Dramatic wearable art for living life with relish!

A Bookmark tutorial, Part 1
A Bookmark Tutorial, Part 2
How to make Neck Laces, Part 1
How to make Neck Laces, Part 2
Mobiles hanging outside my studio.

Imaginative Attire for the Dramatically Inclined

I've always wanted to be an artist. My great grandmother painted porcelain china dish ware and jewelry, and she was a huge artistic influence on me. I remember walking into her upstairs closet on her farm in southwest Iowa, and being surrounded by shelves and shelves of porcelain plates and sugar bowls and butter dishes... I remember the smell of turpentine and mixing mineral oil with her powdered pigments. I remember her kiln on her back porch, and the tiny baby shoes she painted for each of her great grandchildren gilded with our names in gold.

I grew up to earn a degree in theatre with an emphasis in costuming. One day, between jobs, I thought, "How can I use my skills in a way that is unique and different? Can I become a bit of an artist like my great grandmother?" I'd always wanted to try, but I had a difficult time trying to figure out how.

One thing led to another, and I found myself drawing upon my years of experience as a costume designer to make distinctive attire for the dramatically inclined. I'd suddenly found how I could emulate my great grandmother's artistic inclinations, but using my own skill set and my own vision. Her artistry and discipline are an inspiration to me. To this day, I think of her every time I create one of my pieces. I couldn't paint porcelain like her, but I could paint and sew clothing instead.

I think of each of my pieces as an individual work, a separate and distinct expression. I'd seen other theatre folk pursue the fashion route, and it left a bad taste in my mouth... I didn't want to mass produce clothing. I didn't want to create lines or follow trends or worry about multiple sizes or manufacturing. Aside from the fact that I had no experience with that (because I was used to making one garment at a time through 20 years of working in costume shops), I found something oddly uncomfortable about the very idea... Why would we all want to wear something everyone else is wearing? Wouldn't we rather wear something unique, so we can recognize each other?

And if that's the case, then why not wear something that expresses who we are? Why settle for what's available on the mass market when we can wear something original and singular? And why, if given the option, would we choose to wear something bland, boring, conventional or commonplace? Why not make a statement? Why not Live Life with Relish?

And that's what I try to make: clothing that is theatrical, expressive and inspiring. Clothing that is not available anywhere else because it's too expensive to mass produce, and too artistic to make it viable. Clothing that is inherently emotional, vivid, and out of the ordinary. Clothing that has a story.

I created Relished Artistry to provide an outlet for my artistic side. I sometimes think my work could be considered frivolous and over the top, but hopefully it is never boring or uninteresting. I strive to celebrate the inherent beauty in attire and revel in the creative style it can inspire.

I think my great grandmother would have been proud.
Corey Johnston
owner, designer, Artist, Teacher
I've been searching for who I am for a long time. And I'm beginning to realize that finding the answer isn't the point. It's the searching that's important.