I started to create under the artistic name Morja in the beginning of high school, but to be honest Morja has been in me since ever.
Then I only shared my love for sewing, upcycling and designing, but now I combine also my other artistic interests – from designing, digital art and paper collage art (lately creating lots of colourful fishes and can’t wait to show you my collection soon), photography, filming flowers in windy weather, writing poetry, playing music and who knows what else will come in the future.
I love everything creative and I like to try out new things; searching for ways to express myself, my thoughts and my view of the world around.
So in today’s blog post, I decided to present to you a little bit of how my story started.
I come from a little village and I’m the youngest member of the family, the fourth child. I’m also one of the youngest in my extended family circle. So back in time it was pretty normal for all of us to share and exchange our clothes and other items. Or when something ripped, our mom would repair it. When the item got worn out, you would wear it when at home. (Well it still is the same for me now).
And when you outgrew clothes, you would hand them forward and the exchange circle would restart.
As my mom tells me; I always wanted to pick clothing for myself, because every little seam would bother me. And later I remember when my sister had any pretty clothing, I couldn’t wait for her to outgrow them so I could have it. It was just such a special moment, to get something ‘‘new’’.
I also loved dress ups – I would play them with my older sisters; we wrapped ourselves in sheets or scarves, which is probably what made me love to make wrap dresses for barbies.
But there is this specific moment that I remember when I was probably around 9 or 10 years old. I wrapped Barbie in a very soft cream velvet wedding-like dress, tied it with a string and showed it to my sister Ana and she asked me: Zala, why don’t you sew it up?
I think this blew my mind; can I sew it? Can I? I CAN! And I did.
(I guess I loved weddings since ever - in the last 4 years I’ve sewn four wedding dresses - two for my sisters and for two friends)
And since then, I remember I would spend hours hand sewing little dresses and begging mom to show me how to use sewing machine. And finally after so long she did. When later I found out this could be a profession, it blew my mind the second time. So I was telling everyone what I wanted to do.
My eldest sister bought me a sketch book for 11th birthday with already drawn models, and I would sketch dresses all the time, drawing textures and patterns.
Well as a child I wanted to be an actor - I loved playing roles and I was always goofing around, telling jokes, dancing, singing. Well actually everyone was more amused by my non existing self made jokes, and I still am very good at telling them. (read: very bad)
I also wanted to be a dancer, but instead got into music school when I was 6 or 7 years old, so I’ve been playing violin since then. And I also took some singing classes. But to be honest, I only started to enjoy playing music after I got out of music school.
Oh and I loved watching Project Runway. I mean, who did not!? I was so fascinated by how designers did things, especially when they had projects when they had to upcycle discarded materials.
My first project on a sewing machine was actually a pencil case; I just wanted one normal that I couldn’t find in any store. So I got one easy pattern in a magazine and with the help of my mom, brought it into life. I remember I used green waste sample textile that we got when we were choosing colour for our sofa. It had this suede touch and I used a button to close it. With time I started using waste jeans, lots of lace and buttons. And I kept improving my style and I think the process and how things evolved is just beautiful.
Later I would redecorate many of my jackets, skirts, shorts and shirts using waste textiles and lace. Well since my mom is a kindergarten teacher, we always had many little scraps of textile at home that she would also use to make toys and other props for her job.
So I would say this is the main reason why I love to make collages out of little scraps - It’s just something that I started with and so it stayed with me ever since.
And as I later realised how dirty the fashion industry really is, I also didn’t want to support practices that do bad for the people and environment. So I wanted to offer an alternative to people who care; I wanted to open up eyes and maybe inspire a person or two to join me on this path.
Well as I was learning to sew and draw my own patterns I also destroyed a piece or two.. hah who am i kidding. But let’s just say that mistakes are more than welcome!
And never ever stop believing in yourself. Take breaks, but don’t give up. Rise and stand tall, because you will fail and fall, many times. And there will be bad days and bad moods. And there will be many other feelings that will be unpleasant; but only then and there you will grow and evolve.
Because good things take time. And practice makes perfect - well perfection does not exist but you can get close to it, right? Or you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
Because life becomes so much lighter and brighter then. Trust me.
When I’m in my studio time goes by so fast. Like really fast. And the feeling in the end, when I see what I created – no words can describe it. Really. Trully.
Life is beautiful. It’s also hard at times. But it’s also wonderful and the fact that I met so many wonderful people while sharing what I care and love about, it’s just wonderful.
So I want to thank you all who are with me on this journey of creating a better today, tomorrow.