Episode 59: Jill Forie: Sink or Swim

Jill Forie talked about how she started and runs her custom sneaker business, Sink or Swim Kicks, alongside teaching. She shared tips and encouragement for teaching on a cart and really advocating for yourself. Jill also talked about anti-racist pedagogy and the importance of acknowledging her whiteness and both recognizing and celebrating the cultural differences present in her classroom. I loved the idea of realizing how many micro-decisions we make as artists during the creative process, but also how those begin as more macro-decisions that become intuitive through repetition. 

Jill Forie (she/her/hers) is a Los Angeles based artist and teacher and proud native New Yorker. Jill is the sole (pun slightly intended) owner and operator of her custom footwear business, Sink or Swim Kicks, which she founded as an art ed student in 2009. Sink or Swim has opened many opportunities for Jill including magazine interviews, TV appearances, celebrity clients and more, but she always identifies as an educator first and a working artist second. She has been an art educator for 10 years and has a strong passion for providing equitable art education to her students. Jill finds that the arts can be the great equalizer in schools and aims to challenge traditional approaches to art education. Her aim is to mobilize art both literally and figuratively into all spaces. Through her work not only as an artist but as a business owner and educator, she aims to inspire her students to follow their own path and acknowledges the power of representation and celebrates the story of every student who enters her class.

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