For the month of August, we are featuring the work of Erin Jacobs for our Maker of the Month! Midnite Maven is a line of clothing that is dyed all by hand in the Bay Area. We currently stock Midnite Maven's tanks, leggings, dresses, and tees. Erin is a visual & performance based artist, muse, curator, creative consultant, photographer, stylist, & designer. It seems there is nothing that Erin has not done or cannot do! Check out her website and read on for more info on Midnite Maven and the collective of artists she founded called Badgrrrlgang.
How long have you had your business and tell us the history of how you got started to where you are now.
It's a bit hard to nail down a specific span of time, as I've spent years drifting in and out of numerous creative outlets that have driven my connection to the public world, but I've been creating accessible art and designing clothing in various capacities since I was 18...wow, does twelve years fly by! As for Midnite Maven, the newest iteration of my artistic persona, her concept was birthed exactly a year ago. I say her specifically, because this chosen working title is representative of the time I spent truly getting to know myself as an adult woman. There's nothing quite like a summer spirit quest, am I right? Because there are so many assets to who I am and how I identify as an artist, Midnite Maven represents and encompasses the uninhibited behavior of a considered wild woman in contemporary society.
Tell us about your brand and what is involved?
For the wearable side of Midnite Maven, I hand select all of the base garments I use and strive to only dye/bleach extract on fabrics with 95% cotton 5% spandex blend for ultimate comfort and curve contouring on all body types. Midnite Maven garments are for the grrrrrl on the go-go, so all styles dyed, bleached or hand painted are intended for versatile purposing and styling. Every single item receives delicate treatment, is washed by hand numerous times, cured with apple cider vinegar and set with that big ol' beautiful sun up above.
What inspires your creative process?
Much like the typical Pisces that I am, I go back and forth between total anxiety driven chaos and absolute peace. I've found that I tend to make incredible new collections of work (this applies to my clothing as well as my 2D artwork) in the calm after the proverbial storm, you know what I mean? Experiences inspire me. Relationships inspire me. Nature inspires me. Now that my husband and I have been recently relocated to the northern woods of California, after living in Chicago and the Bay Area [respectively] my entire life, I'm very excited to see what direction my work takes moving forward.
Tell us about more about the collective of artists you started called Badgrrrlgang and your inspiration for this?
Back to that spirit quest again, ha! Badgrrrlgang has more or less already [unofficially] existed for a couple of years, but I feel like it took until last summer, August specifically, for our collaborative group of women to fully activate into a partnership of dynamic minds and beautiful souls. As a woman, a woman of color no less, in the contemporary art, performance and fashion worlds, I've spent years and years trying to find the "right fit" for who I was in relation to my art and the art being praised around me. There always seemed to be just the slightest bit of disconnect. A sense of never having quite "pulled the pin". One day, I was sitting around, wrappin' it up with a few of my closest girlfriends, all artists and designers alike, and I pretty much said, I'm making space for myself; I'm making space for us. I'm so sick of all this "you can't sit with us" shit. What kind of dignified womanhood is that supposed to be? (FYI, Badgrrrlgang brainstorming is where I coined #chinuptitsout) We're here, magic as fuck, let's make some art together!
It's been several months since we've had our last official Badgrrlgang core member showcase, but we do have participating members of Badgrrrlgang in a women's group exhibition I'm curating at First Amendment Gallery SF entitled "Motel Mademoiselle" this August 25th. Hope to see you all there!
Where do you see Midnite Maven in 3-5 years and what is in store for Fall?
I'm not exactly sure where Midnite Maven will be in 3-5 years, but my hopes are that the brand will have expanded significantly. There is also the Midnite Maven debut zine "Mauvaille Faille", featuring Polaroids of lawless ladies behaving badly that debuts at the end of this month. Perhaps Midnite Maven will be a print entity down the line, too!
What do you do for fun and what are your favorite Bay Area or California spots to hang out?
Explore, explore, explore! California is loaded with incredible places for daytime adventures, off the path camping, city life dancing (kiki time, as Badgrrrlgang gets down with it!)...there's sooooo much to do. I will say though, there's a very special place in my heart for Santa Cruz, le sigh! I don't know what it is exactly, but whenever I feel slightly off or stressed or anxious or in need of a conversation with the mermaids, I find myself suddenly flying down the California 17.
Thanks so much Erin! Stop by Resurrect and check out the Midnite Maven line and start following her on Instragram @midnitemaven .