Since 2011 I have been designing and producing costumes for Caribbean carnivals globally. My approach builds on traditional craftsmanship rooted in Caribbean culture, combined with advanced digital fabrication methods. In 2016 I was awarded the “Access and Career Development” grant through the Ontario Arts Council, where I traveled to Trinidad to mentor under some of the most revered Caribbean carnival costume designers. Since 2017, my company SugaCayne has been incubated by the Design Fabrication Zone at X University (Ryerson). As design lead, we have produced three projects bringing the craft of carnival arts to X University and OCAD students. These costume projects were the first in the world to incorporate 3D-printing and laser-cut technologies into carnival arts. The designs have been published by media outlets like Breakfast Television, CP24, NOW Magazine and others, and have been exhibited in the Design Exchange Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum and Toronto City Hall.
With a yearning to share my beautiful culture with the world, I have made it my life’s mission to professionalize the Carnival Arts space. I have been selling my costumes globally since 2011 in places like Toronto, Miami, Cayman Islands, Chicago, and Trinidad. It has become very evident to me that the carnival experience is infectious, and once you’ve had a taste, you will always come back. The work is not only rewarding financially, there is also something otherworldly about witnessing what was once a thought, come to fruition on carnival day with hundreds of people reveling in the sunshine wearing my designs. I also use my work to tell the stories of my ancestors and culture. Caribbean carnival as we know it, started as a resistance to African enslavement on the islands, and it has grown into a celebration of our freedom and a display of our unity. With this work, I have been able to further innovate, educate, and engage Caribbean carnival enthusiasts with traditional carnival culture and introduce the artform to newer audiences.