People Meet People: Diane Rudge
Diane Rudge is a self-taught artist based in Ucluelet, British Columbia. Known for working with natural fibres, Rudge has made a name for herself showcasing natural fibres and dyes on a large and small scale. Take a moment to sit back with Diane and learn more about what she does in the interview below…
Who was the first person to introduce you to the idea of creating art for a living? How did they inspire you?
I think it was probably my dad. He wasn’t an artist but he always pushed me to believe in my art. He really believed in me and encouraged the idea of the artist’s way. His support during those early years when I was in transition from one business to an artistic career really helped keep me inspired and to push on.
What is it like to live in a tiny house? How did that happen?
The tiny house was an idea my boyfriend (Patrick) had and the perfect opportunity for us to get into the housing market. We call it the Hermit Crab philosophy; start small and slowly grow to a bigger home once you outgrow this one. However we are both extremely content living small and will probably continue to do so for some time. It felt natural and very freeing having less, it really aligns with who we are and what we value in life so the adjustments we had to make before moving in weren’t too extreme.
When do you feel most content?
I feel most content when my life is in balance. To me this a balance between creativity and nature, work and play. I love my job and feel blessed to be able to create art for a living but I also love playing in nature, surfing, snowboarding, hiking, etc… I am always working on trying to maintain this balance.
Where do you create art? How does that space inspire you?
I have a small studio in town where I work called The Den. It is set up as a small collective for artists. Some days there are a couple of us working in there other days it’s just me. But being around other creatives definitely helps keep me motivated and inspired on slow days and it is also so lovely to be able to share ideas, struggles and wins with other people going through the same things. It is also located right on the inlet of Ucluelet so being able to step outside and be on the ocean really helps when I need to take a few minutes if I’m having some creative blocks.
Why do you choose to use sustainable, natural materials in the art you create?
The footprint I leave on the planet is really important to me, not just in my artwork but my day to day life. I try to make conscious and earth friendly decisions everyday, so including that philosophy in my art only makes sense. There is also so much beauty in natural and sustainable materials that it just makes sense. I love the story of each fibre or dye I use; where it came from, how it was harvested, who spun the wool, or raised the sheep, and I hope to share some of these stories through my work.
How does living in a remote, coastal community affect your world view?
I spend a lot of time in the forest and at the beach. I am reminded everyday how beautiful and lucky I am to live here but there is also a flip side. We are constantly picking up plastic and Styrofoam off the beaches, I drive past clear cuts and logging trucks everyday on my way home to the remote bay I live in. These are daily reminders for me to try to have a more positive impact on the planet but also to try to be an advocate for the planet.
Anything you’d like to add (personal projects, upcoming plans):
As of now 2019 is wide open for me, and I’m really excited about this. Last year I had a handful of larger commercial commissions which pushed my growth and work as an artist. I’m really looking forward to continue to move in that direction and to continue to grow and play. I’ve also been working on a teeny tiny side project called Flora and Fibre. Right now it is a small collection of hand knit toques and scarves and custom botanically dyed fibres. I’m really excited to see what direction this project heads in and what I can continue to learn from sustainable creating.