like passion brings people together more than anything I’ve encountered, and it’s truly changed my perspective of life, success, and the way I view society as a whole.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have a website where I list my pieces for sale. I also love to post what I’m working on daily on my Instagram @psychicoutlaw as well as sneak peeks of any items that will be available for sale before they get listed online. You can help support me by following my journey on Instagram or getting in touch with any questions! I also do custom orders, so feel free to let me know if you’re looking for something in particular or have a favorite blanket or quilt that you need made into a one-of-a-kind keepsake that’ll hopefully get passed on down through your family over the years.
- Website: www.psychicoutlaw.com
- Phone: 903-808-0865
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @psychic.outlaw
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/psychic.outlaw/
Tyler Cogburn, Casey Schlickeisen, Cameron Day, Bailey Chapman