Growing up in a rural community in the Willamette Valley, I have always had a heart for the simpler things in life. Whether that is standing around a bonfire with friends, fireworks lighting up the sky after a rodeo, or watching a sunset from the bed of an old truck, life’s best memories are found in its little moments. In my own work, I hope to capture some of those small, simple pleasures. Last summer, I decided to bring my love for country living and my passion for design together, which evolved into custom western denim. Clothing brings confidence, defines the owner, and makes them stand out. Apparel shapes us into who we want to be and helps us paint the exquisitely unique individuals that we are. That is why I bring my digital designs to life. The connections and conversations that have arisen from these rhinestone studded jackets has been the most rewarding thing; as well as seeing some of my peers walk around in their very own ‘Grace Denims.’
I am a graphic design student, with a heart for small town living and an eye for western apparel. About a year ago, I started making custom denim jackets that make a statement. The jackets are laced with hand painted designs, leather fringe, and lots and lots of bling. To bring together western apparel and graphic design, I began transferring my sketches of these jackets to a digital platform. The sketches shown in the blog today are from my collection of ‘Grace Denims’ jackets, which will show you just a small selection of my designs.
This set is a little different from my other work. As you can see from my previous posts, the majority of my pieces are centered around fashion, specifically western fashion. Coming from a rural community, I formed a love for small town living, which in turn, ended up being the inspiration for much of my work. Where I grew up and who surrounded me, also affected my morals and views though. Without writing too much, I believe these prints encompass who I am and what makes me Gracie Dianne. A country girl who loves people, loves where she comes from, and loves the Lord more than anything. I introduce you to the Freedom Series.
For the last post, I am throwing it back to my roots. Before I get too much into explaining the pieces, I want to give you the chance to know a little more about me! I was raised in a town called Turner, which is a small farming community in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. I was raised in a family that loves each other and loves Jesus even more. My dad, Pete, is the principal of the high school in our town and my mom, Kathleen, is the family advocate for the district. They are not only my parents, but also the people that I look up to the most. They taught me to be strong, to stand up for what I believe in, and most importantly, they led me to the Lord, which is why I will forever be grateful for them both. I am the oldest of three; Brady and Brooks are my two teenage brothers. Although I cried when they were born because they weren’t the sisters I wanted, I can say that God definitely knew what He was doing. They drive me up a wall sometimes, but at the end of the day, I know they will always be my biggest protectors and best friends. They will be a freshman in college and junior in high school next year.
I have always been a free spirit. I am my best self when I am creating. My attraction to small town living that shows up in both my fashion and photography not only emerges from my upbringing, but also my love of music from the south… country with heart, folk, and soul. Like many girls, I grew up dreaming of being on a big stage with a microphone in my hands. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you, that this girl never stops singing. So, when I was first told about Nashville, “Music City USA”, I set my sights on getting there. From singing at sporting events, to taking voice lessons, to recording in the studio with my talented, song writing aunt, I have never stopped dreaming about life in the south. The simplicity of life in Tennessee is something that I try to capture in my design work as well. Whether through my western denims or photoshoots out in a cornfield, I try to envision what that world might look like.
So, if you take anything away from this, hopefully you see that I am dreamer. I like to capture the simplest moments that this world has to offer. The elegance of our country and the importance of family and faith is often overlooked, so it is my hope to slow down and help others notice the beauty that surrounds us all. I believe this last set that I am showing you, does just that. Meet Jackie, a girl who loves Jesus, loves people, and shines the brightest light I’ve ever seen.