We had the good fortune of connecting with Tay Dunivan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tay, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think the idea of fully trust-falling into yourself and out of the work force has been the riskiest thing I’ve done. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot in the past year, being out of the traditional work force. We’ve been taught our whole lives that you need the steady job to get the paycheck, to get the car, to get the house etc but to break out of that cycle and truly, deeply trust that what your making fucking matters and that if you follow your intuition the things that you need to do will get done, the art will be made, people will care, and you can keep living. I hope I never have to have a “boss” again, capitalism has don’t nothing but hinder and monetize creativity in a way that is completely antithetical the production of genuine art. It feels super fucking risky not knowing if I’ll make rent next month, or if this weird ass ring I made will sell, but it feels riskier to let the artist in me die, and to let a boss have some of my soul. It’s my fucking soul and it’s not for sale. Jumping out of the warm, pacifying waters of the lazy river of capitalism and going down the big kid slide, not the kinda chill one you can ride a tube down, but that scary mother fucker that you ride alone and goes straight down feels like the biggest risk you could take. Until you realize your not really alone, and the slide is always going to catch you, and the big kid slide is a much better ride. Barely scraping by while making things you love feels a whole lot better than steadily covering your most basic needs while watching your bosses acquire more wealth, directly mined from from your work, your energy, and your soul. I just had to rethink what I thought I was risking. And money isn’t real we fucking made it up who cares?
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started making jewelry in college, maybe like 7 years ago. I’ve been an artist forever, but jewelry just hits different for me for so many reasons. Adornment is super important to me, and a powerful tool that I think often gets overwritten as “superficial” or whatever, but the right piece can give you power. It could be thrifted or a custom piece it doesn’t matter, what matters is your relationship to the object. It’s proximity to the body immediately creates a deep level of intimacy that you don’t get from much else. We tend to imbue pieces with deeper subconscious meaning beyond the physical worth of the piece. I love being the doula that gets to birth this beautiful little thing that is uniquely yours and no one else’s. I want to make things that make people feel more powerful…don’t go fucking overboard cause power corrupts and at my core I’m an anarchist, but I wanna make you feel as you as you can.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d take them to the beach and to meet my friends and to hang in the park and smoke weed and look at clouds, I’d tattoo them in my living room and we’d steal an orange from my neighbors tree. Everything’s closed but nature is beautiful and all we got are these little moments. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is more of a callout than a shoutout.. but shoutout to Catbird (a white woman owned jewelry company based in nyc), working there was the deepest I got into being a “professional” and their ability to cultivate such a racist, transphobic, myopic environment while retaining their stature and being praised for their “diversity” and accumulating such wealth off the backs of their underplayed jewelers was truly astounding and eye opening. And making 100s of pieces of jewelry for them every day made me want to make things that I actually love and that take time and mean something.
That being said, i trauma bonded and built community with so many fantastic jewelers at that place. Check out their work on Instagram: @
took em all, made em all