Today we’d like to introduce you to Piper Smith.
Piper, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Art has always surrounded me. Both my parents are artists and so were my grandparents. Because of this, I have been constantly exposed to music, writing and visual art. I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by artistic relatives who continue to motivate and support me creatively. I’m forever grateful I grew up in a family where art isn’t only celebrated but encouraged. My sister, Sydny, has been influential in who I am today and my journey as an artist. Having these inspirations and influences as I’ve grown up has molded me into who I am. This along with attending a Montessori school has provided me ways to pursue my creativity and curiosity while learning about independence.
As I get older, I realize I feel the most passion when diving into creative expression and learning about new mediums.
My artistic journey has gone from printmaking to photography to fashion illustrations, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. There are so many things I want to do and learn — like making rugs and designing purses and shoes and jewelry and learning more about fashion design. It seems endless.
Taking classes and learning new techniques has always inspired me to experiment and has challenged me to take my passions and express them in new ways. I get extremely motivated and inspired when I see my peers not just succeeding, but creating.
Growing up in a city like Chicago has given me the resources to not only be independent but to be exposed to different types of people and environments, which I’ve come to realize has had an immense impact on my life. I’ve transferred to a couple of different colleges and because of this, I’ve been fortunate to meet different types of people who have contributed to my growth and knowledge of who I am and what I love to do.
When I’m home, I work at Cynthia’s Consignments, a high-end consignment store. Working here has allowed me to be exposed to many different types of clothing and people, which inspires me as well. Seeing the pieces, we get into the store reminds me of why I love fashion and feel grateful I am able to be around it and learn while gaining experience.
These are just some of the things that have contributed to my journey, and I am so excited to grow even more.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There are always bumps in the road, and there will always be. I just find that you have to stay true to who you are and pursue what you’re passionate about. Whenever I feel unmotivated, I try to become inspired again. I look at old editorials, documentaries, go to museums and just look at what’s going on in the world around me. I love to study a variety of artists and fashion designers who fill me with motivation and the urge to create.
One of the struggles I’ve faced is with college and trying to find the best fit for me. I become really indecisive and overthink things, especially when making big decisions like which to attend. I’ve learned to ultimately go with my gut. And if it feels like I haven’t made the right decision, I make sure that no matter what happens, I’m going to learn from it and there is a reason that I’m going through this. Every situation is temporary, and if it can be fixed, then do what you can to fix it. I really liked the college I attended freshman year and I was learning a lot but felt to fully thrive, I needed to be in a different environment. Deciding where to take my journey was a hard thing for me to do.
My family and my close friends are some of the people who endlessly support and inspire me. I’m lucky to have a support system like my sister, who I know will always be there for me and continues to not only encourage me but play a big role in my art.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I do whatever makes me feel passionate. I create cover art, I style, I paint and embellish shirts and other garments. I do things for myself in my free time, like illustration. I could sit here and just name things I do but what makes me proud is not just seeing my passions be created and other people enjoying them but using my talents to help others.
For example, with my close friend Daniela Guevara, most of our projects together have been designing shirts to raise money for organizations like Black Lives Matter and RAICES, which helps defend the rights of immigrants and refugees.
My goal is to explore different mediums, and ultimately, continue a career in fashion, always incorporating more artistic mediums into it.
I’ll be attending the Fashion Institute of Technology this fall and am really excited to learn and see how I can grow. I will always love being as creative as I can and will continue to do so. As of right now, people can purchase cover art from me, styling, commissions for art on garments, etc. I will be selling garments I have painted and spray painted in the future as well.
All I can say is, stay tuned because I am really excited to see what more I can do and who I can collaborate with in the future.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Definitely my parents. My sister. My grandparents and close friends. They support all that I do and continue to motivate me and inspire me. Edmi. My boss, Cynthia. Dr. Wilen. So many people in my life have had an impact on me and continued to support me. They have inspired me in so many ways. I’m really excited to see where I go in the future and who else I meet.
My passion with art continues to grow, but what has remained a constant is my love for fashion and learning how to find new ways to incorporate it into my artistic growth, whether it be designing clothing to raise money, styling or just playing around with painting on garments.
- Cover Art ($45-)
- Email: email@example.com
Image 1: Model – Sydny August, styled by me, photo by me, Image 2: Model – Kimmy Vu, shirt by me, styled by me, Image 3: Editorial reference is Balenciaga, Illustration by me, Image 4: Model – Sydny August, styled by me, photo by me, Image 5: Model – Sydny August, styled by me, photo by me, Image 8: Sydny August “uni” cover art, collage by me