"We struggle through the real world, then create what we want it to be," says Elena Stonaker, the LA-based creator of wearable art. "My 2-D work is an idea of how I want the world to look like, and sewing it into 3D makes it more tactile and real, like dolls you can play with."
"I use a lot of hearts, which radiate love, open-mindedness, kindness, and vitality." Elena also uses eyes in order to represent "living beyond the physical world and opening portals," as well as snakes, which symbolize "infinite nature and shedding skin."
"Beauty is about grace and how you carry yourself. You have to know how to be true to yourself and how to be good to others. We can always be beautiful."
"These necklaces consist of two weeks of beading all day. I repeat symbols, like hearts, eyes, and snakes. After reading Joseph Campbell in high school, I started getting into symbolism. I love indigenous mythology and the idea that we have these universal, never-changing archetypes inside of us."
"I love crazy African costumes, Nick Cave, and things where every inch is covered in either a bead or a stitch."
"I feel like I have two very distinct sides. I try to express myself in my light side by inspiring myself and other people. But sometimes the other side is dark and asks, 'Why are you doing this? Nothing matters.' For me, it's about having humor. You have to laugh at yourself. Everything's absurd and funny and kind of a joke, but a really good joke."
All pieces by Elena.
Photographed and interviewed by Elisa & Lily.