• Image of 'THE FIRST CUT' tote bag
  • Image of 'THE FIRST CUT' tote bag
  • Image of 'THE FIRST CUT' tote bag

This project rose from the pain I endured - and still endure - after the unexpected loss of my mother.

It is an exploration of the anxiety and vulnerability an artist feels presenting their work to the world after so much grief.

It is also about the heartbreaking moment you realise that a friendship you want to last forever is not meant to be.

A creative awakening can come when you least expect it. Mine, was a piece of music composed by a Melbourne based musician. The musician's eyes were black, and so was his heart.

The ghosts of his lost loved ones followed him wherever he went.

He became my muse.

The song stirred up my past, opened my eyes to the present and gave me the strength to look into my future.

Feeling alive for the first time in two years I wanted to sew again. I bought some fabric to make a simple cushion.

Making the first cut was hard.

Something I had done so many times before felt so new again.

Inspired by the musician, I started to design entire collections in my head. However, before the designs came to life, the musician and I were forced to part ways.

Looking back, I think it was all just a dream.

A dream to wake me from my creative sleep.

A dream to tell me that no matter what you do, you cannot save someone.

A dream to show me that the ghosts of our lost loved ones follow us wherever we go.

Printed in Melbourne, Australia on AS Colour 'Carrie' bag - 42cm x 42cm.

'The First Cut' logo was created by Perth based illustrator and tattoo artist Michael Joy.
His work can be found on IG: @mikejoyletters